Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Recycled Horse News?

I received an email this morning giving the exciting news of horse bones being found in Carlsbad, California that predate the arrival of Spaniards in the area. Could the horses be evidence of pockets of ancient American horses that were on the continent before the Spaniards arrived? That's a topic of interest in Book of Mormon studies. Just part of a random Nephite herd ;)? Or were they from an earlier unrecorded Spanish incursion into California or otherwise resulting from European sources? I don't know, but I'm disappointed that the story in the email was dated August 6, 2013, when that's just the email date. The email also fails to give the source of the story. The actual story is from 2005, making it old news. See "Centuries-old bones of horses unearthed in Carlsbad." It is interesting, but I would be more interested in knowing what has been learned since this tantalizing outlier was found and whether and of the initial guesses and radiocarbon dating still hold up. Any of you have follow-up information? My searching on the topic was unproductive and time is short today.

6 comments:

John said...

The Spanish brought horses to Mexico in the early 1500's. The Navajos were trading horses by the early 1600s. So even if the earliest dating in the potential range is correct, the horses are still likely of Spanish origin. I can't see how this find could even remotely be considered evidence of Nephite horses, yet I'm certain it will continue to be repeated in faith affirming emails and Sunday school comments.

Anonymous said...

Any DNA testing on the horses? Any further work?

Anonymous said...

As I understand the story the inference was made that the horse skeleton in question preceded the Spanish because it showed no signs of having been shod.

I didn't see any consideration for the possibility that the Spanish horse simply belonged to someone who wasn't able to or didn't choose to have his horse shod.

Anonymous said...

Spain conquered what is now Mexico in 1521, so that leaves at least 100 years for a Spanish horse, or a descendent of Spanish horses to make it's way to California. At the time, California was part of the Spanish colony of Mexico.

The article says the horses died at least 50 years before that particular Spanish mission in California was founded, but it seems plausible to me that Spanish or native American traders or explorers could have taken horses there.

Donna said...

I got super mad at Victoria Jackson for a post she put up. So I wrote a snarky blog....love for you to read it...
bleachervision.blogspot.com

Jason Allred said...

Jeff, I decided to do some digging, and I got an update on the story from the archeologist. Some internet sleuthing led me to his email address, and he was kind enough to respond:

"Jason, FYI - The three historic equine burials were uncovered at CA-SDI-8797 were determined to be two domestic horses (Equus caballus), and one (Equus asinus). The three radiocarbon dates taken on bone and a tooth provided a range for their burials from AD 1450 to modern (AD 1920 to 1950), and therein are identified as recent historic."
- Dennis Gallegos, Gallegos and Associates. Quoted from personal email to Jason Allred. Sent 6th of August 2013.