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Late-medieval horse remains at Cēsis castle, Latvia, and the Teutonic Order’s equestrian resources in Livonia

Pluskowski, A., Seetah, K., Maltby, M., Banerjea, R., Black, S. and Kalnins, G. (2018) Late-medieval horse remains at Cēsis castle, Latvia, and the Teutonic Order’s equestrian resources in Livonia. Medieval Archaeology, 62 (2). pp. 351-379. ISSN 0076-6097

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/00766097.2018.1535385

Abstract/Summary

Excavations at the castle complex of Cēsis, Latvia, uncovered an unusual find of large quantities of horse bones, some of which were partially articulated, along with equestrian equipment. These were associated with a destroyed building at the edge of the southern outer bailey. The horses included large males, most probably stallions, and pathology on several of the recovered vertebrae suggests these individuals had been used for riding. The size of the horses was within the range for medieval war horses, and the associated tack also pointed to prestigious riding animals. Radiocarbon dating of the bones placed them firmly within the Teutonic Order's period of rule. We conclude here that these horses fulfilled a military role in the final decades of the Teutonic Order’s rule in Livonia in the late 15th/early 16th century and that the better-known equestrian culture of late-medieval Prussia was comparable in character, if not in scale, to that in Livonia.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:82256
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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