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The Iron Age Horse

  • Erika Rosengren
  • Charlotte Fabech
  • Ulf Näsman
Publiceringsår: 2017
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 195-201
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Jutland Archaeological Publications
Volym: 99
Dokumenttyp: Del av eller Kapitel i bok
Förlag: Aarhus Universitetsforlag

Abstract english

The Sösdala find with its exquisite horse equipment is spectacular and testifies to the prominent role of the horse in Iron Age society. Although the remains of the horses themselves are absent, information about the animal's physical characteristics can be found in related finds from elsewhere in Scandinavia.

It is possible to infer that the horses do not seem to have expressed much phenotypic variation. The horses were around 120-140 cm over the withers and most were black, bay or chestnut in colour. Genetically. modern Nordic horses show abundant diversity both among and within horse breeds, possibly reflecting a bias toward the trading of females already in ancient times.

In contrast, local stallions seem to have been highly valued and preferred over imported ones, based on the autochthonous paternal lineages exhibited by the same breeds.
At some point in time, an influx of genes from eastern horse populations occurred, possibly mirroring the eastern influences seen in other categories archaeological material, but this may also be of an earlier or later date.


  • Archaeology


  • ISSN: 0107-2854
  • ISBN: 978-87-93423-15-2
E-post: erika [dot] rosengren [at] ark [dot] lu [dot] se


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