Horses were in North America before Europeans. Don’t tell Tucker Carlson

Originally published at: Horses were in North America before Europeans. Don't tell Tucker Carlson. | Boing Boing


Interested Spock GIF by Star Trek


Of course, this is a western academic dissertation, so let the logic of that seep in.

BTW, did they mention this in Reservation Dogs?


The ‘logic of that’ is that in a hegemonic system built by colonizers upon stolen land, part of decolonizing work necessarily involves leveraging the tools of that system.

Settler folks in positions of academic and political power are more likely to listen to someone with a doctorate conferred by a traditional (eg Western, settler) academic institution, who publishes research formatted for traditonal (eg Western, settler) academic publication.


DNA research is science, she deserves props for doing it. Science, correctly implemented and understood, shreds bias instead of perpetuating it.


The way people just dismiss TK blows my mind. A lot of what I see comes from people who don’t exactly trust academics, experts, or the government (the “I only believe what I see with my own eyes” crowd), they don’t accept what indigenous people have to say, but if their buddy’s grandpappy’s cousin says that X,Y, or Z used to happen in the area, they take it as gospel.

I get the underlying reasons for it. But the fact they don’t realize they’re dismissing from one source, but accepting it from another always makes me shake my head.


Do you see something I don’t? There is a light literature review on DNA, not independent research. See page 159.


My dad was an applied anthropologist professor who primarily studied the Mississippi Choctaw and traditional herding and agriculture methods. Some of the science here is early days and I would have loved for him to have lived long enough to be involved in newer discussions about the possibility of natives being in north america continuously for 130,000 years as an achaeological finding in California has proposed or the possibility of native horses surviving the ice age and being part of native life pre-contact.


“Don’t tell Tucker Carlson”

Dammit. All I can think about now is loose, sunlit scrotums bouncing up and down as they gallop across the plains

I hate it


Surely that’s like, a 50/50 chance if you’re behind a horse tho? :wink:


Not from her thesis, from her current project:

This is an reasonable way to chart horse lineage in the Americas.


The vision in my head is more like a terrible version of this:


They say, ‘Native people came over the land bridge.’ Why? Why are they making us as having been from somewhere else? Why couldn’t we have been here?

Is she positing that humans first evolved in the Americas as opposed to Africa, or something else?


Can someone explain the Tucker Carlson reference?

I’d say that I must not watch enough TC, but I’m pretty confident “zero TC” is “enough TC”.


Well I am going to have to keep an eye on this. I don’t personally believe that any horses survived the ending of the ice ages. One of the reasons the New World looks like it did compared to the Old World is that they were not blessed with very many domesticatable species. If we had horses they would have utilized them in bison hunts, for farming, transportation, etc etc.There would be a lot more evidence of their use.

If there did manage to be a pocket of horses that survived, and were domesticated by a tribe, they would have been able to breed them and then traded them, spreading them out all over. Native Americans DID have a vast trading system that spanned thousands of miles. You can find pottery and stone tools made from rocks far from their origins, as well as remnants of bison pelts far from where any bison roamed.

They are telling us over and over again that anything that they consider to be of value in our cultures is still ‘derivative’ of theirs."

Look - I totally get this sentiment. But 1) I don’t think it belittles the culture that we just simply didn’t have horses. Nor does it really boost European culture. They just got lucky that Asians had horses, domesticated them, and spread them across the world. and 2) I don’t think it is a productive thing to push back on with out evidence. BUT do keep exploring it.

There are so many lesser known achievements and civilizations that were sophisticated and significantly more advanced than the common perception suggests. They just don’t teach about them that much. None of these cultures and achievements were derivative of New World cultures, and so if one wants to push back on that, hold these up as shining examples.

They say, ‘Native people came over the land bridge.’ Why? Why are they making us as having been from somewhere else? Why couldn’t we have been here?

Sorry, I know various tribes and cultures have their creation myths, and while they make wonderful stories, I believe them as literally as I believe Adam and Eve. Most likely there was a land bridge, and/or island hopping the Aleutian Islands, possibly possibly even Polynesians made it over. Most likely there were multiple crossings over time, and a a steady migration.

Now it is looking like people made it here way earlier than thought. Maybe 130,000 years ago. This may also mean people migrated here and later died off. It isn’t clear. Possibly some peoples have been here that long, with other newer migrations coming. Or there were waves that came in and some of them died off before a one population stabilized and spread out. Nature is super harsh and a series of bad years can kill off a group of people But, they would have hunted horses here, and maybe, just maybe some one rode one.


Something, something sunlight, disinfectant.

It’s a thing.


Quick question - have any horse bones been recovered in North American archaeological sites dated before the 15th Century?


DNA testing of the horses in that herd would be interesting.


I haven’t thought much about the heritability of methylation over evolutionary timescales, that does sound like an interesting project.

On the immediate topic, though, their grant description says:

MethylRIDE will take advantage of the preservation of ancient DNA molecules in paleontological material to track the changes in DNA methylation profiles of Ice Age horses, as they faced changing climatic conditions and selection pressures and, ultimately, became extinct.

Ok, sure, I get it, we all have to say things for the grant committee. I don’t know… I’ll wait until there are some results. CORDIS | European Commission


And the luck was spread around, there was the llama and friends! With the powers of horse, camel, sheep and cow all in one super animal, and targeted breeding towards each of the use cases that had a lot more specificity before 90% of them were killed off.
(I studied this like 20 years ago in one class, so, the state of the art on origin of agriculture and animal domestication has almost certainly advanced. But in general terms, the dopeness of the llama I’m sure remains undisputable.)