Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Chinese Archaeologists Probe Origin Of Domestic Horses Through DNA
Xinhuanet - China View ^ | 4-1-2006 | Mo Hong'e

Posted on 04/01/2006 2:55:30 PM PST by blam

Chinese archaeologists probe origin of domestic horses through DNA

www.chinaview.cn 2006-04-01 15:55:19

BEIJING, April 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese archaeologists are studying the DNA samples extracted from the bones of horses unearthed from ancient sites to probe the origin of domestic horses in China.

It's still a mystery to archaeologists when and where horses were first tamed in China, said Cai Dawei, a researcher with the center of archaeological research for China's border area under the Jilin University in Northwest China.

The DNA research will offer valuable clues on the study of migration, spread and domestication of horses, Cai said.

A large number of remains of domestic horses and carriages have been found in the relic sites dating back to the late Shang Dynasty (1600 BC-1100 BC) in China.

Many bones of horses who were sacrificed were discovered in the sites of the late Shang Dynasty, such as the Yin Ruins in Central China's Henan Province, the Laoniupo site in Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province and the Qianzhangda site in East China's Shandong Province.

"However, horses earlier than the late Shang Dynasty were seldom found in China. And it's difficult for archaeologists to determine whether the few remains of horses earlier than the Shang Dynasty belong to domestic horses or wild ones," Cai said.

"The lack of evidence at the early period of domestication of horses and the 'sudden emergence' of tamed horses in the late Shang Dynasty makes the history of horses in China very confusing," said Cai.

In order to probe the origin of China's domestic horses, Cai's center has began the study of the DNA samples extracted from horse remains in Yin Ruins and the ancient city of Zhenghan in Henan Province, as well as the archaeological sites in Northwest China'sNingxia and North China's Inner Mongolia.

The domestication of horses had a great influence on the development of human civilization. The horses not only provided human beings with meat and milk, but also were used for transportation and war.

An increasing number of remains of horses have been found in archaeological sites dating back to 4,000 BC in Eurasia and the Siberian grassland in the past few years. However, archaeologists are still not clear whether the domestication of horses originated in one region and then spread to other places, or the wild horses were tamed in different regions separately. Enditem

Editor: Mo Hong'e


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeologists; china; chinese; dna; domestic; godsgravesglyphs; horse; horses; origin; probe; through
"It's still a mystery to archaeologists when and where horses were first tamed in China.

I don't believe they were tamed in China.

1 posted on 04/01/2006 2:55:32 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy; CobaltBlue

Genetic Genealogy-esque PING


2 posted on 04/01/2006 3:05:15 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

Giddyup.

when and where horses were first tamed?

Good question.


3 posted on 04/01/2006 3:27:25 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Monthly Donor spoken Here. Go to ... https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2004/717/feature.htm

excerpt

So far we do not know when or where in the world the horse was first tamed, but the Arabian horse may have been domesticated about 4,000 years ago by the Hittites in the steppes of Asia Minor. The horse changed the course of history; with it, its masters were able to go on to shape kingdoms and civilisations. The Hittites spread into Babylonia, where the Hyksos, the "Shepherd Kings", originated, and from there it was the horse that brought the Hyksos to Egypt, rather than the other way round as is commonly supposed.


4 posted on 04/01/2006 3:29:47 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Monthly Donor spoken Here. Go to ... https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

and this from National Geographic

excerpt

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/01/0118horse.html

One hypothesis maintains that horses were tamed in a single Eurasian location and then distributed—in domesticated form throughout the region.

A second hypothesis agrees that wild horses were tamed first in the Eurasian steppe.


5 posted on 04/01/2006 3:31:36 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Monthly Donor spoken Here. Go to ... https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: blam

I think these guys need a hobby...

or a date.... and NO! I am NOT VOLUNTEERING FOR THE JOB!


6 posted on 04/01/2006 3:32:47 PM PST by eeevil conservative (I'm not racist- I'm an Equal Opportunity Enemy of ALL LAWBREAKING, TAX DODGING, FENCE CLIMBERS!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
'sudden emergence' of tamed horses in the late Shang Dynasty makes the history of horses in China very confusing," said Cai.

Weren't they brought in by northern invaders, nomadic tribes from southern Russia?

7 posted on 04/01/2006 3:35:40 PM PST by BlackVeil
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
I don't believe they were tamed in China.

Maybe not first tamed.

Didn't I read somewhere a few years back about how the discovered that while domesticated sheep and cattle came from a relatively small gene pool that domesticate horses tended to come from a much larger pool. This suggested a multiple domestication for the horse.

8 posted on 04/01/2006 3:36:30 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Sign up to donate monthly and you will be automatically entered in our "Win a Bear Hug Contest")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

And there it is. I knew I had read that somewhere.


9 posted on 04/01/2006 3:38:10 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Sign up to donate monthly and you will be automatically entered in our "Win a Bear Hug Contest")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
"A second hypothesis agrees that wild horses were tamed first in the Eurasian steppe."

This is my opinion. Humans were unable to penetrate and live in the 'deep' steppes without horses.

'Heavenly Horses' Flies Across Silk Road To China

China Enthusiastic about 'Blood-sweating' Horse

A fabulous horse famed for its peculiar blood-colored sweat has triggered a wave of enthusiasm among Chinese experts, media and the masses recently.

A fabulous horse famed for its peculiar blood-colored sweat has triggered a wave of enthusiasm among Chinese experts, media and the masses recently.

Specialists from across China gathered in Urumqi, capital city of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Friday for an intensive seminar on the mysterious "blood-sweating" purebred.

After discussing academic issues relating to the horse, some scholars concluded that the red sweat was a rare disease caused byparasites found only on individual horses and not common to any particular breed.

Others believe that over 3,000 "blood-sweating" horses still live in Turkmenistan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Called the Akhal-Teke horse, its breeding history in captivity can be traced some 3,000 years back, the study showed.

As the most purebred horse in the world, the Akhal-Teke is especially noted for its galloping speed and tough endurance.

China's earliest written record of the breed was left by the Western Han Dynasty (BC 206- AD 24), when Emperor Wudi composed a poem for his Akhal-Teke mount, describing it as a "heavenly horse".

In April, 2001, a Japanese expert announced he had discovered a"blood-sweating" horse close to Tianshan Mountain in Xinjiang, and had photographed the animal.

His finding sparked widespread interest among Chinese and international horse breeders alike.

But Chinese experts suspected that the Japanese find was a cross-breed. They held that China did not have any purebred "blood-sweating" horses, which had long been bred in strict captivity in their central Asia habitat.

Since the beginning of this year -- the year of the "horse" inthe Chinese lunar calendar -- newspapers have launched another round of front-page reports about the "blood-sweating" horse.

In January, a Xinjiang-based firm launched a quest for the horse. Numerous phone calls, letters and photos were received fromacross the country -- with some eye-witness accounts of the animal being seen in Xinjiang.

In mid-June, China received a special gift from its central Asian neighbor Turkmenistan: an eight-year-old Akhal-Teke that has become the gem of local press.

A Chinese company that imports and exports breeding horses bought 10 purebred "blood-sweating" mares and one stallion in the same month.

China first introduced approximately 3,000 of the horses from central Asia over 2,100 years ago, aiming to improve national defense capabilities. And another 101 arrived from the former Soviet Union in 1952.

But these attempts have not helped the species survive in China,experts noted, thanks to unprofessional breeding methods, including the lack of pedigree registration, and a diet of grass instead of special mixed forage.

Legends about the beautiful and wise species have prevailed in ancient China for at least 10 centuries, when it was exalted as the image of national vitality and a symbol of power and success in warfare.

The "blood-sweating" horse was not only fanatically treasured by the military, but was also a highly praised and popular topic for ancient Chinese writers and poets.

However, it was less important to find whether or not such horses existed in the country, according to experts at the seminar,than to encourage China's equine culture.

The seminar was the first of its kind in the country.

(Remember that it was in the Urumchi area where the 4,000 year-old Red-Headed Caucasian mummies were found.)

10 posted on 04/01/2006 4:07:08 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: blam

Maybe the 'Giants' rode these little horses or their kids at least, sound like some unique critters, "blood sweating" and all.


11 posted on 04/01/2006 4:35:17 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Monthly Donor spoken Here. Go to ... https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: blam
Just based on what is known about Shang China and the relatively sudden appearance of horses and spoked wheel chariots, you seem correct. The Chinese have never been aggressively expansive (as opposed to the all conquering Mongols, but have adsorbed the technology of adjacent people, particularly those on the great steppe.
12 posted on 04/01/2006 4:48:49 PM PST by JimSEA (America cannot have an exit strategy from the world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: martin_fierro

Do ya think my Y chromosome haplotype points to an equine ancestry? Neighhhhhhhh....


13 posted on 04/01/2006 5:26:16 PM PST by Pharmboy (The stone age didn't end because they ran out of stones.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: blam
The word for "horse" in Chinese is ma. I read somewhere that it could be a word of Indo-European origin (cognate with English mare and Anglo-Saxon mearh "horse")--there were some ancient peoples speaking Indo-European tongues in Central Asia, and the name could have spread along with the animal to China.

The same character for ma meaning "horse" is the first of the three characters used to write "Marx" in Chinese. I wish that I could report that the other two characters mean "rear" and "end" respectively, but that would be wrong.

I don't know Chinese, but I have a Chinese-English dictionary which shows the characters.

14 posted on 04/01/2006 7:23:40 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 4ConservativeJustices; A. Patriot; A.J.Armitage; abner; ABrit; ACelt; adam_az; ..
Thanks Blam.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
Gods, Graves, Glyphs PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

15 posted on 04/01/2006 8:23:17 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Yes indeed, Civ updated his profile and links pages again, on Monday, March 6, 2006.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

The mane thing is to keep an open mind...



16 posted on 04/01/2006 8:32:45 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: blam

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

There's a new story I've seen online about the origin of domesticated horses, saw it posted *somewhere*, have it in a file, haven't posted it here yet.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

·Dogpile · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


17 posted on 05/18/2009 6:37:26 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Horses tamed 1,000 years earlier than thought
Times Online | 06 Mar 2009 | Mark Henderson
Posted on 03/06/2009 8:03:54 AM PST by BGHater
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2200706/posts

Earliest domesticated horses dated 5,500 years ago
AP via Yahoo! | Thursday, March 5, 2009 | Randolph E. Schmid
Posted on 03/06/2009 8:59:29 AM PST by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2200759/posts


18 posted on 05/18/2009 7:59:27 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson