Icelandic Livestock Improvement on a Millennial Scale: Biometrical Analyses of Caprine Morphology
The increase in the size of domestic animals across Europe has often been characterized as a result of the Second Agricultural Revolution. However, zooarchaeology has been able to explore incremental improvements to livestock across Europe beginning in the late medieval period. Intellectually connected to Europe but isolated from significant trade routes, Iceland is a unique location from which to explore the various factors at work during the last millennium that lead to notable increases in the size and stature of livestock through the biometrical analysis of faunal remains. Statistical analyses of sheep/goat bone dimensions from four Icelandic sites dating from the settlement period to the early modern period indicate a statistically significant increase in size over time. This work represents the first steps in building a national Iceland model of livestock breeding and improvements.
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Icelandic Livestock Improvement on a Millennial Scale: Biometrical Analyses of Caprine Morphology. Kevin Gibbons, George Hambrecht. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433941)
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