Why sex alone won’t explain the shape variation in medieval cattle metapodials from Bern, Switzerland. A multivariate approach

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  • Why sex alone won’t explain the shape variation in medieval cattle metapodials from Bern, Switzerland. A multivariate approach

Dublin Core

Title

Why sex alone won’t explain the shape variation in medieval cattle metapodials from Bern, Switzerland. A multivariate approach

Subject

S5-2, S6-3, General session, poster

Description

Abstract:

Osteometric measurement of cattle metapodials can under certain circumstances provide reasonably correct information on the sizes of the animals and their sex. Ultimately, with enough data, this may lead to understanding the cultural background and economic impact of cattle stockbreeding and husbandry. We present an extensive osteometric and statistical review of cattle metapodials from a medieval site (13th and 14th Century) in Bern, Switzerland, which has provided 65 metacarpals and 43 metatarsals from adult cattle. Interestingly, multivariate analysis of seven measurements shows – at least with the metatarsals – four distinct clusters. This clearly prevents us from assigning the clusters to the two (three if we consider the oxen) sexes. We therefore assume that in medieval Bern respectively in its surroundings at least two different native breeds of cattle must have existed. We discuss our results against the background of possible geographic, climatic or special rearing conditions. The evaluation of body size shows that medieval cattle in Bern weighted between 75 kg and 150kg and had a height at the withers between 100cm and 115-120cm. Our results clearly demonstrate that certain care has to be exercised when sexing and sizing cattle by osteometric analysis of metapodials.

Authors:

REHAZEK Andre1 and NUSSBAUMER Marc2

Affiliations

1 Natural History Museum Bern, Bernastrasse 15, CH-3005, Bern, SWITZERLAND, andre.rehazek@nmbe.ch
2 Museum of Natural History Berne, Bernastrasse 15, CH-3005 Berne, Switzerland, marc.nussbaumer@nmbe.ch

Creator

Rehazek, Andre
Nussbaumer, Marc

Date

August 2010

Contribution Form

Online Submission

No

Document Item Type Metadata

Citation

Rehazek, Andre and Nussbaumer, Marc. "Why sex alone won’t explain the shape variation in medieval cattle metapodials from Bern, Switzerland. A multivariate approach," in BoneCommons, Item #1482, http://alexandriaarchive.org/bonecommons/items/show/1482 (accessed December 13, 2019).

License

Creative Commons License

File: Cattle_Metapodials_Switzerland_Rehazek_ICAZ2010_Poster.pdf