Domestication of equids

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Abstract

Horse and donkey domestication and their use for transportation had profound impacts on past human societies, with repercussions lasting to the present day. The story of these domestications is complex, with notable differences in their emergent pathways. The earliest evidence of horse husbandry is clearly in a context where it was the main animal used for food, kept for multiple products, including meat, milk, but also for transport and probably manure; whereas the earliest domestic donkeys were not a significant/major food resource, likely raised for transport. Both domestications appear to be extended processes, with long-term gene-flow between wild and domestic populations. Within their natural ranges, the ecology of equids and their adaptation to these biomes offered certain advantages over previously domesticated ruminant livestock. Interdisciplinary study and the harnessing of advanced scientific techniques have allowed far better understanding of their domestication processes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Encyclopedia of Archaeological Sciences
EditorsSandra Lopez Varela
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781119188230
ISBN (Print)9780470674611
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Nov 2018

Keywords

  • equids
  • horse
  • donkey
  • domestication
  • prehistory
  • Eurasia
  • Africa

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