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Lecture | Comparative Indo-European Linguistics (CIEL) Seminars

Equine coat colors in Indo-Iranian

Friday 16 December 2022
Comparative Indo-European Linguistics (CIEL) Seminars
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden


According to recent genetic studies (Fages et al. 2019, Librado et al. 2021), all modern domesticated horse breeds descend from the horses found at the Sintashta archaeological culture (Trans-Urals, around 2000 BC). There is a general consensus among the scholars that the Sintashta culture, where the archaeologists  have also excavated the first battle chariot in the world, was inhabited by the speakers of Proto-Indo-Iranian (PIIr.). And indeed, we can reconstruct for the Indo-Iranian proto-language a whole range of terms related to horse harnessing and to chariotry.

One of the few characteristics that distinguishes all domestic animals from their wild progenitors is coat color variation. It is therefore important to know whether we can reconstruct PIIr. equine coat colors and how many. Yet another issue is whether we can reconstruct coat colors for even older stages, since horse breeding must have started much earlier than 2000 BC.

Online participants may email Axel Palmér for the zoom link.

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