Skip to comments.Ancient Royal Horse Unearthed in Iran
Posted on 04/29/2011 12:58:02 PM PDT by Red Badger
Remains of the oldest known Caspian horse, otherwise referred to as the "Kings' horse" due to its popularity among royals the world over, have been unearthed in northern Iran, according to CAIS.
The more than 3,000-year-old remains were found at an Iranian site named Gohar-Tappeh. In ancient times, royals often chose Caspian horses to ride them into battle and/or to pull their chariots.
During more recent history, individuals such as Price Philip of England have popularized the Caspian, which is the oldest breed of horse in the world still in existence.
The Shah of Iran gifted such a horse to Prince Philip in 1972. Hoping to strengthen the breed's numbers, Prince Philip had numerous additional Caspian horses exported to the U.K. This led to the formation of The Caspian Horse Society of the United Kingdom in 1975.
The illustrious history of this beautiful horse may go back much further than even 3000 years ago, as Gohar-Tappeh's age keeps being upped. Some of the oldest finds there now date to 12,000 B.C., according to CAIS. But archaeologists believe the recently discovered horse lived at about the time of the late Bronze Age.
Due to the form, figure and size of the discovered remains of the horse, we now have the oldest evidence for Caspian horse ancestry at hand," Ali Mahforuzi, the director of the archaeological team in Gohar Tappeh, told CAIS.
We have to continue our research until we reach the virgin soil in order to establish the oldest human occupation of the site," he added. It seems the excavation is gradually moving past the cemetery (where the horse remains were found), and into an industrial level since we found a clay-kiln in 2006. We are hoping that we will have more information about the industrial section of the site too by next year."
He concluded that obtaining information from Gohar Tappeh helps us to understand the sites cultural settings and its link to other cultures in the region during pre-historic times.
I should add that it's interesting this horse was apparently buried alongside humans. This is not uncommon for ancient burials and demonstrates just how much horses were valued, both then and now.
It's also no wonder the royals love Caspian horses. They are smaller than modern horses, about 2/3 the size, but are known, as the famous late horse breeder Louise Firouz once said, as being "kind, intelligent and willing." CAIS additionally describes Caspian horses as having "light frames, thin bones, short, fine head with a pronounced forehead, large eyes, short ears and small muzzles. They are very fast, and incredibly strong and spirited, but also have good temperaments."
The Caspian sounds like an appropriate horse for newlyweds Prince William and Kate Middleton to ride off together into the sunset on.
Sounds like an Arabian to me. Arabians were exported to England and France a couple of hundred years ago to be crossbred with the larger European horses to create the Thoroughbred, the preferred modern race horse. Does anyone versed in horse lore know how they differ from the Caspian?
Not me. A horse is a horse, of course, of course...............
Sadly few Caspian horse breeders around. They are beautiful creatures, and have the configuration of true horses rather than ponies.
And they eat less! :)
Royal Horse or Royal Ass? I understand that the modern Royal Iranian Ass doesn't even show up for work.
Will the Twelfth Imam be riding it?
Interesting. Thanks for posting.
They gotta get him out the well first............
Back in those days, so were humans :^)
Thanks for the pic. I was hoping someone would post one. A good looking animal, but as I weigh 225 lbs, I'd need a somewhat "stouter" breed.
I was taught that the Arabian was the oldest horse breed and the Caspian looks simply like a smaller version of the same.
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I like Stallions as an ‘all-around’ horse, provided you know how to manage & handle them. They can be very temperamental & domineering, tho often gorgeous w/ lots of potential.
The seal of Darius.
There is a fascinating history of this ancient breed at the web page of The Caspian Horse Society of the Americas - Brenham, Texas.
An American woman, Louise Laylin Firouz, married to a Persian, sought smaller mounts for their Tehran equestrian center. In 1965 she followed stories of small horses to the Elburz Mountains, northeast of Tehran along the southern shore of the Caspian Sea. A careful survey revealed about 50 of these remarkable horses throughout the region.
She purchased breeding stock and, almost single handed, saved an ancient and storied breed from extinction.