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Archaeology Magazine's Top 10 - varnamvarnam
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Archaeology Magazine's Top 10

The Archaeology Magazine has published a list of the top 10 discoveries of 2009 and as usual there is nothing from India. But atleast it does not have vampires and pirate relics as major stories. Among the stories two are interesting: the domesticated horses of Botai and the palace of Palace of Mithradates in Kuban, Russia.

Horses were domesticated for the first time sometime between 3700 and 3100 B.C.E in Kazakhstan. The fact that horse is not native to India and was domesticated elsewhere has a profound impact on ancient Indian history. The spread of Indo-European around the world, the arrival of Indo-Aryans in North-West India and the composition of Rg Veda has always been tied to the arrival of horse riding people, though the history is much more complicated.

Mithridates VI who ruled the kingdom of Pontus from 119 to 63 B.C.E, was a contemporary of Julius Caesar, but he troubled Rome to no end. Between 89 B.C.E and 63 B.C.E, three Mithridatic wars were fought between Roman legions and Mithridates VI. He feared death by poisoning and hence poisoned himself in small doses to develop immunity. He developed his knowledge by reading Indian texts, among others. More details at The Poisons of Mithridates.

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