Download Early Riders: The Beginnings of Mounted Warfare in Asia and by Robert Drews PDF

By Robert Drews

During this wide-ranging and infrequently arguable ebook, Robert Drews examines the query of the origins of man's family with the pony. He questions the assumption that at the Eurasian steppe males have been driving in conflict as early as 4000 BC, and means that it was once no longer till round 900 BC that males at any place - even if within the close to East and the Aegean or at the steppes of Asia - have been knowledgeable adequate to deal with a bow, sword or spear whereas on horseback. After setting up while, the place, and most significantly why sturdy driving started, Drews is going directly to express how driving raiders terrorized the civilized global within the 7th century BC, and the way vital cavalry used to be to the luck of the Median and Persian empires. Drawing on archaeological, iconographic and textual facts, this can be the 1st publication dedicated to the query of while horseback riders grew to become very important in strive against. Comprehensively illustrated, this e-book can be crucial examining for somebody attracted to the origins of civilization in Eurasia, and the improvement of man's army dating with the pony.

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Extra resources for Early Riders: The Beginnings of Mounted Warfare in Asia and Europe

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73 The kurgan graves of the steppe provide some of the best—although not the Early riders 24 earliest—evidence on wheeled vehicles before the age of the chariot. Especially after ca. 2500 BC, the survivors of a well-to-do man or woman often placed in the grave the wagon—or a part of the wagon—on which the deceased had been transported to the burial-site. 74 The practice was not limited to the steppe: the same kind of burial is well attested south of the Caucasus (in the so-called Transcaucasian culture) and also in eastern Europe.

Horsemeat was also consumed in northern European settlements. At a few sites between the Elbe and the Vistula, late in that region’s Trichterbecher (TRB) cultural phase, and so possibly before 3500 BC, the funerary rite included the slaughter of a horse and the deposit of a portion of the meat in the grave. 57 In central Europe, as in the Pontic-Caspian steppe, horses were sometimes slaughtered and placed whole in the graves of the well-to-do. Most remarkable by far is a thirdmillennium grave near Gross-Höflein in Austria, in which a man and child were buried together with a nannygoat and kid, a ewe and a lamb, a cow and a calf, and a twenty-year old mare and foal.

To the west of the Dnieper valley the horse was initially important in the human diet, for a time became marginal, but eventually rebounded. 54 Thereafter, however, the wild horse population seems to Horsemeat 21 have declined precipitously in this area. Most settlements between the Dnieper and the Danube are of the “Tripolye” type. Here too fish were evidently a staple in the villagers’ diet, but plenty of ungulate bones were found at these sites. By the early fourth millennium BC, the Copper Age of the Tripolye culture, either the number of horses had dwindled drastically in the western part of the steppe or tastes had changed: while beef and pork were consumed in great quantities (pigs had become the favorite domestic animal) less than one dinner in two hundred featured horsemeat.

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