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The domesticated horses from the submerged prehistoric village of Urdoviza (Kiten) on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast — among the oldest known

Nikolai Spassov; Latinka Hristova; Nikolai Iliev

9 March 2018 · volume 25 · pp. 11–14 · PDF [full text]

Abstract: Published is the result of a preliminary study of horse bones from the sunken prehistoric village Urdoviza (Bulgaria) dated from the Early Bronze age. Large number of horse remains (about 450 ones) were determined among the rich bone sample of wild and domestic animals from the sunken prehistoric village Urdoviza. The data from the bone sample indicate that the bones must be from domestic horses. The skeleton (metatarsal, n = 2) characteristics reveal a rather robust habitus and small (129 cm of height) to medium (137 cm) size for the Urdoviza horses. Thus Equus germanicus could be a more probable wild ancestor of the domestic horses from Urdoviza than Equus ferus. The radiocarbon calibrated dates for a sample of horse bones obtained in the Oxford laboratory (Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit) show that the age of the bone remains falls at the end of the fourth and the transition of the third millennium (3340–2740 BC, at an average of ca 3100 BC). This age put the Urdoviza horses among the earliest domesticated horses.

Keywords: earliest horse domestication, Bronze Age settlement of Urdoviza, Bulgaria

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