Horse in Mesopotamia and ancient India

Yaroslav V. Vassilkov yavass at YV1041.SPB.EDU
Thu Jul 23 12:05:00 UTC 1998

>From yavass Thu Jul 23 15:55:49 MSD 1998
Tepe Hissar IIIB  yielded also a cylinder seal (dated to c. 2250 B.C.)
depicting a horse-drawn vehicle. In the same Gurgan culture as well as in
the neighbouring and contemporary Bronze-Age Margiana/Bactria civilization
trumpets made of gold and silver (needed in directing chariots in battle)
have been found. 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.
        All the best,
                                Yaroslav Vassilkov


<As I was updating the Sarasvati web with lots of Mesopotamian metallurgical
<and weaponry links,I came across this observation by MEL Mallowan (1965, Early
<Mesopotamia and Iran, London, Thames and Hudson, p. 123):

<" Tepe Hissar IIIB a little before 2000 B.C... in Hissar IIIB the
<skull of a horse was found and furthermore the horse is alleged to have been
<domesticated at Shah Tepe much earlier still, thus long anticipating the first
<appearance of it at Boghazkoy in Central Asia Minor in the early   Hittite

<Tepe Hissar is a key archaeological site with vivid links to the Sarasvati
<Sindhu civilization with many seals, motifs, artefacts...

<S. Kalyanaraman
<kalyan99 at

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