Horse domestication

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
2,661
Australia
#1
I recently read some views on this.... and challenged them. What I challenged was the idea that horse domestication began in the Paleolithic with Magdalenian culture, 'evidenced' by some cave art which supposedly shows bridles and halters .

(I noted that this 'evidence' used to include 'horse bridles and bits ' , which has now been shown to be something else , so that part of the 'evidence' is dropped ... and my observation ignored ... of course ) . I asked to see these Magdelanian bridled horse pics and I was shown pics of horses without bridles - the usual cave art from that culture that I am familiar with. I obsereved that there where no bridled horses in sight . They appear to be images about HUNTING horses (and other evidence points to this as well ) .

So then 'They' cited M. Settegast and these pics :

1552608192113.png These are Magdalenian engravings from (a) St. Michel d' Arudy, (b) Grotte de Marsoulas, (c) La Marche. (Illustration scanned from M. Settegast:

I easily found (a) on line and the explanation of why it is depicted like that , but I cant find any images anywhere of (b) and (c) . Is anyone familar with these and their original forms ?

The text accompanying the pics ;

" The idea that the horse was harnessed in Upper Paleolithic southwest Europe was first proposed eighty years ago, based in part on the representations of what seemed to be bridles or cords attached to the heads of several horses in Magdalenian art (fig. a). Until recently, however, the prevailing opinion held that these must have been stylized anatomical features rather than external equipment. But in 1966 the team of Pales and St. Pereuse meticulously analysed the engraving of a horse's head from the Magdalenian site of La Marche (fig. c); and after considering bone structure and musculature, and using a relief imprint to determine the order in which the elements had been engraved, they concluded that the lines that seemed to form a harness were indeed secondary, and not a schematization of internal or superficial anatomy. A more recent study of parietal art at the Grotte de Marsoulas included the engraving of a horse which, according to the analyst, had been supplied with a halter (fig. b). In the opinion of a leading group of British paleoeconomists, the "onus of demonstration" has now definitely been shifted to those who continue to maintain that the horse was solely an object of the hunt in Paleolithic times, but prehistorians have yet to find a means of incorporating this phenomenon into the conventional framework, which holds that the horse was not domesticated until the fourth or possibly the fifth millenium B.C. "

Is anyone familar with this 'newer' work or the team of Pales and St. Pereuse and their work ?

Paul Bahn seems to have been responsible for orignally pushing the idea :

The Oxford Companion to Archaeology

Also, what is the latest view on this ?
 
Sep 2014
771
Texas
#2
  • bedb

    bedb

I recently read some views on this.... and challenged them. What I challenged was the idea that horse domestication began in the Paleolithic with Magdalenian culture, 'evidenced' by some cave art which supposedly shows bridles and halters .

(I noted that this 'evidence' used to include 'horse bridles and bits ' , which has now been shown to be something else , so that part of the 'evidence' is dropped ... and my observation ignored ... of course ) . I asked to see these Magdelanian bridled horse pics and I was shown pics of horses without bridles - the usual cave art from that culture that I am familiar with. I obsereved that there where no bridled horses in sight . They appear to be images about HUNTING horses (and other evidence points to this as well ) .

So then 'They' cited M. Settegast and these pics :

View attachment 16174 These are Magdalenian engravings from (a) St. Michel d' Arudy, (b) Grotte de Marsoulas, (c) La Marche. (Illustration scanned from M. Settegast:

I easily found (a) on line and the explanation of why it is depicted like that , but I cant find any images anywhere of (b) and (c) . Is anyone familar with these and their original forms ?

The text accompanying the pics ;

" The idea that the horse was harnessed in Upper Paleolithic southwest Europe was first proposed eighty years ago, based in part on the representations of what seemed to be bridles or cords attached to the heads of several horses in Magdalenian art (fig. a). Until recently, however, the prevailing opinion held that these must have been stylized anatomical features rather than external equipment. But in 1966 the team of Pales and St. Pereuse meticulously analysed the engraving of a horse's head from the Magdalenian site of La Marche (fig. c); and after considering bone structure and musculature, and using a relief imprint to determine the order in which the elements had been engraved, they concluded that the lines that seemed to form a harness were indeed secondary, and not a schematization of internal or superficial anatomy. A more recent study of parietal art at the Grotte de Marsoulas included the engraving of a horse which, according to the analyst, had been supplied with a halter (fig. b). In the opinion of a leading group of British paleoeconomists, the "onus of demonstration" has now definitely been shifted to those who continue to maintain that the horse was solely an object of the hunt in Paleolithic times, but prehistorians have yet to find a means of incorporating this phenomenon into the conventional framework, which holds that the horse was not domesticated until the fourth or possibly the fifth millenium B.C. "

Is anyone familar with this 'newer' work or the team of Pales and St. Pereuse and their work ?

Paul Bahn seems to have been responsible for orignally pushing the idea :

The Oxford Companion to Archaeology

Also, what is the latest view on this ?
DNA proves all horses descend from one stallion born on the steppes. There are 80 mare lines, some more modern than others. The ancient European horse was 66 chromosomes, the domestic horse 64. No other animal has been studied more. A family is the oldest and made up of six lines...one of them A2 the Przewalski horse. His closest domestic relative is JSO4, a mare line of the Sorraia. It was once believed the Sorraia was an ancient European breed but it's not. Descended from the same horses as all others.

The leopard color probably came from Romania or Bulgaria as this gene has been found in ancient bones there and it looks to be in an area the Medes, the first breeders of this characteristic, passed through. They were the breeders of the mighty D family, the Nisean horse.

C family is associated with small size, large heart and gait. Combine the two and you get the Thoroughbred.
 

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