“The notion that nothing else is left to find, or discover, in archeology and paleontology research, is and remains ridiculous. What we do have are challenges, daily, at locating and cataloging finds, and disseminating this information to the general public; which, requires them to understand the aspect that history does change, and is in continuous “motion of change” due to 80% of our history is yet to be found, then confirmed.” — Anonymous Paleontologist
Interesting to us as horse people, we find those who tracked the spread of European Language, can be, ironically also noted for finding, somewhat, the beginning history of the “domesticated Horse”. Until recently, those descendants of goat and sheep herders who formed the Yamnaya culture in the steppes of today’s Ukraine and western Russia about 5,000 years ago, were thought to have domesticated the horse. . .
This information led us down the road of confusion in the actual matters of Horse History. It is believed they rode the subdued animal, as they spread southeast, which also brought the Indo-European group of languages to Anatolia (a vast region mostly in today’s Turkey), which is not of our concern here as much as the horse, and horses existing and domesticated before this situation. Theories arose from this, and too many questions developed that required answers.
As archeology changes our world with new discoveries and bone piles/civilization finds, among other research and discoveries due to new findings, the landscape remains in a constant flux of “finds” and history updates. Theories based upon “finds” develops, and in this case scenario we find a completely different type of nomad, and a different horse link. This particular nomad tribe, a smaller group named the Botai, who about 500 years earlier east of the Yamnaya, in Kazakhstan – in reality, domesticated the horse before the Yamnaya. With further insight, we can correlate this news with previous “finds” and understand we may be looking at the relationship of these recently discovered horses to our wild horses of today — even though, this situation sparks questions left unanswered, we can lace-together previous discoveries and to actually understand how all of these links fit together.
What is neglected in this particular “find” is that the horses were wild, before being domesticated; thereby, the theory of wild horses non-existent today is simply in error, and no longer credible. — and at that time, as other dissociated evidence from other “finds” in the Americas, lends new credibility to the horse existing there after the Plesticine Era (as we find more bones from the Plesticine Era horses in Washington, Oregon, and Utah), and the pieces of the puzzle of horse history start to come together, better than before, and with more details.
As things do happen in research and archeological digs, when one door opens many more open as well, we discover genetic analyses of the Botai led to startling conclusions about the origin of today’s horses. History changes again. The “Old Guard” sneering and shaking in their boots of conservative mind-sets, once again grow uncomfortable at the younger upstarts, or those who do change our history, and with evidence to back it up entirely.
The Eurasian steppe is a vast grassland stretching 8,000 kilometers (about 5,000 miles), from Hungary and Ukraine in the west through Kazakhstan to Mongolia and China in the east, and into Siberia (and just what we needed to know — confirmed — a missing link). The Botai lived in what is now Kazakhstan, from about 5,700 years to 5,100 years ago.
It is among the Botai that archaeologists located the oldest evidence of horse domestication (found so far, at least): Pottery with traces of mares’ milk, and horse teeth that seem worn down by bits. No evidence existed at this find as to where the horses come from, rounded up from where, then to domesticate; thereby, according to them, the horses just showed-up and ready to be ridden– and thereby, the problem of horse history done by non-horse people — as they did not just show up and were domesticated. Now we begin to understand the principle of why theories exist — and when based upon evidence, we can also postulate these theories very accurately — and define them accordingly.
Wild horses Genetics and DNA
Genetic analysis of Botai horse-remains, and what was thought to be the only surviving wild horse – the so-called wild Przewalksis – by the French National Center for Scientific Research and Université Toulouse III–Paul Sabatier, resulted in some unexpected findings.
- Unexpected finding is that the “only wild horse still existing,” the wild Przewalski, is not actually wild. It can be theoretically sound, and descended from the Botai horses, which many suppose were wild, or is it a separate horse entirely? more info needed here;
- Unexpected finding is that the Botai did not domesticate the Przewalski, but did domesticate some other unknown wild horse (linguistics and language their specialty and not horses). This unknown animal could be the forefather of the Przewalksi, but for now separate, so their un-knowledgable theory goes, based on their lack of previous history of horses — we see it often, and is simply not that unusual;
- Unexpected finding is that none of today’s horses are descended from the Przewalksi, but from the Botai descendants, and confirmation links exist, through Siberia, Alaska, British Columbia, and the America’s;
- Final unexpected conclusion is that the horse was domesticated not once but twice. That’s according to the molecular biologist from the Natural History Museum in Denmark. . .
Significant Questions Remain
Maybe the Botai did give the Yamnaya the idea of how to train horses. But to be clear, the Botai were not ancestral to, or even related to, the more western Yamnaya, reported the researchers. This is where knowledge of horses, their survival skills in wilderness, and their capacity to be rounded up and domesticated come in — and more questions develop here as well, in the matters of where the wild horses came from . . .
It is speculative, but likely that when the two groups, or tribes, did encounter each other, they fought.
Hostility with the Botai explains why, when the Yamnaya-related groups meandered eastward, they didn’t strike roots mid-route, but continued all the way to the Altai Mountains of Southern Siberia – thousands of kilometers in distance. There, these pastoralists who came from eastern Europe became the forefathers of the culture called the Afanasievo.
This far-flung wandering by the Yamnaya fits with Russian literature, which indicates that Botai descendants were warring with them. Why would they clash? “Probably because the descendants of the Botai people didn’t like their hunting territory being overrun,” as one researcher speculates.
As for the Botai themselves, following their Bronze Age existence, their homeland central steppe was totally overrun by groups coming in with wheeled-vehicles, horse drawn and ox-drawn carts — horses once again, we find, already domesticated, but more different blood-lines? Working horses developed?. Indeed, to get away from the incoming population of people, the descendants of the Botai hunter-gatherers retreated into the forest-steppe, with their horses. Did they develop another lineage of horses? Not so impossible, when Waring tribes of people gather other tribes horses, when winning the battles. Perhaps the missing X-Gene so often discussed when found in blood-samples or DNA complex dynamics, but no one ever examines the possibilities of discovery, or at least admit it was discovered, yet. . .
Nomadic Skills Improve – Hunters use of Horses Evident
These relocated Botai may even have been considered the highly nomadic forest groups of Siberia (thereby, the confirmed Horse Connection and into the America’s), who left a pattern of burials from Finland to Mongolia from about 2100 B.C.E. to 1900 B.C.E. (known as the Seima-Turbino phenomenon).
For our interests, this shows us the Botai tamed horses before the Yamnaya. But it seems that, wherever they rode their horses, neither of these groups went south to Anatolia, which Indo-European languages began to arise there, and from this period onward has nothing to do with the trail of the horse.
The non-existent trail southward, but rather eastward and into Siberia, the actual trail for the horses through Siberia then southward, confirms not only evidence and further information horses existed in the America’s, but also confirms several hypothesis theories in the matters of horses actually existed in the America’s during the Plasticine Era and afterward (bone piles show us this without a doubt to be true) and quite frankly, the horse never was, or never did go, extinct. . .
Interesting that the Genetic analysis of 74 human skeletons shows that the Yamnaya and Botai weren’t even related: The Botai arose from a hunter-gatherer population “deeply diverged” from the Yamnaya, the researchers say. This also confirms several theories in regard to the hunter-gatherer’s advanced survival skills and necessity of tracking and catching up with wildlife, rather than just running down wildlife on foot – as success in kills evident in many bone piles in the Northwest show — in what is now known as Alaska, as well as down to the America’s, that horses used in hunting gathering to be consistent with other wildlife bones in B.C. and in the Pacific Northwest.
The Botai Domesticated horses did survive and became wild Przewalksis – as the hunt for clues in the genetic records continues. And the questions in the matters of the Botai people, and rode their horses into Siberia, would fit, in total compliance, to all theories and bone piles located from Siberia to Alaska, then down into the Americas, as a per-existing community of horse-bones show us. . . This reaffirms the more elaborate horse bone finds in British Columbia, and those into Washington State and within the area of the Oregon Ice Caves, among others.
We are not, by any means what so ever, done with accumulation of facts and evidence of our history, as the pre-European Invasion history shows us quite well. The history and evolution of the horse is no different, and never has been actually — A matter of perception? No doubt, and corrected on a continuous basis, whether the human species accepts it or not . . ..
To ridicule or even develop a pre-tense that all has been found, and all is definitive, toward one mind-set and in opposition to another, is pure clap-trap and unsupportable, as well. . . The Human-Problem exists, and remains alive and well, with notable problems of perceptions becoming more true than truth itself, and especially with our history, and with, at times, what we even did yesterday. But one thing is for sure, and make no doubt, the link to our Horse History is complete, and they never died off, as there is no supporting evidence of such, in America — the fact is, because there exist missing bones, which is not evidence, that just means those bone-piles or remnants have, very simply, not been found yet — The Truth is Out there, and exists, whether any of us agree with that or not.
Article Research and Written by John Cox, Cascades
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