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UCL Qatar Presents Public Lecture 'Arabia and the Horse'

10 February 2013


As part of the UCL Lecture Series, visiting professor Dr Juris Zarins presents Arabia and the Horse: the domestication of equines in the Ancient Near East.

Venue: Auditorium, Georgetown University Building, Education City Gate 2

Date: Monday 18 February Time: 6:30 – 7.30pm

Food and refreshments reception to follow.

For more information please contact:

Three species of  Equids (horses, asses, and hemiones) have been known throughout the Middle East since the Neolithic age, circa 10,000 years ago, to the present day. Where they occurred in the wild, when they were domesticated and how to identify the various species in art, text and osteology remains a controversial topic.  Recent archaeological work on the subject together with the latest DNA evidence will be discussed. At the other end of the spectrum, excavations of the Indian Ocean seaport of Al Baleed (ancient Zafar) in modern day Oman will cast light on the maritime export of horses to India from the tenth century to the mid-nineteenth century.

Dr Zarins received his PhD at the University of Chicago Oriental Institute (1976) on the topic of equid domestication in the Ancient Near East prior to 2000 BC. He taught Near Eastern Archaeology at Missouri State University from 1979 until his retirement in 2006. He has served as archaeological advisor to both the Government of Saudi Arabia (1975 – 1985) and the Sultanate of Oman (1993 – 1995, 2007 – 2012). He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman, as well as in Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. Amongst his many interests are the uncovering of the rich past of the Arabian peninsula, as well as the peninsula’s relationship to surrounding regions. He has presented many scholarly talks on the international stage since 1967 and has authored a number of scientific papers on Arabian archaeology.