Dr. William Taylor

Department of Archaeology

Main Focus

William Taylor’s research explores ancient human-environmental interactions, with a special focus on animal domestication and the ecological context of early horse herding and riding.   

Topics addressed by Dr. Taylor’s previous and ongoing research include:

  • application of 3D scanning and equine osteology to the archaeological identification of horse riding and chariot traction
  •  understanding the adoption and spread of horse riding technology in eastern Eurasia through radiocarbon dating and Bayesian statistical modeling
  • investigating the relationship between climate and social change in early nomadic societies

Archaeology sheds light on Mongolia's uncertain nomadic future: https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2016/dec/07/archaeology-sheds-light-on-mongolias-uncertain-nomadic-future

The Origins of Horse Culture in Mongolia: http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2016/01/07/mongolian-horses  

Curriculum Vitae

William Taylor received his B.A. in International Relations magna cum laude from Carleton College in 2011, and was awarded his M.S. in Archaeology by the University of New Mexico in 2013. His doctoral dissertation, which he completed in 2016, explored the origins of horse transport in eastern Eurasia through the analysis of equine skeletal material. 

William's research has been recognized and supported by the National Geographic Society, the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright Program, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).  As a postdoctoral research fellow, he hopes to investigate the role of climate and human ecological decision-making in the emergence of nomadic societies in Central Asia.


Taylor, William, Svetlana Shnaider, Aida Abdykanova, Antoine Fages, Frido Welker, Franziska Irmer, Andaine Seguin-Orlando, Naveed Khan, Katerina Douka, Ksenia Kolobova, Ludovic Orlando, Andrei Krivoshapkin, Nicole Boivin. 2018. Early Pastoral Economies along the Ancient Silk Road: Biomolecular evidence from the Alay Valley, Kyrgyzstan. Manuscript submitted to PLoS One, published ahead of print 31 October 2018.

Shnaider, Svetlana, and Kseniya Kolobova, Tatiana Filimonova, William Taylor, Andrei Krivoshapkin. 2018. New insights into the Epipaleolithic of Western Central Asia: the Tutkaulian complex. Manuscript submitted to Quaternary International, published ahead of print October 2018.

Taylor, William, Jamsranjav Bayarsaikhan, Dimitri Stazewski, Scott Bender,Jocelyn Whitworth, Tumurbaatar Tuvshinjargal, Monica Tromp, K. Bryce Lowry, William Fitzhugh, Nicole Boivin. 2018. Origins of Equine Dentistry. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published ahead of print 2 July 2018.

Fedorchenko A.Yu., Shnaider S.V., Krajcarz M.T., Romanenko M.E., Abdykanova A., Kolobova K.A., Alisher-kyzy S., Taylor W., Krivoshapkin A.I. 2018. Production technology of personal ornaments in western Central Asia in early Holocene complexes. Archaeology, Ethnography and Anthropology of Eurasia.

Shnaider S.V., Abdykanova A., Taylor W., Kolobova K.A., Krivoshapkin A.I. 2018. Early human occupation of high altitude in western Central Asia: new evidence from the Alay valley, Kyrgyzstan. Antiquity Vol 92 (June 2018).

Taylor, William, Jargalan Burentogtokh, K. Bryce Lowry, Julia Clark, Tumurbaatar Tuvshinjargal, and Jamsranjav Bayarsaikhan. 2017. A Bayesian Chronology for Early Domestic Horse Use in the Eastern Steppe. Journal of Archaeological Science 81:49-58.

Taylor, William. Horse demography and use in Bronze Age Mongolia, Quaternary International (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2015.09.085

Taylor, William, Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav, and Tuvshinjargal Tumuurbaatar. 2016. Reconstructing Equine Bridles in the Mongolian Bronze Age. Journal of Ethnobiology 36(3):554-570. http://dx.doi.org/10.2993/0278-0771-36.3.554

Taylor, William, Tuvshinjargal Tumurbaatar, and Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav. 2015. Equine Cranial Morphology and the Archaeological Identification of Riding and Chariotry: Applications to Mongolia’s late Bronze Age. Antiquity 89(346): 854-871. https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2015.76

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