The wheel is an invention that changed the world. It has always been accredited to the Sumerians, but in recent years much older wheels have been uncovered. It is now accepted that the invention of the wheel came about at the same time in Sumeria, Egypt, Switzerland, China, Germany and Slovenia among main stream academics.
Stone Toy Car, 5 500BC, Turkey
“Archaeologist Mesut Alp said that the toy car, which is made out of stone, dates back to the late Stone Age and is thought to be 7,500 years old.” Found near the northern Kurdish town of Qoser (Kızıltepe), this toy is made of hand-worked stone with axles of different lengths. It would seem to be earliest known evidence of a wheeled vehicle. Other known examples of representations of wheels occur some 4,000 years later, around 3,500 BCE. Reported in the Zaman Newspaper during 2012. The wheels on this toy rotate and uses two single axles.
(Zaman was a major, high-circulation daily before government seizure on 4th of March, 2016 (the circulation was around 650,000 as of February 2016) It was founded in 1986 and was the first Turkish daily to go online in 1995. The website was unavailable at the time of writing this, however the original article is/was here.)
Pottery Wheel, 3 500 BC, Indus Valley
The potter’s wheel was found in Mesopotamia and China, dated at 3 000 BC and in the Indus Valley dated at 3 500 BC.
Wooden Cart Wheel, 3 100 BC, Slovenia
The oldest cart wheel comes from Slovenia. Dated between 5100 and 5350 years old it places the wheel at around 3100BC during the Bronze Age. It was part of a two wheeled single axle cart. (Source: Republic of Slovenia Government Communication Office)
70seven: What I find more interesting is the level of engineering that was employed in designing and manufacturing these wheels. The axle alone is proof that this technology is much, much older than the bronze age. The wheel itself has braces to strengthen it. By the time people created these wheels 5000 years ago, they clearly knew what they were doing. It was an established technology already.
Tracks in stone, Turkey and elsewhere
And then back in Turkey where the stone toy car comes from you find the Kayseri tracks left in stone. Vehicle / cart tracks are found in many areas around the globe, but they are highly disputed. Some claim they are natural rock formations while others feel they are sleigh tracks. The tracks run for kilometers, evenly spaced and perfectly impressed in the rock with a scar running alongside the edge, like that on an axle scraping the edges as the vehicle moved forward.
A geologist, Dr Alexander Koltypin, believes the tracks date back millions of years as they were formed in soft volcanic ash that hardened into stone as we see it today.
‘The methodology of specifying the age of volcanic rocks is very well studied and worked out,’ he said. ‘As a geologist, I can certainly tell you that unknown antediluvian [pre-Biblical] all-terrain vehicles drove around Central Turkey some 12-to-14 million years ago.’ He claims archaeologists ‘avoid touching this matter’ because it will ‘ruin all their classic theories’. He said: ‘I think we are seeing the signs of the civilisation which existed before the classic creation of this world.
Source: The Daily Mail
[70seven: Let us assume the tracks are indeed vehicle / sleigh tracks; then again the dating is a problem. According to academics intelligent beings only came about thousands of years ago, not millions. In fact, the first upright ape, Sahelanthropus Tchadensis, only came about 7 million years ago – at least 3 million years after the time the tracks were left behind….and 12 million years before Homo Sapien is said to have sprung up. This raises another question – are Homo Sapiens much much older?]