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Scientists To Start DNA Analysis Of Ancient Horse Skeletons
China View/Xinhuanet ^ | 1-10-2005

Posted on 01/10/2005 3:07:32 PM PST by blam

Scientists to start DNA analysis of ancient horse skeletons

www.chinaview.cn 2005-01-10 15:19:28

XI'AN, Jan. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Chinese and British scientists are planning for the DNA analysis of 12 horse skeletons unearthed from the burial ground of a prominent duke who lived more than 2,500 years ago in northwestern Shaanxi Province.

Archeologists with Beijing University and Cambridge University have used a professional database to process data collected from the skeletons, including the size and weight of the skulls, spinalcolumns and limbs.

A Cambridge laboratory will be entrusted to carry out the DNA analysis, after the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China gives the green-light, said a source with the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archeology who declined to be named.

The DNA test will hopefully find out more facts about ancient horses, including their skeletal bone mineral density and other trace elements, which may shed light on how horses were fed and tamed in history, he said.

Experts say this will be the first comprehensive study on ancient Chinese horses, though sacrificial horses and carts are often found in north China.

The 12 horse skeletons were unearthed from two sacrificial tombs close to the No. 1 Tomb of Duke Jinggong (577 BC - 537 BC) of the Qin Kingdom in Fengxiang County, 170 km west of the provincial capital Xi'an.

The Kingdom of Qin was one of the major kingdoms during the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC - 475 BC).

The duke's tomb was excavated between 1976 and 1986, during which time archaeologists found 3,500 valuable cultural relics even though it has been broken into by thieves and robbers more than 200 times.

Its funeral chamber, 24 meters from the surface, 16 meters long,5.7 meters wide and 4.2 meters high, was separated by a wooden partition into two parts. The chamber to the east was designed in imitation of the duke's office and rear chamber to the west as hisdining room.

Fengxiang County is home to a graveyard where 17 other Qin dukes are at rest. Enditem


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: analysis; ancient; archaeology; dna; donkeys; equines; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; horse; horses; mtdna; scientists; skeletons; start; unicorns

1 posted on 01/10/2005 3:07:33 PM PST by blam
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To: SunkenCiv
GGG Ping.

That's just great. We can do DNA analysis on the horses but the Chinese Government won't let anyone do DNA analysis on the Caucasian mummies found there. (Some things they just don't want to know?)

2 posted on 01/10/2005 3:09:38 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

Genetics can certainly be political.


3 posted on 01/10/2005 3:12:06 PM PST by Brig_Gen_George_P_Harrison_CSA (Deo Vindice!)
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To: blam

I always wonder why for every post about a scientific discovery, there are 100 announcing some future, or ongoing investigation or speculating about future possible discoveries.


4 posted on 01/10/2005 3:16:55 PM PST by DManA
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To: blam
The DNA test will hopefully find out more facts about ancient horses, including their skeletal bone mineral density and other trace elements, which may shed light on how horses were fed and tamed in history, he said

How, pray tell, is a DNA test going to show this 'stuff'?

5 posted on 01/10/2005 3:18:25 PM PST by eccentric (aka baldwidow)
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To: blam

I predict this study will prove they were horses.


6 posted on 01/10/2005 3:22:20 PM PST by aculeus
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To: eccentric
How, pray tell, is a DNA test going to show this 'stuff'?

Not only all that, it will prove they were queer horses who voted democrat.

7 posted on 01/10/2005 3:57:10 PM PST by Rightwing Conspiratr1 (Lock-n-load!)
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To: Rightwing Conspiratr1

I forgot to add, it'll also show they were killed by an ancestor of Bush.


8 posted on 01/10/2005 3:58:02 PM PST by Rightwing Conspiratr1 (Lock-n-load!)
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To: aculeus

"Hey Wilbur, how 'bout some Chinese tonight?" he says in his best Mr. Ed imitation...


9 posted on 01/10/2005 4:11:08 PM PST by nicko (CW3 (ret.) CPT, you need to just unass the AO; I know what I'm doing- that goes for you too, Major)
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To: blam
The Chinese word for "horse" is ma. I read somewhere that it's thought to be an Indo-European word, cognate with the English word "mare." That may indicate that the Chinese first got horses from Indo-European speakers.

The horse character is also the first of three characters used to spell Karl Marx's name (Ma-ke-si). That makes sense: Marxists are horse's asses.

10 posted on 01/10/2005 5:45:20 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; SunkenCiv; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 4ConservativeJustices; ...
Thanks Blam.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

11 posted on 01/10/2005 9:53:32 PM PST by SunkenCiv (the US population in the year 2100 will exceed a billion, perhaps even three billion.)
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you all knew it was only a matter of time anyway...

TITLE

12 posted on 01/10/2005 9:57:12 PM PST by SunkenCiv (the US population in the year 2100 will exceed a billion, perhaps even three billion.)
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To: Brig_Gen_George_P_Harrison_CSA

The truth is political.


13 posted on 01/10/2005 10:12:56 PM PST by lizma
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To: SunkenCiv
The duke's tomb was excavated between 1976 and 1986, during which time archaeologists found 3,500 valuable cultural relics even though it has been broken into by thieves and robbers more than 200 times.

I'll bet the thieves left behind about 3,490 pottery shards.

14 posted on 01/10/2005 10:13:05 PM PST by ValerieUSA
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To: ValerieUSA

;')


15 posted on 01/10/2005 11:27:46 PM PST by SunkenCiv (the US population in the year 2100 will exceed a billion, perhaps even three billion.)
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To: blam
They're looking for John Kerry's ancestors? I mean there is a certain facial resemblence.
16 posted on 01/11/2005 4:12:40 AM PST by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: blam

Very interesting. I note that the dateline is Xian. I visited China in 1983 (including Xian) and Xian (site of the ancient clay soldiers) is the only place that I would want to see again. It was fascinating.

Every soldier has a different face and uniform. I grew up in California and went to school with many Chinese friends. I recognized some of my childhood friends in the faces of those clay soldiers.

The other interesting thing about the excavations in Xian was that some of the soldiers in the clay honor guard were obviously NOT Chinese. They appeared to be Indian, Turkish, etc.

Chinese horses are different in appearance from other countries -- sort of small in stature and stocky -- thick. They remind me a little of Irish ponies (which are not really ponies, but smaller horses.)

I'd love to be around when they announce their findings. It will be interesting to learn if this study sheds any light on the travels and trading practices of these ancient people.


17 posted on 01/11/2005 9:47:44 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: blam
You've found a subject near and dear to me.

The current theory is that horses migrated to Asia from North America three times.
The first two migrations are thought to have died out, with the third surviving through domestication in Asia and Europe.
Meanwhile, the original North American horse became extinct, only to return with the Spanish explorers.

18 posted on 01/11/2005 11:27:54 AM PST by FreedomFarmer (Grok This, Herbert.)
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To: FreedomFarmer
"The first two migrations are thought to have died out, with the third surviving through domestication in Asia and Europe."

Horses are only 25% as efficient as cows at digesting grasses/hay and consequently they are closer to the brink of starvation in 'hard-times.'

19 posted on 01/11/2005 2:11:21 PM PST by blam
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To: FreedomFarmer
DNA to help solve ancient equine mysteries

(Xinhua/China Daily)
Updated: 2005-01-11 22:28

An archaeological project will be carried out to conduct a DNA analysis on a dozen horse skeletons unearthed from ancient burial tombs in Shaanxi, an inland province in Northwest China.

A file photo shows the horse skeletons and carts buried as early as between 1100 B.C. to 700 B.C near Xi'an,capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province. [newsphoto]

Just approved by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the effort is set to begin next month.

A joint Chinese and British team of scientists from the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, Peking University and Cambridge University will undertake the project, said Li Gang, a Shaanxi Provincial Administration of Cultural Heritage official.

Archaeologists have used a professional database to process and date material collected from the skeletons, including the size and weight of the skulls, spinal columns and limbs.

A Cambridge laboratory will be entrusted to carry out the DNA analyses, and the samples from the unearthed horses will be sent to Britain next month, said Sun Anna, a researcher with Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology.

"These unearthed skeletons were chosen as samples especially because they are more fresh and without any pollution," Li said.

These horses were unearthed last June from the burial site of a prominent duke who lived more than 2,500 years ago. They are well protected, Li said.

The tests should provide information such as the horses' bone mineral density and other trace elements, which may shed light on how the animals were fed and tamed, archaeologists say.

Experts say this will be the first comprehensive study on ancient Chinese horses, though sacrificial horses and carts are often found in northern China.

The find was made in Fengxiang County, 170 kilometres west of the provincial capital Xi'an, in the No 1 tomb of Duke Jinggong (577 BC-537 BC).

The Kingdom of Qin was one of the major power during the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-475 BC).

The duke's tomb was excavated between 1976 and 1986, during which time archaeologist found 3,500 valuable cultural relics even though it has been broken into by thieves and robbers more than 200 times.

Its funeral chamber, 24 metres from the surface, 16 metres long, 5.7 metres wide and 4.2 metres high, was separated by a wooden partition into two parts.

The chamber to the east was designed in imitation of the duke's office and rear chamber to the west as his dining room.

Fengxiang County is home to the graveyard where 17 other Qin dukes are at rest.

20 posted on 01/11/2005 5:16:47 PM PST by blam
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21 posted on 08/23/2008 10:52:16 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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domestication of horse site:freerepublic.com
Google

22 posted on 04/17/2009 1:17:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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