Horse domestication traced to ancient central Asian culture

Bone and chemical analyses indicate horses were harnessed and even milked more than 5,000 years ago in central Asia

By Bruce Bower, 11:01 AM March 5, 2009

Central Asia’s vast grasslands hosted a prehistoric revolution in transportation, communication and warfare, thanks to the humble horse. Remains from Kazakhstan’s more than 5,000-year-old Botai culture have yielded the earliest direct evidence for domestication of these versatile beasts, scientists report.

The Botai people were hunter-gatherers who lived in large settlements for months or years. Their culture lasted from 5,600 to 5,100 years ago. Researchers have long suspected that the Bot...

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