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Domestication of the horse

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  • jdcroft
    Hi Folks Since the kurgan hyothesis for the IE origins are so tied up with the horse, I thought you people would be interested in the attached Regards John
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2002
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      Hi Folks

      Since the kurgan hyothesis for the IE origins are so tied up with the
      horse, I thought you people would be interested in the attached

      Regards

      John

      Tuesday, 16 July, 2002, 02:06 GMT 03:06 UK
      Origins of domestic horse revealed

      Cave paintings: An early sign that people valued horses

      By Helen Briggs
      BBC News Online science reporter

      The story of how wild horses were tamed by ancient people has been
      pieced together by gene hunters. DNA evidence shows modern horses are
      descended from not one but several wild populations.

      A single, simple origin of horse domestication can be ruled out

      Dr Peter Forster, Cambridge University

      It suggests horses were domesticated - for meat, milk or to carry
      loads - in more than one place.

      As few as 77 wild mares passed on their genes to today's modern horse
      breeds, from the American mustang to the Shetland pony.

      "We see traces of original wild populations of horses that have been
      incorporated into the domestic horses of today," says co-researcher
      Dr Peter Forster of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological
      Research, University of Cambridge, UK.

      He believes it resolves the debate over whether horses were
      domesticated from one world population or from several.

      "The genetic evidence shows that wild horses were recruited for
      domestication from different areas of the world," he told BBC News
      Online. "A single, simple origin of horse domestication can be ruled
      out."

      This is surprising because other domestic animals - such as cattle,
      goats and sheep - show a much more restricted origin.

      Molecular clock

      The evidence is based on a genetic analysis of more than 300 horses,
      from 25 horse breeds and varieties in seven countries, including
      Europe, Morocco and the USA.

      DNA samples were compared with ancient DNA from wild horses living in
      Sweden and Estonia about 2,000 years ago, and 28,000-year-old horse
      remains preserved in Alaskan ice.

      Rest at

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_2129000/2129182.stm
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