Saturday, 13 August 2011

The Horse, the Land and Soverignty I

I think perhaps it is time to focus on something and work through it thoroughly; explore options, explore ideas and avenues and create a working modern synthesis. Lately things have been a bit up and down; busy with work and life in general and also with gathering wild food and planning for the immanent arrival of the girls (I am at long last getting some hens, be prepared for lots of blogasms on the subject of chickens!).

I keep on saying it is time to work on theurgical matters and this Horse-Land-Sovereignty things is a conscious effort to do that in a sensible and focused way, especially when sovereignty is so important. I have idea as to the role of sovereignty and it's place, but really the questions in my head are; how do I incorporate the notions and rituals of sovereignty into my practice and most of all, if sovereignty is something granted by the Goddess of the Land, who gets it and how do we measure worthiness to hold it?

Anyway, here is the beginning of a longer term project which I am going to enthral/bore you with;

The Domestication of the Horse

The first human interactions with horses that we can find and talk of with some certainty stem from palaeolithic cave art, some 30,000 years ago. These cave drawings such as can be seen at sites such as in the south of France most likely represent animals from the environment which were hunted for meat. It isn't until much later than this, around 4000BCE that we can be sure that horses were domesticated and used in a manner that suggests more than simple food rearing. In about 4000BCE in the Khazakstan region horse teeth can be found which display dental pathologies suggestive of bitting; pretty much essential if you are to ride a horse. Around the same time there are changes in finds, butchery style etc. which corroborate the changing attitude to horses. We also start finding horse shaped artefacts that cold be considered objects of status or power such as horse head maces, and the first finds of horse remains within human burials. Around 2500BCE in the Hungary region in what is known as the Bell Beaker culture there are noticeable changes in horse morphology demonstrating some degree of selective breeding and shifting of physiology towards human purpose.

At around 4200 to 4000 BCE, massive swathes of settlements in the Balkans and Danube valley stop being occupied, mines are abandoned and what was known as 'Old Europe' comes to an end. It has been suggested this was due to an influx of horse riding Indo-European people bringing in new weapons, new styles of travel and new culture in which the horse feature strongly.

David W. Anthony. 2007. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World. 


Red Raven said...

Have a look at this Lee....

Hilaire said...

Interesting - important questions to be asking I think and I'll look forward to your further thoughts.