On 23 February 2018 an international group of paleogeneticists and zooarchaeologists studying horse domestication published a report in the journal Science. They had recovered and sequenced DNA from the remains of horses found at the Botai site, hoping, as team-member Ludovico Orlando put it, “to catch evolution red-handed, when domestication first started.” Instead, they turned […]
Sometimes I have these daydreams about, you know, really sorting out the blog and having regular features, or an interview series, or book reviews. Making it a news source rather than an overflowing drawer of newspaper clippings and bits and bobs I couldn’t use in my books. Then I remember how much time it takes […]
Research trip number four for book number two is complete, and now I just have to do the hard work of weaving the material into shape. Normal-ish service is being resumed, along with a few snapshots of horses symbolic and real I met on my travels. These are some domestic Mongolian horses, just outside Hustai […]
I believe this is the symbol known as the Windhorse, which arrived in Mongolia via Tibetan Buddhism and became one of the country’s national symbols. The horse is sometimes winged (here just behind the fetlocks) and carries the sun, moon and fire on its back.
In memory of their sister Polly de Blank, Martha Sitwell and Clemmie de Blank will cross Mongolia aside in six weeks next May. A journalist, campaigner and yoga scholar, Polly supported both the mental health charity Mind and Prisoners of Conscience, and her sisters are raising funds for both charities. If you’d like to chip […]
Professional child jockeys (as young as 4) in Indonesia (SBS) Virtual racehorses on the game Digiturf sell for $7,000 and $9,000. (ESPN) The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration goes ahead, although welfare concerns knock out some leading competitors. DIg into the comments here. (Tennessean) The number of horses slaughtered in Ireland this year appears to […]
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. […]
ABC News’ Devin Dwyer (@devindwyer) reports: Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, today where his hosts celebrated the first visit by a U.S. vice president since 1944 with performances of traditional music and dance, a Mongol-style wrestling competition and a gift: a Mongolian horse. … During the presentation ceremony, U.S. Ambassador Jonathan […]
Stunning photographs of shaggy, wild horses in Mongolian snow drifts published by the Daily Mail.