A fragment of an Assyrian 9th century BC carved limestone relief from Nimrud, Iraq
Writing in The Guardian on Monday, 2 January, Maev Kennedy reports on the British Museum’s plan, “…for its first exhibition devoted to the horse with a display tracing the animal’s story across thousands of years of human history. The exhibition will range from a stylised figure that decorated a 3,000-year-old harness, to the Georgian thoroughbreds Hambletonian and Diamond, immortalised on a gambler’s gaming chip…” Maev Kennedy’s article goes on to say that –
The wild horse was domesticated at least 5,000 years ago and probably far earlier, initially for meat and later for transport, transforming how far a man could travel and how much he could carry. The exhibition traces the evolution of the elegant, swift Arabian horses, associated in legend with King Solomon and Muhammad. Said to have been created by angels or born out of the wind, they were prized more highly than gold, and made suitable gifts for princes and emperors.

Curator John Curtis said: “There are probably horses somewhere in every gallery in the museum, from Assyrian sculptures to coins. They’re so familiar and ubiquitous they mostly go unnoticed. We want to bring them together and show their importance in history. The horse was an engine of human development and, until a generation ago, part of the everyday experience of life even in the heart of London.”

The Horse: Ancient Arabia to the Modern World exhibition will be on show at the British Museum from 24 May to 30 September 2012.

Full article here.