William Taylor Awarded the UNM Popejoy Prize
Posted: Apr 11, 2019 - 12:00am
Dr. Taylors dissertation, entitled The Origins of Horse Herding and Riding in the Eastern Steppe, explores the origins of domestic horse husbandry and mounted horseback riding in Mongolia and eastern Eurasia. Drawing upon both existing and newly developed techniques in archaeozoology, equine osteology, 3D scanning, radiocarbon dating, and quantitative analysis, the study presents the first direct evidence for mounted horseback riding in eastern Eurasia. Results demonstrate a tight link between the adoption of horse transport, horse herding, and the initial formation of nomadic pastoral economies, which became the economic engine of later trans-Eurasian empires like Genghis Khan and the Xiongnu. New analytical methods for tracing human activity using equine skeletal remains developed through this research promise to greatly expand archaeological understanding of horse domestication and human-horse relations in both the New and Old Worlds.
The Tom L. Popejoy Dissertation Prize was established as a permanent memorial to the late Tom L. Popejoy, President of the University of New Mexico from 1948 to 1968. The award recognizes and encourages the highest level of academic excellence.