hubeyh at MONTCLAIR.EDU
Thu Dec 3 17:06:28 UTC 1998
Vidhyanath Rao wrote:
> Please, read Spruytte's ``Early Harness systems''.
> Wooden axles, from suitable trees are durable enough.
I am a mechanical engineer. Wood is anisotropic. It's strength
runs lengthwise. Either it has to be cut into planks and
semi-circular half-wheels have to be cut out of it and then
fashioned into wheels or the wheel has to be kept together by
something else like metal. In any case, something that falls
apart in the steppes in the middle of the winter thousands of
kilometers away from civilization would be hard to fix. It is
likely that sturdier versions of carts were made to nomad
> I am not contesting that metal tools would be required.
> I am just not convinced that they were lacking in the steppes,
> whether imported or made locally or both.
It is possible that like every other technology the knowledge of
wheelmaking spread everywhere and that there were nomadic
cartwrights. What is at stake is how anyone could assume that
the nomads got these ideas and created them while moving around
in treeless steppes and never even knew of the existence of metal.
Herodotus reports that the Scythians (?) were cooking meat by putting
it in the stomach of the animal. Miziev gives reference to nomads
doing this relatively recently as observed by some people. Didn't
they have pots, cauldrons etc? That was in the iron age, and Herodotus
reports that the Scythians had a humongous cauldron also. If this is
happening during the metal age how then could the nomads have
built carts? Don't you think that they would fashioned pots for
and carried them around instead of using bull stomachs?
hubeyh at montclair.edu =-=-=-= http://www.csam.montclair.edu/~hubey
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