Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Persian Horse Pedigree

A Genealogical Table of the Horse and Pictures of Horsemen Dating
Back 5,000 Years
Director, Institute of Animal Research, Vienna, Austria... See More

Here is an excerpt from the above -

to V. Scheil this seal in association with the as yet unexplained signs accompanying it, is an enumeration of horses. If, however, we examine this seal (Figure 6) we discern the following significant facts:

1. The horse-heads are situated in four horizontal rows.
2. The horses are of three categories as regards their manes: upright manes, pendant manes, and without manes.
3. If we examine the location of these three types we find that the three categories have a symmetrical arrangement with reference to the main diagonal.
4. It is remarkable that all the heads with pendant manes have a special symbol to the right of them. See the upper row. The head to the extreme right has by it a symbol which resembles a barred window. In the second row the same, at the left. In the third row the middle head from the left has by it a sign of three teeth on the smaller side of the rectangle. Beneath this four teeth. Note in the fourth row, first head on the left, a sign which today is universally used in biology to indicate "female." In this latter case it is remarkable that the symbol is engraved
upside down. In the same row the third head from the center is accompanied by a sign which could easily be held to be a carriage with two horses.
5. The heads with upright manes in my opinion represent wild stallions, those with pendant manes, tame animals and those without manes, mares.
6. It is held by Professor Scheil that the maneless heads are those of colts. That this is not the case is proved to my satisfaction by the fact that some of the maneless heads as the first in the top row and the second in the second row and the third in the third row are pictured of far too coarse and too powerful a build to be mistaken for colts. (The diagonal arrangement of the heads may be also worthy of note).
On the other hand we discover in contrast that some very delicate heads such as the fourth in the first row and (he fourth in the third row are definitely maned. There are manes of different character, pendant and upright. An analysis of the head forms is very significant to modern hippology. Wecan note the following facts:

a. A definitely ramlike profile of head (head 1, row 1).
b. A ramlike profile only in the nose region (head 2, row 1; heads 2 and 3, row 3).
c. Perfectly straight profile (all heads of row 2).
d. Concave profile of Arabian type combined with graceful slender head (third and fourth head, row 1; fourth head, row 3; fourth head, row 4).
e. In addition to these definite differences of the profile line the size of head in respect of the entire length and depth is interesting:
Long and deep (head 2, row 2).
Medium long and deep (head 2, row 4).
Short and deep (head 2 and 3), row 4).
Long and slender (head 3, row 1). Connected with Arabian profile.
Medium long and slender (head 4, row 3).
All the above mentioned differences are regarded not as merely accidental differences of a mechanical or conventional nature but as studied reproductions of differences actually observed in the living animal. The head forms represented in this ancient seal are of types that today may be observed in the different races of horses. I need only note the existence in the Kladruber breed of a strongly ram profile and in the
Arabian horse of a concave, fine cut head to demonstrate that the differences recorded five thousand years ago in Elam exist still today. Intermediate shapes can also easily be found. Furthermore these characteristics are familiar to the practical breeder and are known to be definitely hereditary. The dominant inheritance of some of these characteristics is so strong that they are recognized as "prepotent" in
inheritance as type of head has been observed to be and passed on for many generations. These head types are undoubtedly inherited as mendelian characters in the horse in nature. Anyone of these forms may become typical of a few animals, of families, or of a
whole stable or artificial race through the agency of human selection. It is a matter of no little interest to breeders and geneticists that on this seal from Susa, whose age must be fully fifty centuries, are shown all the profile types of horses existing today This ancient Elamitic testimony regarding the horses existing at that time permits the conclusion that in Elam several original types and races of horses were then used. The horse heads are reproduced with wide, thick and plump, or with fine and aristocratic lines. There is no other alternative
open than to classify the thick-set type with the Przewalsky • horse (Equus prsnvalsky Poljakoff), and the slender form with the Tarpan (Equus gmelini Antonius). It is the considered opinion of the author that the early, heavy type of horse of western Europe is to be traced
as a direct descendant of the Przewalsky type of wild horse. The heavy Persian horses are not to be considered as importations from Europe in prehistoric times but are the result of breeding native central Asiatic stock, which reached Iran with the Turanian invasions at an early time. The antiquity of this arrival of the horse cannot be determined but must have been very great. The more aristocratic type of
horse was native in the highlands of Iran and the plains of northern Central Asia.
The early Sumerian and Elamitic civilizations, according to unequivocal testimony which is today available, knew and used the horse. It is the
opinion of the author that "seal 105F" which has been discussed above is not as Scheil believes, an enumeration of horses but is a genealogical table of individual horses used for breeding in an old Elamitic stable. If this view is correct, and I believe that any breeder of
animals will admit the high probability that this is so, this discovery is the oldest known genealogical table known at the present time.

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