i got some strange horse remains from a small roman grave yard in austria,
two horse/dog burials were excavated there. one of the horse specimens is
nicely and neaerly completely preserved. i compared the scull to numerous
roman and very early medieval horse sculls, but the form still remained
"strange". it fits best to a oriental thoroughbred specimen (a homi mare)
from the natural history museum in vienna.
i think the most valid trait is the position of the orbita, in comparison to
the other sculls it looks a bit "displaced". the number of lumbar vertebrae
is regular. however the dog, which was additionally buried to the horse,
shows similarities to the appaerance of a greyhound- or barsoi-typus,
although it doesn't fit perfectly to modern breeds. The other horse is
unfortunately very incomplete, whereas the second dog lies in the variation
of known archaeological specimens.
i still have problems bringing myself to address these remains as oriental
imports.... is anything known about such "imports" at any other
archaeological sites?? or has anybody experience dealing with such a topic??
Alfred Galik, Mag. Dr.
Dept. of Anatomy
Unit on Archaeozoology and Comp. Morphology
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna
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