The evidence is archaeological. I do suspect the dates given by the
Times Atlas are somewhat conjectural. The Bronocice "wagon pot" is
dated at 3635-3370 cal. BC [med. 3404 BC] (or rather, some animal
bones found together with it are so dated; Milisauskas & Kruk 1982).
The dating fits what is known about the absolute chronology of the
archaeological phases of the Bronocice settlement and is regarded as
secure. The chalk wheel model found 1974 at Jebel Aruda (on the
middle Euphrates) has been radiocarbon-dated several times and the
calibrated results are in the range 3340-2900~3100 BC (Bakker & al.
1998). The Bronocice vessel is also ca. 200 yrs older than the famous
cart pictograms from the late Uruk phase (Piggot 1983), and if there
are any earlier dates for Mesopotamia (or the steppes, for that
matter), I'd appreciate a concrete reference. The very oldest
tangible evidence for the use of wheeled transport seems to come from
Flintbek (near Kiel), where a well-preserved cart track was found
under a megalithic tomb dated to ca. 3600-3500 BC (Zich 1994). There
is other evidence of using carts and wagons in the Funnel Beaker
culture. Of course it's more than likely that future research will
yield deeper dates for Mesopotamia, Central Europe, Ukraine or all
these regions; it's all rather tentative at the moment.
TRB data quoted after Kruk & Milisauskas (1999); same dates are given
by Maximilian Baldia on his TRB pages (we discussed them some time
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "John Croft" <jdcroft@...> wrote:
> Apologies for double posting my last post.
> Just regarding wheels. Wheel made pottery (Ubaid again) appears
> before wheel transport. Inventions tend to work together in
> clusters. The 4 wheeled solid wheeled chariots of Sumer are as
> as wheels elsewhere. The Times Archaeological Atlas of the World
> states that the first ox-drawn wheeled vehicles, with solid wheels
> made from three piece planks come from Southern Mesolpotamia. It
> also states that wheeled vehicles in graves appear in the Steppes
> 3,600 BCE, a little later. What is the evidence for supposing
> were not a Ubaidian-Sumerian invention?