The domestication of horses and adoption of horse riding were critical processes that culminated in the emergence of mounted warriors and nomadic empires that shaped world history.
The first definitive record of horse dentistry also comes from early Chinese veterinary texts dating to 600 BCE, which describe the method of aging a horse through changes in its dentition (21, 22).
During the Roman Empire, Aristotle and others made detailed mention of equine periodontal disease in their writings (21).
Precision chronology modeling demonstrates that horse sacrifice spread rapidly through DSK ritual across a wide region of eastern Eurasia, 1200 BCE (7).
Diagnostic changes to the equine skull indicate that DSK horses were heavily exerted and used for transport (8), while anthropogenic deformations to the nasal bones of the horse, caused by a bridle, are distinctively left-biased (, Fig.
The history of Mongolia is intertwined especially closely with the history of horse transport.
In contemporary Mongolia, domestic horses are essential to herding life, serving not only as the primary means of transportation but also as an important livestock animal, providing milk and dairy products in the summer and early fall and meat for the late fall and winter months (3).The onset of premolar extraction parallels the archaeological appearance of jointed bronze and iron bits, suggesting that this technological shift prompted innovations in dentistry that improved horse health and horse control.These discoveries provide the earliest directly dated evidence for veterinary dentistry, and suggest that innovations in equine care by nomadic peoples 3500 BCE (1), by the 20th century, horses had prompted important changes to human patterns of interaction, exchange, and social organization on every continent except Antarctica (2).We report the earliest evidence of equine dentistry, from the Mongolian Steppe, at 1150 BCE.Key shifts in equine dentistry practice through time can be linked first to the emergence of horseback riding and later to the use of metal bits that enabled better control of horses.Because of the importance of oral equipment for horse riding, dentistry is an essential component of modern horse care.