Saudis Seek to Bolster Their Claim to Earliest Horse Domestication

A new piece on the BBC website adds more to speculation over Saudi Arabia’s Al Maqar site: could the fragments of horse figures discovered there depict harness? If this could be definitively proved, the Saudis’ claim to earliest horse domestication would be verified. However, as I pointed out in an earlier, more detailed blog post […]

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 […]

Arabs at the British Museum

A date for your brand spanking new 2012 diaries: The Horse: Ancient Arabia to the modern world 24 May – 30 September 2012 Admission free, Gallery 35 Entire peoples and cultures have been characterised by the horse and its central role in society; in peace and war, in mythology and literature. Through an impressive collection […]

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 […]