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ON THE CONSTRUCTION FEATURES OF WHEELED VEHICLES IN IRAN AND MESOPOTAMIA (THIRD TO FIRST MILLENNIA BC)

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2018.46.3.041-048

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Abstract

Reinforcing metal elements in early Eurasian wheels are described. A typology of wheel constructions is proposed, and stages of their evolution and diffusion in socially and ethnically diverse societies are reconstructed. In Sumer and southwestern Iran, early (3d millennium BC) evidence of the use of wheeled transport includes remains of wagons in burials, representations on vessels and cylinder seals, as well as clay and metal models. The early reinforcing details were bronze nails pinned along the rims of solid wheels. Thick leather straps on treads served for binding wheels, prevented wear, and made riding more comfortable. Chariots marked high social status of their owners, and were used for military, hunting, and ritual purposes. Around 2000 BC, metal tread-bands with additional plates were introduced in Susiana and Central Asia. In the Early Iron Age, after a 1000-year long break, studded treads reappeared, but on spoked wheels. Such a construction occurs across a huge territory from the Balkans and Aegean to Bactria. The review of materials from the Bronze Age kurgan burials in the Eastern European steppes reveals no evidence of the use of metal details in the Pit Grave, Catacomb, Novotitorovka or Sintashta cultures, indirectly suggesting multiplicity of wheel-manufacturing traditions.

About the Authors

L. I. Avilova
Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Dm. Ulyanova 19, Moscow, 117036



A. N. Gey
Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Dm. Ulyanova 19, Moscow, 117036



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For citation:


Avilova L.I., Gey A.N. ON THE CONSTRUCTION FEATURES OF WHEELED VEHICLES IN IRAN AND MESOPOTAMIA (THIRD TO FIRST MILLENNIA BC) Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2018;46(3):41-48. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2018.46.3.041-048

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