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Horse domestication date pushed back 3,000 years

Ancient stone sculptures of various animals have been found in the desert of the Arabian Peninsula. Included in the find are horse-like animals shown wearing tack, suggesting horses were domesticated 3,000 years earlier than previously thought.

The crucial find is that of a large sculptural fragment that appears to show the head, muzzle, shoulder and withers of an animal that bears a distinct resemblance to a horse.

The piece is unique in terms of its size, weighing more than 135kg.

Moreover, further discoveries on the same site of smaller, horse-like sculptures, also with bands across their shoulders, have opened the possibility that an advanced civilisation here may already have been using the accessories of domestication – tack – in order to control horses.

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Story: Sylvia Smith, BBC News | Photo: BBC News

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