Mare’s Milk Champagne And Tipsy Amazons

Thank you to Andrew Curry for tipping me off about this great piece on koumiss, or fermented mare’s milk. It takes you from drunken Amazons to proto-Indo-European paleolinguistics, and confirms what this lactose-intolerant already feared: horse milk is very high in lactose. It’s on Wonders and Marvels, and it’s by Adrienne Mayor of Stanford University. […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Yes, we’re still deep in the horse meat scandal. You can now buy a “horse burger” fancy dress costume (Business Insider) Only 13% of Americans would consider eating horse meat (almost twice the percentage who would eat dog), whereas 34% would consider alligator lasagna (KTAR) Groups in Oklahoma want to build a horse abattoir. (SFGate.com […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

First up: please go directly to Horse Nation to read Susan Corwin’s account of joining a hunt in Meath, Ireland to break the world record for the number of side-saddle attendees. Fans of Molly Keane and Somerville & Ross will enjoy the craic. This was Susan’s first choice of riding expedition after a gruelling course […]

The Horse: from Arabia to Royal Ascot via the British Museum

How could you fit the history of horses and humans into a space? Not even the British Museum could hold it: it would be crammed like Tutankhamun’s tomb. Selene’s chariot horses on the eastern Parthenon pediment would be eyeball to eyeball with Da Vinci’s triple-life-size Spanish steed. The central atrium would be the tackroom to […]

Over to You, Saudi Arabia…

Saudi Arabia’s claim to have the oldest evidence for horse domestication took a substantial knock today as Cambridge scientists published the results of an examination of modern domestic horse genes. Their conclusion? Domestication began on the Eurasian Steppes. Their research shows that the extinct wild ancestor of domestic horses, Equus ferus, expanded out of East […]

If Wishes Were Horses: Hunters and Amazons

Here’s the Robin Hood Cave horse carving, safely at the British Museum. I drew heavily on the work of a husband and wife archaeology team for the section on the early domestication of the horse: you can find out about David W Anthony and Dorcas Brown’s Institute for Ancient Equestrian Studies here. You can find […]

Was Saudi Arabia the Home of Horse Domestication?

Saudi archaeologists are challenging the new theory that the earliest solid evidence for horse domestication was found in north east Kazakhstan, among the relics of the Bronze Age Botai peoples. They believe that they’ve found traces of horse taming in al-Maqar, dating back 9,000 years – approx. 4,000 years older than the Botai material. This […]