Friday, March 17, 2017

Beaker Ponies in Britain (Kaagan, 2000)

I found a 2000 study by Laura Kagan (UCL) "The Horse in Late Pleistocene and Holocene Britain" which outlines the pile of horse bones in Britain.  The opinion of the author is that horses were re-introduced to Britain at the end of the Late Neolithic/Beaker period.
Exmoor Ponies in Britain (commons)
The Exmoor pony (Celtic Pony) may be something similar to what has been often described as the pony-like or tarpan-like horses of Beakers.  Either due to the lack of refinement or to its feralization, the Exmoor may be close to the real thing.

Karol Schauer
A work of a Mittle-Saale Beaker by Karol Schauer has one of these old ponies.  Ironic since immigrants came to Southern Britain from the region between the Middle Rhine and Elbe among others, maybe this very man and his horse.


  1. One of the important issues in tracing the IE or non-IE affiliation of the Beaker people is their relationship with the horse, as PIE culture and its expansion were intimately related to horses. This connection seems to be very strong in the case of the Corded Ware people, but these BB ponies and their role in the BB culture does not seem to correspond very well to the role of horses in IE culture.

    1. Well there's several aspects to this question. One is the morphology of horses when they are too big or to small to be wild, but more often it is impossible to tell from bones or dna. Another is the multiplication if horse remains after a short period of archaeological silence. But this is very subjective too.

      The genetic study of domestics is hindered by sci-fi breeding programs like the Holstein, where one bull can have several million calves. So normal studies of uniparental marker or autosomal DNA are basically useless.

      I think the solution to the question will just take a lot of data

  2. Hi Karol, I am hoping you might grant permission for me to use your archer image please. A very fine archer's bracer was found at Cranbrook new town, Devon, UK. I would like to use your image in some educational material for school children. Could you you drop me a line via please? Much obliged, Simon