Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

Skeletons like four horses lie side by side in an excavation hole.

There are four skeletal remains in Syria’s Umm al-Marra
Pictures: Glenn Schwartz / Johns Hopkins University.

A team of geneticists, archaeologists and paleontologists believe They have identified a mysterious Ecuador from ancient Mesopotamia. That creature is a kung fu, which researchers have shown was a cross between a female donkey and a male Syrian wild donkey.

Kunga was valuable in Mesopotamia, up to its price Six times more As a donkey, large eukudas were used in royal dowries, to pull the chariots of the aristocracy and to pull chariots in battle, while small kungas were used in agriculture. But their identities have long been debated; Some researchers thought that the kungas were merely anagars, a kind of wild donkey.

To find out In fact, researchers have returned to the ancient skeleton of an unknown Ecuador buried in Syria, the last living genetic material of a donkey species, and the evolutionary history of the lineage. Equus. The collaboration was the result Published Today in the advancement of science.

“Combinations of ancient genomes, grave treatments and archaeological records suggest that these hybrids may have been matched with valuable kung fu,” study co-author Eva-Maria Geigel, a paleogenomics expert at the University of Paris, said in an email. “Analysis of these ancient genomes has both resolved a long-standing controversy and identified the oldest man-made equid hybrids, highlighting their important role in the ‘war industry’ centuries before the arrival of the first domesticated horses.”

Hybrid animals Outcomes of reproduction between different species. Animals are often sterile (such as mules, donkey-horse hybrids, or ligers, lion-tiger hybrids), which means they have to be deliberately bred in each individual case. The size and speed of the kungar made them more suitable for towing vehicles than donkeys.

In this ancient Mesopotamian artwork, the Beige Kungar team pulls two red chariots.

A 4,500-year-old standard panel of ur, depicting the kungas with chariots.
Pictures: Thierry Grange / IJM / CNRS-University of Paris

The team analyzed 25 Ecuadorian skeletons found in a 4,500-year-old elite cemetery about 34 miles east of Aleppo, Syria. Some animals appear to have been intentionally killed for burial. Ecuad’s analysis indicates that the animals were not horses, donkeys, or anomalous. This led researchers to believe that they could be a hybrid animal. Skeleton teeth were worn, which meant that in life they wore bits.

To verify the skeletal identity, the team compared genetic specimens from bones with a similar specimen from the famous Turkish archaeological site Gobekli Tape and the last surviving Syrian wild donkey (now dead), preserved in the Natural History Museum. Vienna, Austria.

Using polymerase chain reaction and shotgun sequencing to amplify DNA, the researchers found that the Turkish specimen represented the same species as the animals preserved in Austria and the ancestral lineage of skeletons in Syria. Donkey (E. Afrikaans) Was based on the secret lineage of the mystery Equid, and based on the Y-chromosome fragment obtained from the specimen, the Syrian wild donkey or hemipE. Hemionus) Was the ancestral lineage. Later, the Syrian wild donkeys were smaller than the Kungar, so the group claimed that the surviving wild donkeys were a smaller offspring than the previous members of the species.

“It’s amazing to see that these ancient societies imagined something as complex as hybrid breeding, since it was a deliberate act: they had domesticated donkeys, they knew they could not domesticate wild Syrian donkeys, and they did not domesticate horses,” Geigel said. “So, they deliberately devised a strategy to breed two different species to combine different traits that they thought were desirable within each parent species.”

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. So far, researchers have stopped the Sumerian depiction of animals, e.g. Ur value, Geigl said. Genetics may be the only hope to answer this question, as it must not be answered by breeding: in 1929 the Syrian wild donkey became extinct. With its extinction, Kungao also died. But more genetic research and other archaeological discoveries could at least help us better illustrate this distant history.

More: Medieval Warhorse was actually quite small, the study shows

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