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  • 1. Svensson, Emma M.
    et al.
    Telldahl, Ylva
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
    Sjöling, Emma
    Sundkvist, Anneli
    Hulth, Helena
    Sjøvold, Torstein
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Osteology Unit.
    Götherstrom, Anders
    Coat colour and sex identification in horses from Iron Age Sweden2012In: Annals of Anatomy, ISSN 0940-9602, E-ISSN 1618-0402, Vol. 194, no 1, p. 82-87Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Domestication of animals and plants marked a turning point in human prehistory. To date archaeology, archaeozoology and genetics have shed light on when and where all of our major livestock species were domesticated. Phenotypic changes associated with domestication have occurred in all farm animals. Coat colour is one of the traits that have been subjected to the strongest human selection throughout history. Here we use genotyping of coat colour SNPs in horses to investigate whether there were any regional differences or preferences for specific colours associated with specific cultural traditions in Iron Age Sweden. We do this by identifying the sex and coat colour of horses sacrificed at Skedemosse, Oland (Sweden) during the Iron Age, as well as in horses from two sites in Uppland, Ultuna and Valsgarde (dated to late Iron Age). We show that bay, black and chestnut colours were all common and two horses with tobiano spotting were found. We also show how the combination of sex identification with genotyping of just a few SNPs underlying the basic coat colours can be used to identify the minimum number of individuals at a site on a higher level than morphological methods alone. Although separated by 500 km and from significantly different archaeological contexts the horses at Skedemosse and Ultuna are quite homogenous when it comes to coat colour phenotypes, indicating that there were no clear geographical variation in coat colouration in Sweden during the late Iron Age and early Viking Age.

  • 2.
    Svensson, Emma
    et al.
    Evolutionary biology, Uppsala university, 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden.
    Vretemark, Maria
    Västergötland museum, Skara, Sweden.
    Telldahl, Ylva
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
    Persson, P
    Kulturhistoriskt museim, Universitet i Oslo.
    Malmborg, Gustav
    Högskolan på gotland, visby, Sweden.
    Götherström, Anders
    Evolutionary biology, Uppsala university, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Jakobsson, M
    Evolutionary biology, Uppsala university, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Signs of contrasting selection in medieval and modern North European cattleArticle in journal (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Telldahl, Ylva
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
    Ageing Cattle: The Use of Radiographic Examinations on Cattle Metapodials from Eketorp Ringfort on the Island of Öland in Sweden2015In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 10, no 9, article id e0137109Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper conventional X-ray analysis of cattle metapodials is used to study the age structure of slaughtered cattle at Eketorp ringfort on the island of Öland, Sweden. The X-ray analyses suggest that several animals in both phases were slaughtered aged 4–8 years. More oxen/bulls than cows reached the advanced age of over 8 years, yet in phase III more oxen/bulls seem to have been slaughtered between the ages of 2 and 8 years. These differences may reflect a change in demand for meat related to the character of the site. The results also show a correlation between metapodials with a pathology connected to biomechanical stress and older animals. This suggests that male cattle were used both in meat production and as draught animals. Asymmetry in male metatarsals such as distal broadening of the lateral part of the medial trochlea was visible on the X-ray images. The bone element also indicates a denser outer cortex of the medial diaphysis in comparison to the inner medulla. This could be the result of repetitive mechanical stress. Two metatarsals from cows were documented with distal asymmetry indicating that cows were also used as working animals. Bone elements with changes in the articular surfaces were more common in metapodials from cows with an X-ray age of over 3–4 years. These results highlighted the slaughter age difference between oxen/bulls and cows, enabling a better understanding of animal husbandry and the selection of draught cattle at Eketorp ringfort.

  • 4.
    Telldahl, Ylva
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
    Chosen beasts?: Paleopathology of horse and cattle in wetland sacrifices on the Öland island in Sweden.Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Investigations of the prevalence of degenerative joint disease in modern horses have shown a correlation between degenerative joint disease and workload. In this paper the distribution of observed changes in the joints of the lower extremities in sacrificed horses at Skedemosse wetland was interpreted in the terms of whether the horses have been used for work. The occurrence of changes was divided in five groups depending on its severeness. The results show that there were different lesions in fore limb compare to those in hind limb. Fusion of Mc II and IV was in majority in the fore limbs. Those changes are most frequent seen in older animals. Degenerative joint disease was more common in the hind limbs whereof some resembled to those found in lame horses. However, the results indicate that not only lame horses were sacrificed. The finds of horse bones on mainland Sweden indicates that larger animals were sacrifieced compare to the Skedemosse horses. A comparison of withers height with contemporary horses on the island Gotland and mainland show that Skedemosse horses had a greater variation.

  • 5.
    Telldahl, Ylva
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
    Skeletal changes in lower limb bones in domestic cattle from Eketorp ringfort on the Oland island in Sweden2012In: International journal of paleopathology, ISSN 1879-9817, Vol. 2, no 4, p. 208-216Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper the nature and frequency of skeletal changes in the lower limb bones of cattle are investigated. The bones derive from the archaeological site of Eketorp ringfort on the Oland island in Sweden dated between Iron Age-Middle Age (ca. A.D. 300-1200/50). The analysis was conducted to explore whether skeletal lesions were associated with traction activity, and if changes in the type and prevalence of lesions occurred over time. Different skeletal lesions were recorded by bone and precise anatomical location: the joint surfaces of metapodia and phalanges were divided into four to seven zones to determine if different types of lesions were located on particular regions of the articular surface. The results show that metatarsals exhibited a higher frequency of pathologies in the Iron Age and medieval period compared to metacarpals, while anterior phalanges 1 and 2 had a higher occurrence of lesions than the posterior elements. The study also demonstrates that the type and location of depressions on joint surfaces are unevenly distributed between bone elements. Finally, the results show that skeletal lesions were more common in robust animals.

  • 6.
    Telldahl, Ylva
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
    Skeletal changes in lower limb bones in domestic cattle from Eketorp ringfort on the Öland island in SwedenIn: International Journal of Paleopathology, ISSN 1879-9825Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract: In this paper the occurrence of skeletal changes in joints has been investigated in cattleextremities. The bone elements derive from the archaeological site Eketorp ringfort on the Ölandisland in Sweden dated between Iron Age - Middle Age (ca 300 - 1200/50 A.D.). The analysis wasconducted in order to examine skeletal lesions and their connection to traction work. Different skeletallesions were recorded and the joint surface on metapodia and phalanges was divided in 4-7 sites toexamine if different types of lesions were located on particular sites of the articular facets or ifdifferent types of lesions were noted in bone elements from fore- and hindlimbs. The results show thatmetatarsals exhibited a higher frequency of pathologies in both phases compared to metacarpals whileanterior phalanges 1 and 2 had a higher occurrence of lesions than the posterior elements. The studyalso demonstrates that the type and location of depressions on joint surfaces are unevenly distributedbetween bone elements. Furthermore the results show that the occurrence of skeletal lesions weremore common in robust animals.

  • 7.
    Telldahl, Ylva
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
    Working Animals and Skeletal Lesions: Paleopathology of Cattle and Horse in Iron Age and Medieval Öland, Sweden2012Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Central to this thesis is the relationship between animal husbandry practices and the associated pathological conditions. Since bone elements from the extremities are subjected to abnormal load when animals are put to hard work this research aims to go further and interpret the prevalence of varying lesions and their connection with animal husbandry by using methods such as osteometric analysis, conventional radiograpic and bone mineral study, as well as incorporated molecular analysis.

    The results show that approximately 15% of the cattle extremities at Eketorp ringfort had some kind of skeletal lesion. Cattle metatarsals exhibited a higher frequency of lesions than metacarpals. Skeletal lesions connected to draught use were more frequently recorded on bone elements from male than from female cattle. The anterior phalanges 1-2 had a higher occurence of lesions than the posterior elements. In addition, there was a significant correlation between larger sized animals and lesions. Osteological measurements were also investigated using molecular sex identification. Several measurements in both fragmented and complete metapodials proved useful in separating cows from oxen or bulls.

    Conventional radiographics were used on cattle metapodials from Eketorp ringfort to investigate the age structure in slaughtered cattle over 3 years of age. In phase III more male cattle were slaughtered before 8 years of age which could reflect the character of the site. The bone density analysis showed that modern cattle metapodials had higher values than the archaeological specimens which made intepretation of post-depositional changes problematic. The molecular analysis did not show any selected breed or specific type of animal. All but two of the Eketorp cattle belonged to haplogroup Y2 which is common in Southern Europe. The Y1 haplogroup (one in phase II and one in phase III) is common in Western and Northern Europe. The results point to that the Ölandic cattle population was homogeneous over time. The results from thirty-four bone elements show that twenty-five bones belonged to animals with red or light coat coloration and nine of uncertain, possibly partly black colour.

  • 8.
    Telldahl, Ylva
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
    Svensson, Emma
    Götherström, Anders
    Storå, Jan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
    Ostemetric and molecular sexing of cattle metapodia2012In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 39, no 1, p. 121-127Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sex identification of skeletal remains based on morphology is a common practice in Zooarchaeology. Knowledge of the sex distribution of slaughtered or hunted animals may help in the interpretation of e.g. hunting or breeding strategies. Here we investigate and evaluate several osteometric criteria used to assess sex of cattle (Bos taurus) metapodia using molecular sex identification as a control of the metric data. The bone assemblage used to assess these new criteria derives from the Eketorp ringfort in the southern parts of Öland Island in Sweden. One hundred metapodia were selected for molecular analysis of sex and we were able to genetically identify the sex of 76 of these elements. The combined results of the molecular and osteometric analyses confirm a significant size difference between females and males for several measurements for both metacarpals (Mc) and metatarsals (Mt). Our results show that some measurements are applicable for metapodials. These measurements include the slenderness indices such as the Mennerich’s index 1 and 3, as well as the distal breadth (Bd), the breadth between the articular crests (Bcr), and the maximum breadth of the lateral trochlea (BFdl). We show that they can be used for sexing of both metacarpals and metatarsals. The latter measurements offer an opportunity to study fragmented elements and thus a higher number of elements may be utilized for morphological sexing of archaeological bones. Size comparisons of Mc and Mt may also aid in the separation of bulls and oxen.

  • 9.
    Telldahl, Ylva
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
    Svensson, Emma
    Avdelningen för evolutionsbiologi, Evolutionsbiologiskt Centrum, EBC, Uppsala universitet.
    Götherström, Anders
    Avdelningen för evolutionsbiologi, Evolutionsbiologiskt Centrum, EBC, Uppsala universitet.
    Storå, Jan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
    Typing Late prehistoric Cows and Bulls-Osteology and Genetics of Cattle at the Eketorp ringfort on the Öland Island in Sweden2011In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 6, no 6, p. 1-8Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Human management of livestock and the presence of different breeds have been discussed in archaeozoology and animal breeding. Traditionally osteometrics has been the main tool in addressing these questions. We combine osteometrics with molecular sex identifications of 104 of 340 morphometrically analysed bones in order to investigate the use of cattle at the Eketorp ringfort on the Öland island in Sweden. The fort is dated to 300–1220/50 A.D., revealing three different building phases. In order to investigate specific patterns and shifts through time in the use of cattle the genetic data is evaluated in relation to osteometric patterns and occurrence of pathologies on cattle metapodia. Males were genotyped for a Y-chromosomal SNP in UTY19 that separates the two major haplogroups, Y1 and Y2, in taurine cattle. A subset of the samples were also genotyped for one SNP involved in coat coloration (MC1R), one SNP putatively involved in resistance to cattle plague (TLR4), and one SNP in intron 5 of the IGF-1 gene that has been associated to size and reproduction.

    The results of the molecular analyses confirm that the skeletal assemblage from Eketorp is dominated by skeletal elements from females, which implies that dairying was important. Pathological lesions on the metapodia were classified into two groups; those associated with the use as draught animals and those lesions without a similar aetiology. The results show that while bulls both exhibit draught related lesions and other types of lesions, cows exhibit other types of lesions. Interestingly, a few elements from females exhibit draught related lesions. We conclude that this reflects the different use of adult female and male cattle.

    Although we note some variation in the use of cattle at Eketorp between Iron Age and Medieval time we have found little evidence for the use of different types of animals for specific purposes. The use of specific (genetic) breeds seems to be a phenomenon that developed later than the Eketorp settlement.

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