Re: Equids

Kathleen Hunt (
5 Dec 1994 02:03:25 GMT

In article <3brgej$>, whittet <> wrote:
>The first evidence for domestication of the horse, appears to have
>been located in Siberia, dated to around 7,000 BC. Again, please
>correct me if I am wrong.
I think that's pretty close. Though I thought it was further to the west
that the domestication took place.

>Would you be able to tell from the development of the bones in the leg
>whether or not a man rode a horse?

Possibly. Riders tend to have unusually strong inner thigh muscles.

It's also sometimes possible to determine from a horse's teeth if it has
been kept in captivity, by 1) microscratches on the canines, wolf teeth
[first premolar] or second premolar from a metal bit, or 2) wear patterns
on the incisors from cribbing, a bad habit that bored domestic horses
sometimes develop of chewing on wood (not seen in wild horses).

>and then ridden back home on horseback, or perhaps even taken
>horses with them on their boats.

>If it happened that over a rather long
>period of time people coasted their way
>to the Americas, and then came suddenly roaring back
>as hoards of cavalry, it might explain why the
>migration patterns in Asia seem to be from East to west.

Are you thinking that the Asian horses might have come from America?
American horses were a different subspecies than the Asian horses,
and distinctly different skeletally. Or are you thinking that the Asians
might have gotten the *knowledge* of taming horses from people who sailed
back to Asia, and then tamed their own native Asian horses? I don't think
that'll fly...could mainland cultures do that sort of open-ocean voyage?
I know the Polynesians could, but that's not really the Asian mainland,
is it? And crossing the Pacific is something only people from a really
ocean-oriented culture could do successfully. (IMHO.) It's a whopping

Just seems a lot more complicated than is necessary. Seems a lot more
likely that horse-taming spread out from its original site in Asia (not
least because it's easiest to learn horse-taming and horse-riding if you
can start by getting hold of an already-trained horse).

Kathleen Hunt

If we increase the size of the penguin until it is the same height as
the man and then compare the relative brain size, we now find that the
penguin's brain is still smaller. But, and this is the point, it is
larger than it *was*. (Monty Python)