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Lessons From Ancient History: Iron Age Horses Reveal a Much Wider Genetic Variability

June 2017 by Horses and People Magazine

Nomad Scythian herders roamed vast areas spanning the Central Asian steppes during the Iron Age, approximately from the 9th to the 1st Century BCE (Before Common Era).

These livestock pastoralists, who lived on wagons covered by tents, left their mark in the history of warfare for their exceptional equestrian skills. They were among the first to master mounted riding and to make use of composite bows while riding.

A new study, published in Science, led by Professor Ludovic Orlando and involving 33 international researchers from 16 universities, now reveals the suite of traits that Scythian breeders selected to engineer the type of horse that best fit their purpose.