22 August 2014
By Carolyn Willekes, PhD
The domestication of the horse had a massive impact on the development of human civilizations. Although the horse continued to be used as a food source, he also came to fulfill a number of other essential roles in day-to-day life. With domestication came the discovery that we could also ride and drive these animals. For the first time in human history rapid, long-distance travel became possible. The speed and stamina of the horse allowed people to venture beyond the familiarity of their villages and valleys into the wider world, resulting in the emergence of new cities, civilizations, religions and trade routes. At the other end of the spectrum, however, was war. So, on the one had, the horse helped civilizations to flourish, while on the other hand he became our most important tool of war.