Paul K. Manansala kabalen at MAIL.JPS.NET
Sun May 10 20:12:07 UTC 1998


> On Sat, 9 May 1998 "Paul K. Manansala" <kabalen at MAIL.JPS.NET>
> wrote:
> >What I'm saying there is no evidence that horses were
> ever central to IE material culture.
> Recent contributions to this thread (most recently the one by N.Ganesan)
> contain sufficient references to show that horses were of considerable
> importance in IE.

I think that they only mention that horses occur to some extent in
mythology.  Horses certainly were not that important in the material
culture of early Europeans or Persians.  Maybe for use in war they were

> >These were also found in Semitic, Chinese, Japanese and
> other cultures.
> The question of relative chronology comes up here. In the Ukraine evidence for
> domesticated horses is found going back to more than 4000 B.C.  When was the
> domesticated horse introduced in Japan? Wasn't horse-culture in China strongly
> associated with "western people"? Semitic cultures may have made important
> contributions of their own to horse-breeding, charioteering, etc., but when?
> Here we have to cross the boundaries of Indology, I cannot give anything like a
> definitive answer, only pose the questions . . .

The earliest domesticated horses associated with human remains do not
suggest Indo-Europeans.  The people were much more like the Altaic
peoples who inhabit the Steppe.  However, according to the logic used
in this thread horses in China and Japan translates to IE migrations
to these regions.  Obviously there is no evidence that this is the

> >The whole argument here seems
> to revolve around the presences of horses in India suggesting
> migration of IE peoples.
> It is not simple matter of presence, but a matter of former well-documented
> absence and subsequent well-documented presence. The idea of mass-migrations
> has already been largely given up, as far as I know. This is replaced by micro-
> migrations and language and culture shifts, transitory phases of bilingualism
> etc.

But as I've already stated there are many possible explanations
including trade.  We certainly are not forced to conclude that the
introduction of horses proves an "Aryan" migration into India.
Indeed, there are morphological differences between early Indian
horses and Central Asian ones that suggest a very gradual

> >From an earlier posting by "Paul K. Manansala" <kabalen at MAIL.JPS.NET>:
> >Some scientists believe the
> domesticated chicken originated in Southeast Asia, but that it spread
> at least partly, in an indirect fashion to other parts of the world.
> Domesticating a chicken is not so much dependent on technique and long-term
> planning as domesticating, breeding, employing and taking care of horses . . .

Sorry, I don't agree.  Have you tried raising chickens? You seem to
be suggesting that Indo-Europeans were required to introduce horses

Paul Kekai  Manansala

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list