Session: #509

Theme & Session Format

1. Widening horizons through human-environment interconnections
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Horseman-Horse Couple through Time and Space. Part 1
Horse riding greatly impacted past societies by increasing mobility and revolutionizing warfare. Horses were also frequently used for sports and hunting. These various practices implied close interactions between riders and their mounts, considered as precious companions. This couple is also strongly linked to wealth and power, therefore social representations. This relationship contributed to raising a figure of the horseman, between myth and reality, often in a positive/negative duality.
A variety of sources provide precious evidence including human and equids bones, harness, archaeological contexts, written sources and pictorial depictions, nowadays ethnographical observations and method of ethology on this special couple across time and space. Their analysis can provide information on equestrian practices, physical interactions and performances of the rider with his mount and methods of training and grooming of these animals. It can also give us an idea of cultural perceptions of horsemen on their horses, of the society on the horsemen.
This session aims to explore the strong horseman-horse relationship by highlighting the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. We hope to illustrate the need to share knowledge from different disciplines for a better understanding of this strong link. We expect papers focusing on - or even crossing - different realms as archaeological context analysis, studies on human and equid bones, equestrian material, iconography, social and cultural anthropology, etc. which can document this topic. Works interested in European as well as non-European contexts and on diverse periods are welcome.
horseman-equids interactions, “mounted warrior” paradigm, bioarchaeology, social status, imagery, representations
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Main organiser:
Marion BINDE (France) 1,2
Ilona Bede (France) 3,4
Gergely Csiky (Hungary) 5
1. Université de Bordeaux
2. UMR 5199 PACEA
3. Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
4. UMR 8167 Orient et Méditerranée - Monde byzantin
5. Archaeological Institute of the Research Center for Humanities, Budapest