Véra Eisenmann

Ukraine VI BC-IV AD

Saturday 1 March 2014 by Véra Eisenmann

In the Institute of Archeology at Kiev, there is a rich collection of historic Equus bones which was under study by Dr O.Zhuravlev when I visited in 1992. Dr Zhuravlev guided me and helped me in every way and I wish to express my sincere thanks to him and also to all of his colleagues who warmly whelcomed me and shared their meals with me at a time of reletive penury. I remember that on the refrigerator - "kholodil’nik" in Russian - was a pun-label saying "golodil’nik"which is approximately "hungerator".

E. caballus is present during the Archaïc period at Trakhtemiriev (VI° BC) and Beijkush.

During the Classic period, E. caballus is represented by cheek teeth from Olvia, Kamenskoie Gorodishche, and Lysaïa Gora (IV° BC).

At Roman times at Olvia, were collected a number of E. caballus normal metacarpals and one MC (86) too slender in the diaphysis as may happen to underfed horses (see ratio diagram).
One metacarpal (84-2) is very puzzling; it could belong to a quite large E. hydruntinus or E. hemionus (see ratio diagram).
One MT (85-NGC) seems to have been used as a tool (see figure).

Two anterior first phalanges belong certainly to E. hydruntinus (72, subadult and 8.6447). The posterior ones are all slender; they are not caballine but I do not know at what Equus they may belong (see ratio diagam).

There are also probably associated upper (85) and lower (87-25) cheek teeth series resembling to an E. africanus (see figure).

From Skel’ka, a little older than the Roman Olvia, there are two fragmentary mandibles and a few limb bones of E. caballus.

There are other Roman time localities with a few Equus fossils. The most interesting is the MC of an E. asinus found at Didova Khata (III°-IV° AD).

During the Hellenistic period of Olvia, beside E. caballus, there is evidence of an E. hemionus (MT).

In the Zoological Museum of Kiev there are many Equus fossils from Shyrokaia Balka (I°-III° AD):
- a fragmentary cranium and upper cheek teeth of E. caballus,
- a mandible and series of lower cheek teeth of E. hydruntinus or E. hemionus,
- beside metapodials resembling Arab horses, there are metatarsals of rather large E. hemionus (see the ratio diagrams).
- first phalanges belong also to two or three species (see ratio dogaram).


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