This skull was found in Greece, about 40 years ago, possibly in the island of Euboea (there is uncertainty about the area it was found).

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The length from nose to the end of horns is 67 cm. The skull's length without the horns is 42 cm. Just for reference, the floor tiles in the pictures have a side of 33cm.

What could this animal be? It does not have to be native to Greece, even though a native animal would be more probable.

Update: The size of the skull points to an animal larger than a goat. It looks more like an antelope, a gazelle, or even a deer. Only deers are native to Greece, however the horns look nothing like deer.

I believe the horns are the key to unlock this mystery.

  • 1
    Lichtenstein hartebeest possibly a female looking how thin the horn base is – Mark tune Sep 15 at 14:49
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Its definitely a bovid, most likely an african antelope specifically a Hartebeest or Alcelaphus buselaphus . There are several sub-species but those horns are a dead giveaway. The the horn do vary a bit by sub-species. The Neumann's or Tora hartebeest might be your best bet but I can't be 100% sure. They are all popular hunting trophies since forever and are even kept in some european game reserves so it is not that hard to find there skulls in private hands. Search "hartebeest skull" and you'll find a million of them so you can try for a more exact match.

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There is limited information using only the bones and horns. But I suspect that is a Kri-kri or Cretan goat based on the reported location and the features of the horns.

Greece is trying to standardize its goat pedigrees by further classifying them based on regional names and features. This could be more specifically a Skopelos goat but I doubt it based on the horns being so short. As you report the length of the horns to be 25cm that puts a lot of evidence as this being a Cephalonia/Kefalonia/Kefallonia goat depending on how you want to spell it. These Cephalonia goats have an average horn length of 25cm.

  • Thank you for your answer (+1). My impression is that this animal is too large to be a goat. It looks more like an antelope or gazelle. Moreover, the horns do not match the ones I see in pictures of kri-kris or other types of greek goats. – Thanassis Jun 24 at 5:16
  • Yeah they are quite thick – Gabriel Fair Jun 24 at 22:10

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