Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Classical Dictionary. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 02 December 2022



  • John Kinloch Anderson


The present state of the evidence indicates that the horse was domesticated on the Ukrainian steppe during the neolithic period. It was known in *Mesopotamia during the third millennium bce and early bronze age horse-bones have been found in *Macedonia. Shortly before the middle of the second millennium horse-drawn war-chariots were widely used in the near east, including Eighteenth-Dynasty *Egypt. Chariots are represented in the art of Grave Circle A at *Mycenae, and horse-bones were found in abundance at Troy VI. In the *Cnossus Linear B tablets (see mycenaean language) horses and chariots are associated with armour; the vocabulary (i-qo, horse; po-ro, foal) is *Indo-European. See minoan and mycenaean civilization. Mounted men are rarely shown in Egyptian and Mycenaean art; it is at least clear that bronze age horses were capable of bearing riders, and the reasons why chariotry precedes cavalry are disputed. In the Old Testament, kings continue to ride in chariots long after the appearance of ‘horsemen riding upon horses’, and the art of the Assyrian New Kingdom shows the gradual development of cavalry during the early iron age, with Scythian influence becoming evident in the 7th cent. bce.


  • Greek Material Culture: Bronze Age

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription