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The Horse, the Wheel, and Language by David W. Anthony

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CHAPTER TEN

The Domestication of the Horse and the Origins of Riding The Tale of the Teeth

The importance of the horse in human history is matched only by the difficultiesinherent in its study; there is hardly an incident in the story which is not thesubject of controversy, often of a violent nature.1—Grahame Clark, 1941

In the summer of 1985 I went with my wife Dorcas Brown, a fellow archaeologist, to the Veterinary School at the University of Pennsylvania to ask a veterinary surgeon a few questions. Do bits create pathologies on horse teeth? If they do, then shouldn’t we be able to see the signs of bitting—scratches or small patches of wear—on ...

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