Horses were first domesticated in around 3500 BC, probably on the steppes of southern Russia and Kazakhstan, and introduced to the Ancient Near East in about 2300 BC.
Before this time, people used donkeys as draught animals and beasts of burden.
The adoption of the horse was one of the single most important discoveries for early human societies.
Horses and other animals were used to pull wheeled vehicles, chariots, carts and wagons and horses were increasingly used for riding in the Near East from at least c. 2000 BC onwards.
Horses were used in war, in hunting and as a means of transport. They were animals of high prestige and importance and are widely represented in ancient art, often with great insight and empathy.
Middle Eastern horses, especially Arabians, were especially sought after and introduced into Britain for selective breeding between the 17th and 18th centuries, and shows how the vast majority of modern Thoroughbred racehorses are descended from just three celebrity stallions.
So, how indebted are we to the horse?
Stay with us while we explore this fascinating and seemingly forgotten contribution by the horse who shaped the world as we know it.
Source: The British Museum by Nigel Tallis
Commemorate what the horse has given to mankind with this beautiful, one of a kind artwork designed and sold on behalf The Horse Fund by Bonfire.
The inspiration for the design came from a statement Vivian made when talking about the exploration of America which was of course conducted by horseback, “Lewis and Clark didn’t discover America on bicycles now did they?”
You know you have to have one. Wear it with pride!
Available on tees and fleece. One time offer. Sale ends Tuesday, Nov. 15th.
• Buy it now »
The Egyptians didn’t invent the horse-drawn chariot-most historians think that the Mesopotamians were the first to build the two-wheeled carts, and it was the conquering Hyksos who brought them to Egypt around 1600 B.C. – but they were the first to make the vehicles into efficient war machines. Image from the Ancient History Encyclopedia (online).