H. Mark Hubey
HubeyH at Mail.Montclair.edu
Wed Jan 27 04:58:41 UTC 1999
[ moderator re-formatted ]
iffr762 at utxvms.cc.utexas.edu wrote:
> I think it's pretty well-estabished that, incredible as it may
> seem, it did take a thousand years or so for people to ride horses, or
Short note: how is that established? There is a difference between the
earliest evidence found of humans riding horses, and the earliest date
when humans rode horses.
Suppose someone sent you to some planet to get an idea of the kinds of
living things that exist. You go there but you can't find anyone;
they don't come out during the day, and you can't catch them at night.
So you dig a hole and set a trap. After six months you finally capture
one. It is 4 feet tall. Is your conclusion that the average height of
these species is 4 feet tall? You don't even know if this is the only
species that lives on this planet? Of course, you see that if you
caught 100 of them and averaged their heights, you can be reasonably
sure that the average height is whatever is the average of the sample
(of 100 of them). The diggings and finds are all biased in a certain
direction. Most of the world's archaeologists, linguists, etc are in
the West. Most of the rich countries are in the West. They have dug
all over. I doubt that anyone looks for horses in Siberia. The tumuli
are dug up in the WEst. Did humans always bury horses in graves? Maybe
the same people who rode reindeer also rode horses. This is like the
story of finding modern human bones, and Neandertal bones. When I was
in high school the fashionable facts were that modern humans evolved
40,000 years ago. Neandertal bones did not go back to 800,000 years.
Maybe they haven't dug as extensively in Asia as they have in the
Ukraine, and the Middle East.
hubeyh at montclair.edu =-=-=-= http://www.csam.montclair.edu/~hubey
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