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It would be difficult to overstate how instrumental the horse has been in shaping the world around us today.

That’s easy to forget now that most of us get around by other means, but horses were central to human mobility for millennia, and much of our history of warfare and economy depended on that mobility.
But when did horse and human history become intertwined? For a long time, archaeological and genetic evidence has pointed to the steppes of central Asia as the likely site of horse domestication. Remains from the Botai culture in present-day Kazakhstan point to evidence of horse milking and possible riding more than 5,000 years ago.
But a paper in this week’s Science analyzed ancient horse genomes from the region and presents a startling finding: modern horses appear not to be descended from the Botai horses.

This means that we still don’t know very much about the history of our crucial relationship got started.
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