Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

A light brown horse mandible, complete with teeth, is measured in a lab.

Mandible of a horse.
Pictures: Dr. Catherine Cane / University of Exeter

A team of zoologists in the UK recently analyzed the bones of centuries-old warhorse to determine their size, They are that Was surprisingly small in size.

Researchers have tested 1,964 horse bones From the 4th century Until the middle of the 17th century, From 171 different archeological sites. They found that many war horses were probably not the size of cheese compared to modern horses. The team had results Published In the International Journal of Osteochondrology.

Oliver CrAton, an archaeologist at the University of Exeter and co-author of the research paper, said at a university. Release That “the war horse is closely involved in the development of the elite identity as a symbol of dignity, both at the center of our understanding of medieval English society and culture and is famous for its dynamism and shock value as a weapon of war, changing the face of war.” But obviously the horse that changed the game had an outsize effect for a small reason Size

The team noted that many different horses could be considered war horses; There were destroyers, often used in tournaments, but there were also rounces and trotters, which cover long distances in military campaigns. Once the bones are in an archaeological context, it can be difficult to tell the warhorse from a normal horse.

The two tapestry panels depict the army of Harold II, the future king of England, landing in Normandy with 11 horses.

Beyx Tapestry (11th Century Dating) The army of Harold II, the future King of England, is depicted as landing in Normandy.
Pictures: Halton Archive (Getty Images)

“The size or strength of the limbs alone is not enough to confidently identify warhorse in archaeological records,” said Helen Benkart, a co-author at the University of Exeter. University Release. “Historical records do not provide specific criteria that define a war horse; It is possible that throughout the Middle Ages, at different times, different forms of horses were preferred in response to changes in battlefield strategy and cultural preferences. “

Horses are measured by how high their hands are when they dry – where the neck meets the shoulder. 13th century When the 16-foot-tall horse began to appear in archeological records. But it is not for another century that horses have become drafts Size (Draft horses are famously large animals that are used to carry cars and other heavy loads.)

In the media, researchers note, shire horses (a type of draft horse) often play the role of war horses. But the shires stand 18 feet high from their dry (shoulder blades), which makes them much larger than their actual warhorse. Researchers have found that horses up to 15 cubits high were very rare, even when Royal Horse Breeding Network Was on top of her.

According to the paper, some of the smaller horses were the size of donkeys, while horses from Roman times to the post-Middle Ages were slightly smaller than mules.

The future Old analysis DNA Can help archaeologists understand how reproduction occurs Horses Evolved over the centuries, the researchers noted. And although the size varied between these horses, a Calvary figure rose to the top The donkey-sized horse is a perennial one.

More: Australia plans to kill thousands of feral horses কিন্তু but scientists say that’s not enough

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