Benjamin Wimmer

Department of Archaeology

Research Student

Thesis- Osteological Variability in European Cattle: The Impact of Sexual Dimorphism and Selective Breeding on Size and Shape

Benjamin Wimmer
bwimmer1@sheffield.ac.uk

Full contact details

Benjamin Wimmer
Department of Archaeology
Minalloy House
Regent Street
Sheffield
S10 2TN
Qualifications
  • 2019 – Present- PhD Candidate –  Department of Archaeology, The University of Sheffield
  • 2017 – 2018- MSc Osteoarchaeology – The University of Sheffield
  • 2013 – 2016- MA Archaeology –  University of Innsbruck
  • 2010 – 2013- BA Archaeology – University of Innsbruck
Research interests

Thesis- Osteological Variability in European Cattle: The Impact of Sexual Dimorphism and Selective Breeding on Size and Shape

Thesis Abstract

This PhD project aims at extending our understanding of morphological variation in European cattle. It builds on extensive research already undertaken since the middle of the 20th century utilising traditional linear measurements of selected anatomical elements and their resulting indices, serving as rough proxies for the bones’ shape. The detected osteological characteristics have been linked to individual variation, sexual dimorphism, geographical varieties and breeds.

My study seeks to pursue and refine this line of inquiry by translating its basic principles to multivariate analyses of detailed 3D models. Both approaches, multivariate 3D analyses and linear measurements, will be contrasted and evaluated in the light of their archaeological applicability. To facilitate comparability, data for both avenues of research will be initially collected from modern specimens with recorded sex, breed and age at death. Thus, data are not only directly comparable and compatible, but also are tied to definitive sex and breed categories. Once morphological and metrical analyses permit us to highlight osteological characteristics linked to sexual dimorphism and geographical varieties/breeds, their archaeological applicability is tested in case studies employing the same methodology on fragmented archaeological material.

The main aims of the PhD project are:

  1. to establish a baseline for sexual dimorphism in selected skeletal elements of (modern) European cattle breeds.
  2. to construct a framework for differentiating modern European cattle breeds and test its applicability to archaeological specimens.
  3. to contrast and refine osteometric protocols (traditional linear measurements and multivariate three-dimensional analyses) pertaining to the detection of sexual dimorphism and geographical varieties/breeds.
Grants
  • 2017/18- University of Sheffield, Department of Archaeology Masters Scholarship
  • 2010/11 & 2011/12- University of Innsbruck Scholarship for Academic Excellence
Professional activities

Fieldwork

  • 2012 – 2019- Monte Iato Excavation (Italy)
  • 2013 – 2014- Gournia Excavation Project (Greece)
  • 2012- Kiechlberg (Austria)
  • 2011- Great Arab Revolt Project (Jordan), Aguntum (Austria), Pfitscherjoch (Austria/Italy), Policoro (Italy)
  • 2010- Carparthian Ancient Resources and Technology Project (Romania), ANISA-Project: Gjaid-Alm-survey (Austria)
Publications
  • Öhlinger, B., Kistler, E., Wimmer, B., Irovec, R., Dauth, T., Weissengruber, G. & Forstenpointner, G., (2019). Monte Iato: Negotiating Indigeneity in an Archaic Contact Zone in the Interior of Western Sicily. In: D. Booms & P. J. Higgs, eds. Sicily: Heritage of the World. London: The British Museum. pp. 7-17.

  • Kistler, E., Öhlinger, B., Dauth, T., Mölk, N., Irovec, R., Wimmer, B. & Forstenpointner, G., (2018). „Zwischen Aphrodite-Tempel und spätarchaischem Haus II“. Die Innsbrucker Kampagnen 2015 und 2016 auf dem Monte Iato (Sizilien). Jahreshefte des Österreichischen Archäologischen Instituts in Wien. 87, 249-300.

  • Kistler, E., Öhlinger, B., Dauth, T., Irovec, R. & Wimmer, B., (2017). Archaika as a Resource. The Production of Locality and Colonial Empowerment on Monte Iato (Western Sicily) around 500 BC. In: A. K. Scholz, M. Bartelheim, R. Hardenberg & J. Staecker, eds. ResourceCultures. Sociocultural Dynamics and the Use of Resources – Theories, Methods, Perspectives. Tübingen: Universität Tübingen. pp. 159-178.

  • Kistler, E., Öhlinger, B., Dauth, T., Irovec, R., Wimmer, B. & Slepecki, G., (2015). "Zwischen Aphrodite-Tempel und spätarchaischem Haus II". Die Innsbrucker Kampagne 2014 auf dem Monte Iato (Sizilien). Jahreshefte des Österreichischen Archäologischen Instituts in Wien. 84, 129-164.