Published in 2007, The Horse, The Wheel and Language is a bestselling book by New York anthropology professor David Anthony that won the Book Award from the Society for American Archaeology. The book’s full title includes How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World. Though the book primarily focuses on linguistics, it highlights the important role that the domestication of the horse and the invention of the wheel in the Central Asian Steppe spread Indo-European languages across the Asian and European continents. These two breakthroughs also played a major role in diffusing cannabis and bringing it to new cultures often via the Silk Road. The Scythians, of course, played a major role in the diffusion, though other Bronze Age tribes contributed to the plant’s migration as well.
Photo credit: Flickr/John McTilden.