Mammalian Biology

, Volume 74, Issue 1, pp 49–58 | Cite as

Identification of semi-domesticated reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus, Linnaeus 1758) and wild forest reindeer (R.t. fennicus, Lönnberg 1909) from postcranial skeletal measurements

  • Anna-Kaisa PuputtiEmail author
  • Markku Niskanen
Original Investigation


Reindeer bones are common finds from archaeological sites from prehistoric and historic Fennoscandia. The interpretation of the reindeer bone finds, however, is often hindered by the difficulty to separate the different subspecies of reindeer using the postcranial skeletal morphology. In this paper, skeletal measurements of modern semi-domesticated reindeer and wild forest reindeer are explored with multivariate statistical methods in order to find suitable methods for subspecies identification. The results are then applied to archaeological reindeer bone finds from Northern Finland and archaeological implications of the results are discussed.


Rangifer tarandus Zooarchaeology Identification Finland 


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of ArchaeologyUniversity of OuluOulun yliopistoFinland

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