Iron Age Horse

This my illustration of an Iron Age horse intended for a children’s education pack that did not come to pass. Many horse bones have been recovered at Iron Age sites across Britain. Archaeozoologists tell us these horses were small by contemporary standards as they were the size of what we call would call ‘ponies’. Iron Age horses have also been compared to the Exmoor ponies and, thus, I used reference photographs of them as the basis of my illustration.

 ironagehorselow

Wear on teeth and back bones indicate Iron Age horses were ridden, while wear on other bones indicate they were used for heavy labour such as ploughing. Horses also pulled wagons or chariots and the most famous British example derives from the Wetwang burial. Here an Iron Age woman of high prestige was buried with an elegant chariot. More can be found on this remarkable woman and a reconstruction of her vehicle on the British Museum website:

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/online_tours/britain/the_wetwang_chariot_burial/the_wetwang_chariot_burial.aspx

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