Meet the OLogistMore From Melanie
What do you study?
Chauvet cave painting

Horses appear often in European cave art.
Sandra Said
As a zooarchaeologist, I specialize in horses and their impact on human society. For the past 15 years, I've been studying early horse domestication. In other words, I study when humans stopped hunting wild horses and started keeping them in herds as livestock.

During the Ice Age, people hunted horses for meat. So their relationship at that time was one of predator and prey. About 6,000 years ago, people started settling down into permanent villages. They began to domesticate horses so they would always have meat.

But this happened over time. We can tell from archaeological finds that people did not suddenly stop hunting wild horses. Even when they were developing domestic herds, they were also hunting wild horses, cattle, deer and other large game—probably on horseback!

In my work, I'm interested in this shift in the relationship between people and horses, from predator and prey to herder and livestock.