The archaeozoological remains analyzed and discussed in this study originate from the rescue excavation at the site of Levice-Gena. A part of the cemetery dated to the second third of the AD 10th c. (period of the Hungarian Conquest) was discovered. skeletal remains of two domestic horses placed within two equestrian graves came to light. The paper contains a detailed description of these finds as well as data pertaining to the skeletal elements, sex and age ratios and the skeletal measurements. Both graves contained only the partial horse skeletons - the skull and elements from the front and hind extremities, a feature widely recognized as typical for the equestrian graves of ancient Hungarians. Archaeozoological analysis showed that the remains of a stallion in age of 6 or 7 years were placed in Grave 2. The wither height of the stallion was 143.9 cm. The values for the slenderness indexes of metapodiums were below average indicating that bones came from a castrated animal. The remains of a subadult stallion aged between 3.5 to 4 years were deposited in the Grave 3. This second stallion measured 130.1 cm at the withers. The skulls were highly fragmented so it was not possible to evaluate the morphology of the heads, where some morphological differences might have been visible. On the basis of the postcranial bones it was clear that both horses had light, gracile bodies. These bone remains, even with their restricted interpretation, add new data to our otherwise scant knowledge concerning the horses of the first Hungarians to settle in our territory. The remains of 19 horses found to date on Slovakian sites have been discussed to the greater details. The comparison of our results with data based on hundreds of similar finds from Hungary revealed no significant differences. The skeletal remains of both stallions fit closely with what is known about the morphology of the horses from early medieval times.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.