From the Eurasian Steppe, the Botai are an ancient Chalcolithic people, who are known as one of the earliest people to raise domesticated horses. Remains from about 5500 years ago show the Botai milked their horses. Bits, bridles, and skull and dental markings show the horses were also harnessed. The horses were, presumably, ridden. The Botai still drink mare's milk, frequently in the fermented form called koumiss.
The predecessors of the Botai were hunters, but they settled into villages in the northern area of modern Kazakhstan when they changed their economy to a horse-based one. There are 4 known ancient Botai settlements: Botai, Roshchinskoe, Krasnyi Yar, and Vasilkovka IV.
- [ URL = www.adoptabone.org/anthro/olsen_botai.html ]Carnegie Museum of Natural History Archaeology - Botai
- "Archaeologists find earliest known domestic horses"
- Science: Botai Culture Was Probably First to Domesticate Horses
- Anthropology and Archaeology. (2009). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved April 3, 2009, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.search.eb.com/eb/article-231924