Opendata, web and dolomites


Tracking the temporal and geographic origins of modern domestic horses

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 EARLYRIDERS project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the EARLYRIDERS project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "EARLYRIDERS" about.

warfare    riding    modern    subjected    shows    loci    samples    agriculture    earlyriders    hundreds    load    sequence    pathogens    transfer    horse    ancient    originating    rapid    disease    genome    archaeological    appears    revolutionizing    question    poorly    transport    sequencing    trade    populations    bronze    concurrent    age    absent    temporal    gap    despite    enrichment    humans    passively    domestic    endogenous    earliest    either    history    allowed    human    domestication    epidemiology    centers    instance    vector    techniques    300    larger    scalable    ancestors    spread    unknown    point    wave    content    vectors    plague    gene    locus    dating    form    interconnected    haunted    geographic    researcher    strains    societies    transmitted    interplay    fleas    dna    found    moderate    contagious    pathogen    transmission    accounted    full    horses    diseases    hyrad    epizootic    serious    forged    source    turning    thousands    riders   

Project "EARLYRIDERS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: ROUTE DE NARBONNE 118
postcode: 31062

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country France [FR]
 Total cost 173˙076 €
 EC max contribution 173˙076 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2017
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-11-01   to  2020-10-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

The goal of the EARLYRIDERS project is to identify the geographic and temporal locus of modern horse domestication. It also focuses on the interplay between domestication and the increase of pathogen load in horses, and the role of epizootic transfer of human pathogens, especially plague. Horse domestication represents a turning point in human history, revolutionizing transport, trade, warfare, agriculture, and allowing humans to form larger, interconnected societies. Despite its importance for human history, this process remains poorly understood. Recent genome sequencing shows that the earliest archaeological remains of domestic horses are not the ancestors of modern domestic horses and that another, still unknown, wave of domestication forged the modern horse during the Early Bronze Age. Horse riding also allowed a rapid spread of diseases. For instance, the plague, that regularly haunted human populations in history, has been already commonly found in human remains dating to the Early Bronze Age. As the gene essential for the transmission through fleas was absent in these ancient strains, the plague might have been transmitted through other, still unknown vectors. This represents a serious gap in understanding of the early epidemiology of this important disease. As the spread of plague appears to be concurrent to horse domestication, the question remains whether the horse accounted for its spread, either as a vector or passively, by contagious riders. We aim at identifying the source of the second domestication wave and pathogen load in ancient horse populations by sequencing 300 samples originating from all potential centers of domestication. Full genome sequencing is not possible due to low endogenous DNA content, therefore the samples will be subjected to sequence enrichment techniques, including the novel hyRAD method developed by the experienced researcher, scalable to thousands of loci in hundreds of samples at moderate cost.

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The information about "EARLYRIDERS" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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