Please find enclosed below an extract from the following, which might be of
interest for you:
Albarella U., Beech M. & Mulville J. 1997 . The Saxon, medieval and
post-medieval mammal and bird bones excavated 1989-1991 from Castle Mall,
Norwich (Norfolk). London: English Heritage AML report 72/97 [pp.26-7]
"The difference between medieval and post-medieval cattle becomes striking when
the horncores are considered. Horncores from period 6 are much larger than
those from any other periods, whereas no change seems to occur between Saxon,
early and mid medieval specimens (fig.27A and 27B). Interestingly, the
post-medieval horncores also have a very different shape, with a relatively
much smaller base (fig.27C). This is obviously the "structural" consequence of
having much longer horns, but it still seems that these horncores were more
"long" than "massive".
We thus have short horned cattle in late Saxon and medieval times and longer
horned cattle in the late 16th-18th century (period 6). This is consistent with
the historical evidence that short horned cattle were widely distributed in the
12th and 13th century and could still be found until the 16th century (Armitage
1980). Long horned cattle first appeared in the late 14th-early 15th century
(Armitage 1980) but became common only by the 16th century (Markham 1614,
Trow-Smith 1957). On the basis of historical and archaeological evidence
Armitage (1980) defines three main types of long horned cattle:
- long-horned: late medieval-early Tudor; animals of large size; "massive"
horn-cores with large base.
- longhorn: 17th-early 18th century; animals of small size; unimproved form of
the modern "Longhorn"
- Longhorn: established in late 18th-early 19th century; improved breed;
relatively small base.
On the basis of its rather large size, the shape of its horncores and its
chronology it seems that the period 6 cattle represent a form roughly
intermediate between the long-horned and the longhorn types".
Armitage P. 1980. A preliminary description of British cattle from the late
twelfth to the early sixteenth century. The Ark VII (12) 405-413
Markham, G. 1614. Cheape and good husbandry for the well-ordering of all beasts,
and fowles, and for the generall cure of their diseases. London, Roger Jackson
Trow-Smith, R. 1957. A history of British livestock husbandry to 1700. London,
Routledge and Kegan Paul
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