Accepted Papers:

Horses and their caretakers in east and central Asia  

Authors:

Rebecca Cassidy (Goldsmiths)
Mim Bower (University of Cambridge)

Paper Short Abstract:

Our paper will explore the possibilities of combining ethnographic with ancient and modern DNA data in order to understand the changing role of the horse in central and east Asia. We will compare findings from recent trips to Kyrgyzstan and Georgia, and reflect on the theoretical and methodological practices that enable and challenge our multidisciplinary perspective. Despite the significance of horse human relationships in central and east Asia, the ethnographic record is scattered and the impact of Collectivization and the collapse of the Soviet Union are largely unexplored. In part, our task is to document the region using photographs, video and interview. However, might these data also enable us to refine our understandings of DNA and fossil evidence? Equally, might DNA and fossil data cast new light on the stories we hear about animals in the field? Working on the borders between archaeology, archaeogenetics and anthropology, collaboration requires imagination and creates possibilities for new kinds of knowledge. These possibilities are the focus of our paper.

Paper long abstract:

Our paper will explore the possibilities of combining ethnographic with ancient and modern DNA data in order to understand the changing role of the horse in central and east Asia. We will compare findings from recent trips to Kyrgyzstan and Georgia, and reflect on the theoretical and methodological practices that enable and challenge our multidisciplinary perspective. Despite the significance of horse human relationships in central and east Asia, the ethnographic record is scattered and the impact of Collectivization and the collapse of the Soviet Union are largely unexplored. In part, our task is to document the region using photographs, video and interview. However, might these data also enable us to refine our understandings of DNA and fossil evidence? Equally, might DNA and fossil data cast new light on the stories we hear about animals in the field? Working on the borders between archaeology, archaeogenetics and anthropology, collaboration requires imagination and creates possibilities for new kinds of knowledge. These possibilities are the focus of our paper.

panel P15
Humans and other animals