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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Spotlight on Alan Outram's Work on Horse History

Two years ago, British archaeologist Alan Outram published a paper in the journal Science that offered an important insight into how early civilizations developed.

Outram and his colleagues found evidence that horses had been domesticated 1,000 years earlier than previously thought, by the Botai people in what is now northern Kazakhstan. The researchers found differences in ancient equine bone structure, fossilized teeth that showed signs of human-made bits and the presence of mare’s milk in pottery shards – findings that were reviewed recently in the inaugural issue of National Geographic’s new quarterly magazine, Exploring History.

But Outram, who specializes in zooarchaeology (the study of ancient animal bones), also has a South Dakota connection. For the past eight summers, Outram has led a team of student archaeologists from the University of Exeter to excavate at the Prehistoric Indian Village dig site in Mitchell as part of an exchange program with Augustana College. Recent research, co-written with Landon Karr and Adrien Hannus at Augustana and published in the fall issue of the Journal of Field Archaeology, sheds new light on artifacts found between dwellings at the Mitchell site.

Source Argus Leader


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