A team of researchers announce the discovery of a 300 year old skeleton dating back to the Ottoman Empire. The scientists believe the camel was used when the Ottomans tried to attack and invade Vienna.
The complete skeleton of the camel was unearthed in a refuse pit by a team of researchers from Austria.
According to the experts, the camel skeleton was very well preserved and in a complete state. The camel’s bones were discovered in an abandoned pit in Tulln, which is a town in the Lower Austrian regions, on the banks of the Danube river.
The fossils were found in 2006, before the site was turned into a shopping centre.
After they analyzed the remains, the researchers said that the camel, male, was probably used as a riding animal in the 17th century, during the Osmanic-Habsburg battles. During this time, the Ottomans were trying to expand their empire throughout the central parts of Europe.
The experts believe that the camel was killed in 1683, during the Siege of Vienna.
The researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna detailed their findings in a study published in the scientific journal PLOS One.
The 300 year old camel skeleton is a unique discovery because it’s the first complete skeleton of its kind to be unearthed in central Europe.
There have been other previous discoveries of camel bones in Belgium and Serbia, but none were as complete and so well preserved.
According to the genetic analysis, the recently discovered camel was a hybrid, part dromedary, form its mother’s side, and part Bactrian camel, from its paternal side.
Today, dromedaries live in western Asia, North Africa and Australia, and Bactrian camels are found in the Far East and central Asia. The analysis also showed that the camel had been castrated.
Alfred Galik, an archaeozoologist, was the one to identify the skeleton as belonging to a camel, after some speculated that it might have belonged to a cow or a horse.
Galik said that the camel was seen as an exotic animal by those who lived in Tulln. He believes that they most likely did not know what to feed the animal and were not certain if the animal could be eaten.
Because the skeleton was complete and very well preserved, Galik assumed that the animal was probably traded and not killed to be eaten.
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