D. T. Potts, Cataphractus and kamāndār: Some Thoughts on the Dynamic Evolution of Heavy Cavalry and Mounted Archers in Iran and Central Asia

The origin of heavy cavalry in ancient Eurasia has long been a topic of interest to scholars working on Parthian and Sasanian military history and archaeology. This paper examines the evidence of Iranian, Turanian, Choresmian, and Parthian innovations that led to the emergence of full-blown heavy cavalry. The often neglected data from the Late Bronze in the Near East and the Neo-Assyrian cavalry, in particular, are discussed, as well as ways in which influences from these regions might have reached Central Asia.