Re: [tied] Got wheels?

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 9221
Date: 2001-09-08

Attachments :
As for first wheeled vehicles and their representations, the record holder at the moment is a vessel decorated with wagon motifs from a Funnel Beaker settlement at Bronocice in southern Poland (see the enclosed JPG file, where one of the three preserved wagon representations is well visible). On the basis of animal bones found with the vessel it has been radiocarbon-dated at 3635-3370 BC. A chalk wheel model found 1974 at Jebel Aruda in Syria (slightly older than the Uruk vehicle pictograms) comes from ca. 3340-3000 BC. But wheeled transport may be still older than that. Cart ruts about two centuries older than the "Bronocice wagon" have been discovered under a Funnel Beaker megalithic tomb at Flintbek (Germany). Some more information about early wagons, carts, roads etc. can be found here:
Witzel actually says that *kWe-kWl-o- is either an adaptation of Sumerian gil-gul or "derived from a common origin". It certainly can be etymologised within PIE as a reduplicated adjectival derivative of the root *kWel- 'go round'. One has to count with the possibility of an Indo-European-derived cultural loan reaching Mesopotamia. Until there are more securely dated finds from the earliest period of wagon use it's hard to tell if the invention took place in Central Europe, Mesopotamia or anywhere in between. It is also possible that wheeled vehicles were invented independently in two or more places.
We have discussed these questions before on Cybalist, so if you search the archive, you may find still more info.
----- Original Message -----
From: naga_ganesan@...
Sent: Saturday, September 08, 2001 7:47 PM
Subject: [tied] Re: Did IE languages spread before farming?

> During the period 3600-3000 BC wheeled vehicles appeared in various
> places from Germany to Uruk and Central Asia (the place where the
> invention took place is a matter of debate), and a good part of
>that  area was likely settled by people speaking partly
>differentiated Indo- European languages. My (tentative) view is that
>the beginning of the  fourth millennium BC is the most likely
>terminal date for _non- Anatolian_ IE unity.

      In the book, "The Bronze age in Europe", Jean-Pierre Mohen &
    Christiane Eluere, 1999, H. N. Abrams, NY, no mention of
    wheeled vehicles this early, ie., in 4th millennium. All I see
  is wheeled carts in later half of third millennium BC, post-2500 BC.
    Appreciate references for 4th millennium wheeled vehicles
    in Germany to Uruk. And, how IE is assigned to these wheeled
    vehicles if they exist?

     What about Mesopotamia? Is it not there wheeled transport was
invented?Prof. M. Witzel said in Indology list that IE *kwekwelo-
'wheel' is possibly from Sumerian gilgul. Sanskrit iiza- in iizvara
     is related with Tamil (a Dravidian language) 'iya', 'iyai' etc.

     It is also of interest that the Iran age in India is
     in early First millennium BCE, and since the Rgveda mentions
     iron, nowadays Sanskritists date the Rgveda in 1000-900 BCE.
     (see Prof. M. Witzel's remarks arguing these dates in Indology
     at Liverpool site archives). In the enthusiasm of 19th
     century Indology and "Aryan-ness" etc., usually Sanskrit
     texts are given liberal dates. Nowadays, they are falling in
     the academe. Even Buddha's date has come down by more than a
     century (eg., H. Bechert's works, and Japanese Indologists').

     IE specialists look the Sanskrit data as peripheral, and the
     assigned dates of 19th-20th century philology are used even

     N. Ganesan