Early dispersal of domestic horses into the Great Plains and northern Rockies

William Timothy Treal Taylor, Pablo Librado, Mila Hunska Tašunke Icu, Carlton Shield Chief Gover, Jimmy Arterberry, Anpetu Luta Wiƞ, Akil Nujipi, Tanka Omniya, Mario Gonzalez, Bill Means, Sam High Crane, Barbara Dull Knife, Wakiƞyala Wiƞ, Cruz Tecumseh Collin, Chance Ward, Theresa A. Pasqual, Lorelei Chauvey, Laure Tonasso-Calviere, Stéphanie Schiavinato, Andaine Seguin-OrlandoAntoine Fages, Naveed Khan, Clio Der Sarkissian, Xuexue Liu, Stefanie Wagner, Beth Ginondidoy Leonard, Bruce L. Manzano, Nancy O'Malley, Jennifer A. Leonard, Eloísa Bernáldez-Sánchez, Eric Barrey, Léa Charliquart, Emilie Robbe, Thibault Denoblet, Kristian Gregersen, Alisa O. Vershinina, Jaco Weinstock, Petra Rajić Šikanjić, Marjan Mashkour, Irina Shingiray, Jean Marc Aury, Aude Perdereau, Saleh Alquraishi, Ahmed H. Alfarhan, Khaled A.S. Al-Rasheid, Tajana Trbojević Vukičević, Marcel Buric, Eberhard Sauer, Mary Lucas, Joan Brenner-Coltrain, John R. Bozell, Cassidee A. Thornhill, Victoria Monagle, Angela Perri, Cody Newton, W. Eugene Hall, Joshua L. Conver, Petrus Le Roux, Sasha G. Buckser, Caroline Gabe, Juan Bautista Belardi, Christina I. Barrón-Ortiz, Isaac A. Hart, Christina Ryder, Matthew Sponheimer, Beth Shapiro, John Southon, Joss Hibbs, Charlotte Faulkner, Alan Outram, Laura Patterson Rosa, Katelyn Palermo, Marina Solé, Alice William, Wayne McCrory, Gabriella Lindgren, Samantha Brooks, Camille Eché, Cécile Donnadieu, Olivier Bouchez, Patrick Wincker, Gregory Hodgins, Sarah Trabert, Brandi Bethke, Patrick Roberts, Emily Lena Jones, Yvette Running Horse Collin, Ludovic Orlando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The horse is central to many Indigenous cultures across the American Southwest and the Great Plains. However, when and how horses were first integrated into Indigenous lifeways remain contentious, with extant models derived largely from colonial records. We conducted an interdisciplinary study of an assemblage of historic archaeological horse remains, integrating genomic, isotopic, radiocarbon, and paleopathological evidence. Archaeological and modern North American horses show strong Iberian genetic affinities, with later influx from British sources, but no Viking proximity. Horses rapidly spread from the south into the northern Rockies and central plains by the first half of the 17th century CE, likely through Indigenous exchange networks. They were deeply integrated into Indigenous societies before the arrival of 18th-century European observers, as reflected in herd management, ceremonial practices, and culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1316-1323
Number of pages8
JournalScience (New York, N.Y.)
Issue number6639
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • animals
  • domestic animals
  • Archaeology
  • domestication
  • horses
  • humans
  • United States


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