The discoveries in Al-Magar, in Saudi Arabia, are equally startling.
They not only push evidence of horse domestication back to about 9000 years ago, but may also point to the very roots of the Arabian horse breed.
One statue shows the unique neck and head characteristics of the breed. Two are said to show evidence of harness and a bridle. A nearby cave drawing appears to show a man riding a horse, and other evidence points to horses and other animals being part of the inhabitants' daily lives.
Among more than 80 artifacts found at Al-Magar is a one-metre long statue of a horse, comprising head, neck and chest.
Officials say the statue, which could well be the largest known sculpture of a horse during that period, has features similar to that of the original Arabian horses, characterised by a long neck and unique head shape.
The head of the statue carries what officials say are clear signs of a bridle.
October 28, 2011
More on Al-Magar horses
I had covered a news story about the Al-Magar site and its possible early use of the domesticated horse. Now, Horsetalk has some more information, including some pictures: