Horse documentary features archaeologist with KELOLAND ties

Local News

Can you imagine life without horses? There was a time when humans didn’t utilize them the way we have now, and throughout history. The topic is the focus of a docu-series called First Horse Warriors. If you’ve watched it, you may have noticed a man with KELOLAND ties is featured.

For 16 years, Professor Alan Outram has brought hundreds of students from the University of Exeter in England to South Dakota.

At the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village, he teaches budding archaeologists how to dig into the past. Now, a TV series is cultivating Outram’s knowledge on how our ancestors mastered horses.

“Horses were an important part of Native American culture over the last few hundred years,” Outram said.

That wasn’t always the case.

“Horses and humans have a very long relationship. If you go a very long way back, they were hunted for food. If you go back into the ice age,” Outram said.

First Horse Warriors looks at how early man domesticated horses.

“And how that revolutionized the way in which people lived and in the end, the way they conducted warfare and the way that large numbers of people migrated as a result of having horses,” Outram said.

That’s not all. Before combines, tractors, trailers and other big machinery; early farmers eventually depended heavily on horses. Outram says that was a significant development.

“If you think about trying farming and looking after animals before you had any means of moving around quickly, think about trying to herd animals without horses. Then you’re very limited in what you can do,” Outram said.

In First Horse Warriors, Outram and his life’s work remind us once again, the past isn’t as far off as seems.

“I think humans have a great connection with two animals. That is the dog and the horse in terms of a really close personal connection,” Outram said.

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