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Abnormalies of Horse Vertebrae from Xigou Site and Shirenzigou Site in Xinjiang

Author(s): Yue Li ; Yue You ; Yiting Liu ; Nuo Xu ; Jianxin Wang

Year: 2017

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This research examines seven horse skeletons unearthed from the burials and sacrificial pits of the late Warring States Period to the early Western Han Dynasty at the Shirenzigou and Xigou sites in Xinjiang. Vertebrae were observed for lesions such as hyperostosis, asymmetry, spinal fusion, horizontal fractures on epiphyses, and dorsal inter-pressing or joining of the vertebrae. Because the abnormalities are similar to those identified as the result of horseback riding in archaeological research outside China, as well as in veterinary medicine and osteology, their presence here is highly suggestive of human use for riding. This is consistent with saddles found in other sites and petroglyphs near the Shirenzigou and Xigou sites which show riding scenes, providing additional clues for the appearance of horseback riding during the late Warring States and early Western Han in Xinjiang.

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Abnormalies of Horse Vertebrae from Xigou Site and Shirenzigou Site in Xinjiang. Yue Li, Yue You, Yiting Liu, Nuo Xu, Jianxin Wang. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432036)


Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16006

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America