Page 1 of 14 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 138

Thread: Horse Riding in Bell Beaker and Corded Ware

  1. #1
    Banned
    Posts
    13,888
    Sex
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Ethnicity
    British and Irish
    Nationality
    USA
    Y-DNA (P)
    R1b-DF41>FGC36981
    mtDNA (M)
    U5a2c3a
    Y-DNA (M)
    R1b-Z253>BY93500
    mtDNA (P)
    K1a1a

    Wales Ireland Scotland France Bretagne England Switzerland

    Smile Horse Riding in Bell Beaker and Corded Ware

    I decided to start this thread in the R subforum because Bell Beaker thus far has yielded up R1b test results, and Corded Ware has yielded up both R1b and R1a test results (more of the latter). Since there is no R1 subforum, the R subforum seemed the most appropriate place for this discussion. I was inspired by a post in another thread in which a user accused persons unknown of "making the bell beakers some ancient elite cavalry force". I have never read anything here at Anthrogenica that even remotely makes Bell Beaker into an "ancient elite cavalry force", but I would like to discuss the evidence for horse riding among both the Bell Beaker people and the Corded Ware people.

    As I understand it, both Bell Beaker and Corded Ware peoples were horse riders in an age when most of the people of Europe were not yet riding horses. Beyond the ancient dna test results, that trait links both cultures to the steppe, where horse riding evidently began.

    Recently, Mathieson et al found osteological evidence of horse riding among the Bell Beaker people.

    From Mathieson et al, 2015, Eight Thousand Years of Natural Selection in Europe, Supplementary Information, p. 9, re: a Bell Beaker R1b-M269, Quedlinburg, Germany (2467-2142 BC):

    I0805/QLB26

    Feature 19614. This 35-45 year-old individual is osteologically and genetically male. The body was buried in NO-SW orientation with the head in the north facing east. Grave goods are scarce and include three silex arrowheads, a few potsherds, and animal bones. A notable observation from the physical anthropological examination is traits at the acetabulum and the femur head suggesting that the individual frequently rode horses.
    Given the frequency of horse bones at some Bell Beaker sites, this does not appear to have been a fluke or one-off.

    Has there been similar osteological evidence of horse riding in Corded Ware remains? I understand there is evidence from CW sites of the importance of horses and wagons in that culture. I confess I have not yet looked for specific examples to cite here.

    So, while I wouldn't go so far as to attribute "elite cavalry" status to any Copper or Early Bronze Age people, it does seem apparent that horse riding was important in both the Bell Beaker and Corded Ware cultures. I think it likely horses provided a significant military advantage, as well, and that Bell Beaker men may have been able to use their famous bows from horseback, just as Amerindians would do later on the North American Plains. Undoubtedly the famous Corded Ware battle axe was used from horseback, as well.

  2. The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to rms2 For This Useful Post:

     ADW_1981 (11-25-2015),  Agamemnon (11-25-2015),  David Mc (11-25-2015),  Gray Fox (11-25-2015),  jdean (11-25-2015),  kinman (11-25-2015),  Piquerobi (11-25-2015),  Tomenable (01-07-2016)

  3. #2
    Registered Users
    Posts
    581
    Sex
    Y-DNA (P)
    R-U152>>Z142>>S23458
    mtDNA (M)
    I4a

    I don't know if there is yet specific osteological evidence for Corded Ware showing an acetaulum and femur head indicating frequent riding of horses. However, even if R1a did not ride domesticated horses from the steppes into northern Europe (and that is a big if), R1b-U106 would certainly have ridden horses when it rode north from Ukraine and joined R1a in forming the Corded Ware Culture. So I would assume specific osteological evidence will be found in Corded Ware men as well.
    As for using weapons from horseback, I would think that battle axes and spears would be even easier to use from horseback since they could be used with just one hand. A bow and arrow (needing the use of both hands) would require a bit more expertise and balance (especially shooting from a moving horse vs. shooting from a horse that was not moving). Of course, the advantage of arrows, is that you could carry a lot more of them than spears, and attack from a greater distance. But then again, spears and axes would be more useful in hand to hand combat. So the choice of weapons may have varied, depending on whether the attack was a quick hit and retreat from horseback or a more prolonged attack after dismounting.
    --------------Ken
    ------------------------------------------------

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to kinman For This Useful Post:

     Gray Fox (11-25-2015),  jdean (11-25-2015)

  5. #3
    Legacy Account
    Posts
    7,362
    Sex
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Nationality
    British
    mtDNA (M)
    H

    United Kingdom
    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    I understand there is evidence from CW sites of the importance of horses and wagons in that culture..
    It should be remembered that wagons were not drawn by horses initially. They were slow, heavy vehicles drawn by oxen. They were present in Funnel Beaker before Corded Ware. From Ancestral Journeys:

    Pictographs of wagons appear around 3500 BC on clay tablets from Uruk in Mesopotamia and on a Funnel Beaker pot from Poland. Wagons were still rare then. Pictographs of sledges are far more common from Uruk.

    The earliest evidence of the wheel comes from the Late Cucuteni-Tripolye culture in the form of wheeled toys.... Around 3600 BC this culture produced models of sledges harnessed with oxen. By the inventive stroke of adding wheels, it seems that the sledge became the cart. The forest-steppe zone had both the big trees needed for solid wheels and also access to plains traversable by wheeled traffic, and so was ideal for the development of vehicles. Just as oxen had pulled sledges and the first ploughs, they were the early choice for wheeled vehicles, as shown in cart models of c. 3000 BC from Altyn-depe, in Western Central Asia. At Bronocice, where the pot with a wagon pictograph was found, some 20 per cent of the cattle bones came from castrated males.

  6. The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Jean M For This Useful Post:

     Agamemnon (11-25-2015),  David Mc (11-25-2015),  Gravetto-Danubian (11-25-2015),  kinman (11-25-2015),  lgmayka (11-25-2015),  Megalophias (11-25-2015),  rms2 (11-25-2015),  Tomenable (03-05-2016)

  7. #4
    Banned
    Posts
    4,169
    Sex
    Ethnicity
    N/A
    Nationality
    N/A
    Y-DNA (P)
    I2a1-L621- PH 908
    mtDNA (M)
    H 47

    A very interesting and important question
    I hope more analyses like the piece of evidence you highlighted will shed more light on just how prevalent riding was; what it was for (?predominantly droving cattle- as Heyd and others suggest); and was it a closely guarded craft of BB males ?

  8. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Gravetto-Danubian For This Useful Post:

     David Mc (11-25-2015),  kinman (11-25-2015),  rms2 (11-25-2015)

  9. #5
    Banned
    Posts
    13,888
    Sex
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Ethnicity
    British and Irish
    Nationality
    USA
    Y-DNA (P)
    R1b-DF41>FGC36981
    mtDNA (M)
    U5a2c3a
    Y-DNA (M)
    R1b-Z253>BY93500
    mtDNA (P)
    K1a1a

    Wales Ireland Scotland France Bretagne England Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by kinman View Post
    I don't know if there is yet specific osteological evidence for Corded Ware showing an acetaulum and femur head indicating frequent riding of horses. However, even if R1a did not ride domesticated horses from the steppes into northern Europe (and that is a big if), R1b-U106 would certainly have ridden horses when it rode north from Ukraine and joined R1a in forming the Corded Ware Culture. So I would assume specific osteological evidence will be found in Corded Ware men as well.
    As for using weapons from horseback, I would think that battle axes and spears would be even easier to use from horseback since they could be used with just one hand. A bow and arrow (needing the use of both hands) would require a bit more expertise and balance (especially shooting from a moving horse vs. shooting from a horse that was not moving). Of course, the advantage of arrows, is that you could carry a lot more of them than spears, and attack from a greater distance. But then again, spears and axes would be more useful in hand to hand combat. So the choice of weapons may have varied, depending on whether the attack was a quick hit and retreat from horseback or a more prolonged attack after dismounting.
    --------------Ken
    ------------------------------------------------
    It seems to me if R1b-U106 and R1a were together in Corded Ware, which seems likely, you would not have the former riding horses and the latter afoot or vice versa. I believe the evidence is pretty solid that the CW people were horse riders.

    As David Mc pointed out in one of his excellent posts awhile back, the Amerindians were quite adept at the use of the bow while astride rapidly moving horses, and, like Beaker men, they did not have stirrups or the small, recurved, composite bows of Asian nomads. Of course, use of clubs, axes, maces and spears probably came first.

    horse riding amerindian.jpg

  10. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to rms2 For This Useful Post:

     Agamemnon (11-25-2015),  David Mc (11-25-2015),  kinman (11-25-2015)

  11. #6
    Banned
    Posts
    13,888
    Sex
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Ethnicity
    British and Irish
    Nationality
    USA
    Y-DNA (P)
    R1b-DF41>FGC36981
    mtDNA (M)
    U5a2c3a
    Y-DNA (M)
    R1b-Z253>BY93500
    mtDNA (P)
    K1a1a

    Wales Ireland Scotland France Bretagne England Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    It should be remembered that wagons were not drawn by horses initially. They were slow, heavy vehicles drawn by oxen. They were present in Funnel Beaker before Corded Ware. From Ancestral Journeys:
    Naturally, I did not mean to imply that evidence of wagons equals evidence of horse riding or even of horse domestication or that wagons were always pulled by horses. I believe the evidence for horse riding in CW is similar to that in Bell Beaker: horse bones and evidence of horse sacrifice at burial and settlement sites. Of course, now we have ancient osteological evidence of horse riding for Beaker. I'm sure that will come for CW, as well.

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to rms2 For This Useful Post:

     Agamemnon (11-25-2015)

  13. #7
    Registered Users
    Posts
    581
    Sex
    Y-DNA (P)
    R-U152>>Z142>>S23458
    mtDNA (M)
    I4a

    Oh,
    I didn't mean to imply that R-U106 rode horses and R1a didn't. Just that there is a remote possibility that R1a men might have spread into northern Europe (early on) without horses, and that R-U106 later introduced horse domestication to R1a. It depends on how early R1a moved into northern Europe. Is there any evidence that R1a in northern Europe possessed domesticated horses before U106 joined them? Anyway, I agree that R1a may well have had expanded into northern Europe on horseback, but I am still open to the possibility that they didn't do so on horseback.
    -------------------Ken

    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    It seems to me if R1b-U106 and R1a were together in Corded Ware, which seems likely, you would not have the former riding horses and the latter afoot or vice versa. I believe the evidence is pretty solid that the CW people were horse riders.

    As David Mc pointed out in one of his excellent posts awhile back, the Amerindians were quite adept at the use of the bow while astride rapidly moving horses, and, like Beaker men, they did not have stirrups or the small, recurved, composite bows of Asian nomads. Of course, use of clubs, axes, maces and spears probably came first.

    horse riding amerindian.jpg

  14. #8
    Banned
    Posts
    13,888
    Sex
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Ethnicity
    British and Irish
    Nationality
    USA
    Y-DNA (P)
    R1b-DF41>FGC36981
    mtDNA (M)
    U5a2c3a
    Y-DNA (M)
    R1b-Z253>BY93500
    mtDNA (P)
    K1a1a

    Wales Ireland Scotland France Bretagne England Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by kinman View Post
    Oh,
    I didn't mean to imply that R-U106 rode horses and R1a didn't. Just that there is a remote possibility that R1a men might have spread into northern Europe (early on) without horses, and that R-U106 later introduced horse domestication to R1a. It depends on how early R1a moved into northern Europe. Is there any evidence that R1a in northern Europe possessed domesticated horses before U106 joined them? Anyway, I agree that R1a may well have had expanded into northern Europe on horseback, but I am still open to the possibility that they didn't do so on horseback.
    -------------------Ken
    We don't even have direct evidence of U106 in Corded Ware yet, but we do have CW remains that have tested R1a and two that have tested R1b: one R1b-L1345 (on the P25 level) and one R1b-CTS11468 (on the M269 level). Of course, I agree with you that U106 was part of Corded Ware; it's just that we cannot prove that yet. So, we don't know who joined whom.

    I think it likely that R1a and R1b were both part of the general steppe IE milieu and had horses at virtually the same time. If not, it will probably be impossible to ever say with any certainty which y haplogroup had them first anyway.

  15. The Following User Says Thank You to rms2 For This Useful Post:

     Agamemnon (11-26-2015)

  16. #9
    Legacy Account
    Posts
    7,362
    Sex
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Nationality
    British
    mtDNA (M)
    H

    United Kingdom
    This may be useful: http://briai.ku.lt/en/publications/a.../volumes/11-2/
    The Horse and Man in European Antiquity (Worldview, Burial Rites, and Military and Everyday Life), (Archaeologia Baltica, Vol. 11) 2009.

    All open access, as far as I can see. The chapter by Jurgita Žukauskaitė, Images of the Horse and Horseman in Corded Ware Culture Studies, takes a critical look at the assumption that horses were ridden in the CW culture.

    The image of the Corded Ware Culture horseman in general is a theoretical construct and primarily is a result of the “migrational” viewpoint in which the horse was associated with transport and military purposes. Research concerning the origins of horseback riding as well as aspects of migrations suggests that treating the horse as a mode of transport along with its assumed degree of mobility could be overestimated when talking about Corded Ware Culture bearers. Nor does recent research support the traditional perception of the nomadic pastoral community and its image of horsemen. While some instances of domesticated horse bones have been discovered in Central Europe during the same period, they appear to be absent in the East Baltic Corded Ware Culture. Solitary instances of horse bones in East Baltic Corded Ware Culture sites may point to the use of the horse as a food resource.

  17. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jean M For This Useful Post:

     Agamemnon (11-26-2015),  rms2 (11-25-2015)

  18. #10
    Banned
    Posts
    13,888
    Sex
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Ethnicity
    British and Irish
    Nationality
    USA
    Y-DNA (P)
    R1b-DF41>FGC36981
    mtDNA (M)
    U5a2c3a
    Y-DNA (M)
    R1b-Z253>BY93500
    mtDNA (P)
    K1a1a

    Wales Ireland Scotland France Bretagne England Switzerland
    Thanks. I just finished reading that article, which seems to be written by an author with an anti-migrationist bias. She says there were no bones from domesticated horses in East Baltic Corded Ware sites but then speaks of
    "[s]olitary instances of horse bones in East Baltic Corded Ware Culture sites", assuming, I guess, that those bones came from wild horses.

    She speaks of "relatively recent growing criticism regarding the concept of global migrations" and then cites a source from 1998 to buttress her remark. I guess 1998 is "relatively recent"; but 1754 is relatively more recent than, say, 43 BC, too. It seems to me the idea of migration as a big factor in human history has been reinvigorated so really recently as to actually be current. I would say "criticism regarding the concept of global migrations" is declining rather than growing as the ancient dna evidence comes in.

    Over all, I thought the article was weak. The only interesting part was the mention, on page 33, of " . . . recent biomechanical analysis of Corded Ware Culture osteological material (a cross-sectional analysis of ‘femoral midshafts’ was made in order to test mobility directly from the human skeletal record) which did not support the hypothesis about different mobility patterns in the Late Eneolithic and Early Bronze Age (Sládek et al. 2006, p.470ff)". It sounds like Sládek et al looked at Corded Ware skeletons for evidence of horse riding similar to that on that Bell Beaker skeleton from Quedlinburg, but one would have to look at the Sládek et al paper to know how many skeletons were examined and what the actual evidence was.
    Last edited by rms2; 11-25-2015 at 05:18 PM.

  19. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to rms2 For This Useful Post:

     Agamemnon (11-26-2015),  David Mc (11-25-2015),  Tomenable (03-05-2016)

Page 1 of 14 12311 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. R1a and Corded Ware
    By Michał in forum R1a General
    Replies: 37
    Last Post: 10-11-2019, 03:52 AM
  2. Replies: 17
    Last Post: 09-05-2018, 08:02 PM
  3. Corded Ware and Horse Remains: Archaeological Problems
    By geomattica in forum Archaeology (Prehistory)
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-22-2018, 02:42 PM
  4. Replies: 16
    Last Post: 05-27-2017, 08:44 AM
  5. R1b in Corded Ware
    By rms2 in forum R1b General
    Replies: 88
    Last Post: 04-19-2016, 12:34 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •