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Horse dairying in important Asian region dates back more than 3350 years – study

A mare being milked in the Suusamyr Valley, Kyrgyzstan. © Firespeaker / CC BY-SA via Wikipedia

The first evidence of horse dairying in the Altai region of central Asia dates back to around 1350 BCE, researchers report, based on protein analysis of human remains.

Ruminants had been milked by inhabitants of the region long before they added horses as a milk source, Alicia Ventresca Miller and her fellow researchers reported in the journal PLOS ONE.

Located in the heart of Asia, the Altai Mountains form a frontier between the western and eastern steppe, dividing distinct ecologies and populations.

The ecology of this mountainous zone separates the lowlands of Kazakhstan and western Siberia, where climates are continental, from the higher elevation, and colder and drier climate, found in Mongolia.

Neither a restrictive barrier nor a freely open corridor, the Altai region has instead long acted as an area enabling certain types of…

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