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From Head to Hind: Elucidating Function through Contrasting Morphometrics of Ancient and Modern Pedigree Dogs.

Schoenebeck, J.J., Hamilton-Dyer, S., Baxter, I.L., Schwarz, T. and Nussbaumer, M., 2021. From Head to Hind: Elucidating Function through Contrasting Morphometrics of Ancient and Modern Pedigree Dogs. Anatomical Record, 304 (1), 63-77.

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DOI: 10.1002/ar.24412


Used together, caliper- and geometric-based morphometric analyses provide complimentary approaches to classifying form and function of archaeozoological remains. Here we apply these analytical tools to the skeletal remains of an ancient male dog unearthed from a rural farm settlement of Roman date near present day Warmington, UK. Our comparisons of the Warmington Roman dog against the morphological characteristics of modern dog breeds enabled us to establish the former's size and shape. It was of medium stature. Analysis of viscerocrania and neurocrania indicate it falls within the meso- to dolichocephalic rankings of modern dogs. The neurocranium shape and the dimensions of its long bones strongly suggest that the Warmington dog shares similarities to modern sight hounds. Historically sight hounds were bred for speed, as necessitated of a hunter that runs down small prey. Our analysis suggests that the Warmington dog was likely bred for, or derived from, Roman hunting stock. By revealing the Warmington Roman dog's form from cranial and postcranial analyses, we shed light on Roman life in one of the furthest outposts of the Roman Empire.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Funding information Albert Heim Foundation, Grant/Award Number: Project 101; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Grant/Award Numbers: BBS/E/D/20211551, BBS/E/D/30002276
Uncontrolled Keywords:Roman ; archaeozoology ; dog ; geometric morphometrics ; morphology
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:34081
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:02 Jun 2020 15:57
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:22


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