A Kazakh cowboy rides his horse through the snowy steppe. Kazakhstan is the site of the earliest archaeological evidence for horse domestication.
Ancient DNA Study Pokes Holes in Horse Domestication Theory
A long-held theory on how horse domestication and language spread across Asia has been disrupted by a look at our genetic past.
Scientists believe that the domestication of the horse some 5,000 years ago was a major turning point in human history: People were suddenly able to travel long distances, spreading their languages and culture along the way. According to what's known as the "Steppe Hypothesis," a group of horse-riding pastoralists living on the steppe around the Black and Caspian Seas migrated west into Europe and east into Central and South Asia around 3,000 B.C., bringing knowledge of horse breeding and the forerunner of Indo-European languages with them. A new genetic study, however, is now throwing cold water on parts of this long-held theory.
These horse-riding pastoralists from the western steppe, known as the Yamnaya, may not have been responsible for bringing horse