Monday, 30 November 2015

The invention of the wheel.The symbolism

We all know the importance of the wheel.But did you tou know where it cames from???Let's se it.




The invention of the wheel falls in the late Neolithic, and may be seen in conjunction with other technological advances that gave rise to the early Bronze Age. Note that this implies the passage of several wheel-less millennia even after the invention of agriculture and of pottery:
  • 9500–6500 BC: Aceramic Neolithic
  • 6500–4500 BC: Ceramic Neolithic (Halafian), earliest wooden wheels (disks with a hole for the axle)
  • c. 4500 BC: invention of the potter's wheel, beginning of the Chalcolithic (Ubaid period)
  • 4500–3300 BC: Chalcolithic, earliest wheeled vehicles, domestication of the horse
  • 3300–2200 BC: Early Bronze Age
  • 2200–1550 BC: Middle Bronze Age, invention of the spoked wheel and the chariot

Evidence of wheeled vehicles appears from the second half of the 4th millennium BC, near-simultaneously in Mesopotamia (Sumerian civilization), the Northern Caucasus (Maykop culture) and Central Europe, so that the question of which culture originally invented the wheeled vehicle is still unsolved.
The earliest well-dated depiction of a wheeled vehicle (here a wagon—four wheels, two axles) is on the Bronocice pot, a c. 3500 – 3350 BC clay pot excavated in a Funnelbeaker culture settlement in southern Poland.
The oldest securely dated real wheel-axle combination, that from Stare Gmajne near Ljubljana in Slovenia (Ljubljana Marshes Wooden Wheel) is now dated in 2σ-limits to 3340-3030 cal BC, the axle to 3360-3045 cal BC
Two types of early Neolithic European wheel and axle are known; a circumAlpine type of wagon construction (the wheel and axle rotate together, as in Ljubljana Marshes Wheel), and that of the Baden culture in Hungary (axle does not rotate). They both are dated to c. 3200-3000 BC.
In China, the wheel was certainly present with the adoption of the chariot in c. 1200 BC, although Barbieri-Low argues for earlier Chinese wheeled vehicles, c. 2000 BC.


Symbolism

The wheel has also become a strong cultural and spiritual metaphor for a cycle or regular repetition (see chakra, reincarnation, Yin and Yang among others). As such and because of the difficult terrain, wheeled vehicles were forbidden in old Tibet. The wheel in ancient China is seen as a symbol of health and strength and utilized by some villages as a tool to predict future health and success. The diameter of the wheel is indicator of one's future health.
The winged wheel is a symbol of progress, seen in many contexts including the coat of arms of Panama and the logo of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The introduction of spoked (chariot) wheels in the Middle Bronze Age appears to have carried somewhat of a prestige. The sun cross appears to have a significance in Bronze Age religion, replacing the earlier concept of a Solar barge with the more "modern" and technologically advanced solar chariot.
The wheel was also a solar symbol for the Ancient Egyptians.
The wheel is also the prominent figure on the flag of India. The wheel in this case represents law (dharma). It also appears in the flag of the Romani people, hinting to their nomadic history and their Indian origins.

Reactions: