#EqHist2019 Speakers: Genetics and History

The panel will be at 9:00a.m. on Thursday November 14th, opening the second day of the conference. It will be chaired by Alyssa V. Loera from Cal Poly Pomona. This is a new feature this year, and we are delighted to include more methodological variety for investigating the past. Two of these papers have agreed to allow livetweeting, so if you can’t make it in person be sure to follow the #EqHist2019 tag on Twitter!

There is still time to register: the deadline has been extended to Nov. 7!

The Artistic Representation of Pizarro’s horse: Reality vs. Myth
María Martín-Cuervo, Universidad de Extremadura, on behalf of Francisco Javier Cambero Santano, Universidad de Extremadura

Horses symbolize power in most cultures that count this animal among their domesticates. The shortage of horses made them a very limited resource in the combat, and that only the Spanish of greater rank could have them. The figure of Francisco Pizarro, except for some portraits, always appears connected to a horse. From different examples that have been taken as a sample, both figures will be analyzed to see the differences between reality and current visual perception.

It can be considered that the horses that arrived to the Viceroyalty of Peru had the following physical characteristics: low height, rustic and with small feet and resistant hoofs, rectilinear or slightly convex head outline and low insertion of the tail.

The drawings before the 17th century showed Francisco Pizarro standing in front of Atahualpa, like an infantry soldier, and in the later representations, he always appears on a horse, often with a chestnut coat and with the morphology of the current Andalusian Horses (PRE-Pura Raza Española). This fact may be due to the need to represent the conquerors as great warriors, instead of adjusting to the historical reality, which describes the conquerors as men from poor families, who conquered territories after suffering many hardships.

Revisiting the Iberian Origins of the North American Horses: Approaching the Two Sides of the Atlantic Ocean Combining Ancient DNA and Historical Registries from the Colonial Era
Jaime LiraGarrido, Universidad de Extremadura and Centro Mixto UCM-ISCIII de Evolución Comportamiento Humanos

Horses were brought from Iberia to the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1493. Theoretically, they had primitive characteristics and it is thought they became the founding breeding stock of the Colonial Spanish Horse. Subsequent generations were a major influence in the colonization of North America by Europeans and forever changed the culture of Native Americans. The status of the Colonial Spanish is considered threatened. Other North American populations with high percentages of Colonial Spanish Horse influence are found in wild horse herds managed by Federal Agencies, who need scientific guidance with management practices.

There are genetic links between modern North American and Spanish horse populations. Studies of ancient DNA have strengthened these links, although genetic backgrounds of many ancient and modern horses differ.Many different horse breeds arrived from Europe to North America during the last 500 years. Surprisingly, no studies have been performed yet about the dispersal of the domestic horses in America during the Colonial period.

The purpose of this project is to characterize the genetics of the horse migratory waves in North America during the last 500 years and check these results with historical documents housed in the General Archive of the Indies (Spain) and other repositories in Spain and Mexico. This information will allow the identification of the descendants of those first Spanish horses brought to the New World and the origin of some North American Mustang populations. Further, it will aid in the conservation of the Colonial Spanish Horse by placing scientific decisions.

The Iron Age Sacrificed Horses from the Iberian Tartessic ‘Turuñuelo de Guareña’ Site Badajoz, Spain: Preliminary Study
María Martín-Cuervo, Universidad de Extremadura

The archaeological site of Casas del Turuñuelo (Badajoz, Spain) represents to date the most numerous collections of faunal remains of Iron Age horses from the Iberian Peninsula. This architectonic complex is associated with the Tartessic culture. The excavation works at the site uncovered more than fifty horses, some of them in anatomical connection, sacrificed and disposed of on a patio in the main temple.

The Tartessic culture was originated from the interaction between Iberian indigenous communities living in the South-West of the Iberian Peninsula and the Phoenicians that established trading centers on the coast during the Iron Age.

This work presents the preliminary archaeological results and the multidisciplinary approach undertaken on this extraordinary assemblage of ancient specimens, which constitutes a milestone discovery across the West Mediterranean area and a singular opportunity to characterize the equine population sacrificed at the site.

The Genetics of Curly Coated Horses
Mitch Wilkinson, ICHO/ Curly Mustang Association

Ever since horse domestication, horses have been traded, shipped, and ridden in conquest from one area to another. It is possible that the genetic material which produces curly coated horses may have been seeded into some populations by introduction of curly coated horses from other locations. It is equally possible that many horse populations developed curly coats due to natural selection and random mutations.

There are six distinct types of curly coated horses known in North America and at least one type in the feral herds in South America. In Asia, horses with curly coats are associated with the Zabaikalskaya breed in Siberia and the Lokai breed of Tajikistan. Horses with curly coats are also found in Mongolia. There may yet be other types of horses found with curly coats in their populations that are undiscovered in forgotten and remote parts of the world.

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