Horse culture was introduced to China from the West. The combination of the rod-shaped metal horse-bit with cheek-pieces with projections came from the West to become the origin of the horse harness in China. There, in the Shang period, the chain type horse bit was invented, which developed with some further transformations through the Spring and Autumn period. Before the Warring States period, a horse bit deriving from another technical tradition was introduced that replaced the earlier tradition. Bone-horn cheek-pieces with three holes of different directions came from the West at about the beginning of the Western Zhou period, and their bronze imitation became the mainstream of later cheek-pieces. The earliest metal horse bit in the Ukraine, dated to the end of the Bronze Age, could be the result of influence from the East. An innovation in the horse harness, with cheek-pieces inserted into the outer rings of the bit, is recognized in both the Steppe region and China, with the examples from China being earlier. A similar method of casting horse bits is recognized in Siberia and Central Asia from the earliest period of the early nomad period. It is the same as the later Chinese technology. Siberian nomads probably transferred it to the nomads of Northern China, for example, in the Yuhuangmiao Culture, then nomadic groups of Northern China introduced it to the peoples of the Central Plain.
Asian Archaeology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 6, 2020