The remains of what appear to be ancient camel remains from dating back 300 years to the Ottoman Empire was recently found in a cellar underneath a home in Austria. Archaeologists from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna were the ones to uncover this unique finding. The discovery actually took place around 2006-2007 when there was a construction site being worked on for a new shopping mall in the center of Tulin.
The actual remains of the camel were uncovered originally by accident when workers were simply excavating the area and getting ready to put down the foundation for the new building. They stumbled across the preserved bones of this camel and were very intrigued as to how it got there. The archaeologists that discovered it also identified it as a Bactrian-Dromedary hybrid, which was not uncommon for the Ottoman Army.
Connection between Remains and Ottoman Army
The Ottoman Army had many different units within its ranks, such as infantry and cavalry. What made them unique is they also had a ‘camalry’, or men that would ride on camels backs to charge into battle and provide support for the infantry that was in the front part of the battle. The current connection between the Ottoman Army and the ancient camel remains from the Ottoman Empire as seen on theottomans.org is that it could very well have been used for the Siege of Vienna that took place in 1683.
The reason that archaeologists are so determined that the camel was in deed a part of the Ottoman’s Army is because of the story the bones tell. The camel’s remains had indentations where the saddle would normally be, suggesting it was ridden by someone, which in this case was more than likely a soldier.
History of the Great Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman Empire was a Muslim Empire that spanned most of the Middle East and reached down all the way to Egypt. It lasted for a very long time, beginning in 1299 and not coming to a complete end until 1922. Although its territorial reach did vary greatly between those two periods in history, it is still an amazing feat that it was able to last for so long.
The Ottoman Army consisted of whole villages of Muslims that had dedicated themselves to expanding the Ottoman Empire and seeing it succeed. There were many kinds of soldiers, such as kaprikulu, which were their regular warriors and miri-askeris, which were short-term soldiers. The ancient camel remains from the Ottoman Empire as seen on allaboutturkey.org that were found give us a unique insight into how they went to war, and how they handled their battle tactics.
The amazing thing about all of this is normally you would think finding a preserved skeleton could be an interesting find, but not so historically significant as this one. The ancient camel remains from the Ottoman Empire that were found in Tulin, Austria are truly unique and should be preserved for further investigation. They can also hopefully serve well in the future to give future generations insight into this older age of Ottoman history.