The Importance of Cavalry

The cavalry is the part of an army which is mounted on horseback. This allows them to move a lot faster than anyone fighting on foot, and have a height advantage! 

Throughout the Punic Wars, cavalry was very important. During the First Punic War, the Carthaginians received advice from a Greek mercenary and learned to ensure that the cavalry was the strongest part of their army. This prevented Carthage from losing the war immediately.  Cavalry were used very effectively at the Battle of Cannae by Hannibal and the Battle of Zama by the Romans, in new and innovative tactics. 

Horses have also been very important for archaeologists and historians in discovering what happened during the Punic Wars.  In 2016, Archaeologists found a large amount of bacteria existing in a certain place in the Alps, which is commonly associated with horse manure! They discovered that the manure dated back to 200 BCE, and this helped to show where Hannibal’s army crossed the alps! The archaeologists used gene analysis to work out what was in the bacteria, and they hope to do more analysis in future to see if they can find evidence of Elephant poo as well!