Susan Turner, The Horse in New Kingdom Egypt, Abercromby Press, 2021. xxiv + 404 pp.; with 55 figs. ISBN: 978 1 912246 03 8
In recent years, new areas of Egyptological research have opened up and aspects briefly examined in the past have come under more concentrated focus. Chariot construction, harnesses and equipment, and the use of chariots, especially in battle, have been well-examined and understood, but the driving force of the chariot — the horse — has been overlooked, until now.
This publication sheds light, for the first time, on the real origins of the Egyptian horse and tells the story of its journey to the valley of the Nile. Using the beauty and the informative detail contained in a myriad of tombs and temples, as well as the osteological evidence, Dr Turner has revealed the nature and appearance of the Egyptian horse and the changes that took place in it over time as the Egyptians mastered its use and adapted it to
their specific needs.
As Egypt began to adapt to this new resource, the horse’s ownership and use percolated through the social hierarchy from the pharaoh downwards. The horse in New Kingdom Egypt avoided mundane uses and always remained a special creature, instilled with spirit, energy and prestige and a particular source of pride for those fortunate enough to possess a chariot team. Egypt was irrevocably changed by the arrival of the horse, “Equus Caballus”. Aggressive kings used massed chariot divisions to create and expand Egypt’s New Kingdom empire. New occupations and new logistical activities and technologies developed to support them, and the appreciation of the horse per se seeped into art and literature.
To find more on the origins of the domesticated horse click here.