Horse DomesticationDomestication of horses
Old genomic research finds holes in the horse theories.
Researchers believe that the domestication of the horse about 5,000 years ago was a great turning point in mankindkind' s history: All of a sudden humans were able to cover long distance and spread their language and cultures. After the so-called "steppe hypothesis", a group of equestrian pashtoralists from the steppes around the Black and Caspian Seas immigrated to the western part of Europe and to the eastern part of Central and South Asia around 3,000 B.C., and brought with them skills in horse husbandry and the precursor of Indo-European language.
The Yamnaya, these equestrian ministers from the West Steppes, were perhaps not to blame for attracting horse breeders and Indo-European tongues to Asia, as an inter-disciplinary survey by an internationally active research group in Science magazine today reported. They analyse the Botai, who inhabited Kazakhstan's present-day grassland between 3,500 and 3,000 B.C. When archeologists discovered the remnants of Botai village, they discovered a horse-mad cultur.
Archeological records, which include tens of millions of horse bones and ceramics that seem to contain horse milks, suggest that the Botai were the first group to domesticate and bred them. How did they learnt horse raising and how did it become widespread? For a long time one of the camps has been saying that the Botai have discovered horse rearing themselves; another is suggesting that they have learnt it from a group of horse breeders, perhaps the Yamnaya, who met the Botai on their journey through the steppes from westward to eastward.
In order to find out, the scientists juxtaposed the conflicting hypotheses and combined archeological proofs with an examination of the genome of 74 ancients. The scientists analysed the DNA from the entire Eureasian steppes and examined specimens ranging from the Middle Ages to the Middle Stone Age. Turns out that the Botai and the Yamnaya did not have many commonalities at all.
Botai were most related to a group of Palaeolithic hunters and collectors, not to humans from the west plains like the Yamnaya. Rather than get the shovel from horse breeders from the West, the Botai may have learnt to homeise a horse by hunting on their own before entering pasteoral living in their horse-centred farmhouses.
At the beginning of the year, a research paper concerning the antique horse DNA showed that Botai horse was not related to today's horse at all, which led to a gap in the decades-long concept that Botai home made horse was the forerunner of today's horse. This old DNS survey also calls into question the concept that around 5,000 years ago, when the Yamnaya migrated to the West, they took Indo-European tongues deeply into Asia.
On the basis of the existence of westeurasian descent in the southern Asiatic population, this reasoning is used. But the new genetical analyses show that the origin of European descent in Europe comes from a later human migrations to Southern Asia about 4,000 to 3,000 years ago.