Horse in Mesopotamia and ancient India

Dr.S.Kalyanaraman kalyan99 at NETSCAPE.NET
Thu Jul 23 16:32:56 UTC 1998

>Yaroslav Vassilkov wrote:  >From yavass Thu Jul 23 15:55:49 MSD 1998
[snip]This region (southeast of Caspian sea) is supposed by many
  scholars to be the earliest centre of horse domestication in the Near East.
But Tepe Hissar in its periods III B and C demonstrates close cultural
connections not with the Indus/Sarasvati civilization, but with
  Margiana/Bactria and Mittanni in Syria - both cultures being probably
  connected with the movements of Indo_Iranian and Indo-Aryan tribes.
  See works by Ghirshman, Mallory and some recent articles by Asko Perpola.
So, if the aim is to prove that the first centre of horse
>  domestication was in India, this argument does not work.

Let me add the following information in the context of the horse argument,
which susbtantiate Vassilkov's observations on the movements of people
(without any aim to prove the first centre of domestication, but only to
correct the impressions that since the Harappan inscriptions do not depict the
horse, the animal did not exist there during the Mature phase of the

[A.K.Sharma, The Harappan horse was buried under the dunes of..., in
Puratattva, Bulletin of the Indian Archaeological Society, No. 23, 1992-93,
pp. 30-34]: "At Surkotada the bones of the true horse (equus caballus Linn.)
identified are from Period IA, IB and IC. (radiocarbon dates: 2315 B.C., 1940
B.C. adn 1790 B.C respectively). With the correction factors, the dates fall
between 2400 B.C. and 1700 B.C... In 1938 Mackay (FEM, Vol. I, p. 289) had
remarked on the discovery of a clay model of horse from Mohenjodaro. 'I
personally take it to represent horse. I do not think we need be particularly
surprised if it should be proved that the horse existed thus early at
Mohenjo-daro'. About this terracota figurine Wheeler wrote: (Indus
Civilization, Cambridge, 1968, p. 92): 'One terracotta from a late level of
Mohenjodaro seems to represent a horse, reminding us that the jaw bone of a
horse is also recorded from the same time, and that the horse was known at
considerably early period in northern Baluchistan... It is likely enough that
camel, horse and ass were in fact all familiar feature of the Indus
caravans.'... appearance of true horse from the neolithic sites of Koldihwa
and Mahagara in Uttar Pradesh..." (Note: camel is also no depicted on Harappan


More than just email--Get your FREE Netscape WebMail account today at

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list