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 […]

Nature Wins Over Nurture in the Gaited Horse

We talk very easily about “a gene for this” or “a gene for that” but most of our characteristics have more complex biological origins than a single strand of DNA. That’s perhaps why it’s such a surprise to read this story, which my brother, Sarah Everts and Christine Wilsdon all sent me. Researchers at Uppsala […]

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 […]

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 […]

New Study Reveals More About Origins of Domestic Horse

Ahem. I am now going to attempt to write a simple account of the findings of a new study into the genetic origins of domestic horses. I’m doing this as much for my benefit as for yours. Hopefully my brother will step in in the comments if I’ve got it all wrong. Now. Horses. This […]

The First Appaloosa

From The Local: An international team of researchers led by a German scientist believe they have found the first evidence that spotted horses, often seen depicted in cave paintings, actually existed tens of thousands of years ago. “We are just starting to have the genetic tools to access the appearance of past animals and there […]

Hunting Horses

Geoff Nicholson sent me a snippet from an interview with German director Werner Herzog on his new 3D documentary, Cave of Forgotten Dreams. In the film, Herzog explores the Paleolithic paintings in the Chauvet cave in the Ardèche, a fine-drawn menagerie that includes horses, rhinos, big cats and mammoths. Yesterday in the library I was […]