for thousands of years, the met grassy plains of Europe and Asia were home to a mosaic of genetically different horse lines. But a single line galloped ahead around all the other wild horses in to pick up and replace. This domesticated lineage became the horse of our modern imagination: slender legs, muscular back and a moon die glitters in the wind.
For decades scientists tried to investigate out when and where were modern horses? first domesticated, but have yet to find the smoking hoof die they needed.
utilities, in a paper published Wednesday in the news Nature, scientists have finally solved the mystery. After collecting and sequencing 273 ancient horses taken, a team of 162 authors concluded that modern horses were domesticated about 4,200 years ago in steppes around southern Russia, in near where the rivers Volga and Don intersect.
This new paper comes as close as currently possible to solve the mystery of the origin of the domesticated horse, according to Peter Heintzman, a paleonomics researcher on the Tromso campus of the Arctic University of Norway, who was not involved with the research. “It’s a huge effort,” said Dr. Heintzman, noting that she has a “wall of data” of “hundreds of horses.”
Ludovic Orlando, a paleogeneticist and research director of the centre for Anthropobiology and Genomics of Toulouse in France and an author on the paper, has toiled over this question for a decade.
In recent years, scientists home delivery in on a Botai settlement in the Kazakh steppes die was full with horse bone fragments and clay pots die were clothed with what looked like mare’s milk. This was the earliest archaeological evidence of domestication of horses, and looked promising as the birthplace of modern horses.
But in 2018, a team of researchers, including Dr. Orlando, have the genomes sequenced of the horse bones in botai. To the researchers’ surprise, the Botai horses didn’t give rise to modern horses, but were instead the direct ancestors of Przewalski’s horses, a stocky genus originally considered the last wild horses on the planet. They revealed that Przewalskis weren’t wild after all, but instead the wild descendants of housekeepers. So the puzzle of the origin of modern horses remained unresolved. “Every time I expected something, it was… wrongsaid Dr. Orlando.
He said that to solve the mystery, “we decided to be complete and really look everywhere.”
Everywhere, in this case, intended for all of Eurasia. Starting in 2016, dr. Orlando collected monsters over the region from archaeological collections and new digs, in being any ancient horse bone could they get their hands on on.
to keep the remains for the future, the researchers drilled small holes in the ancient inner ears, teeth and other bones of horses to monsters to get.
While the researchers took the horses in gradually over time in mapped and space, the image became sharper. A little over An year ago they were in able to determine the precise location: the Volga-Don region in what is Russia now.
With such gigantic data set, the researchers concluded up answering additional historical details. She found modern horses had two major genetic differences met Others ancient genders — one gene linked to docility and another to a stronger backbone – which may have facilitated the dispersal of the animals.
Domestic horses transformed humans history, allowing people to travel great distances and development new technologies of warfare. “Everybody wanted the horse,” said Dr. Orlando.
Accordingly, the article’s genetic findings represent “great progress” in our understanding of the human societies die bred these horses,” said Pauline Hanot, a postdoctoral researcher at the French National Center for Research who was not involved with the research.
The study also knocked down ideas over horses role in formerly human history. For example, one pre-existing theory suggested a shepherd people called the Yamnaya could migrate on by horse in massive numbers to Europe about 5000 years ago. But the new genetic map found no proof; the researchers point out out oxen, not horses, could have been the driving factor of their expansion.
The new paper also reveals domesticated horses scattered over Eurasia along with the Bronze Age Sintashta culture, die chariots about 3,800 years ago met spoke wheels.
After taming everything of this horse data Dr. Orlando taken on An new hobby: he started met driving lessons.
Like all humans, he rides domestic horses – descendants of the ancient animals die galloped in South Russia.
“I wouldn’t dare approach a Przewalski’s horse,” said Dr. Orlando. “She kill wolves. That’s not me fast of An runner.”
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