First version of this article was originally published on 20 July, 2012
Today parents buy their children electric car toys to play with, but thousands of years ago the situation was somewhat different.
Yet, this ancient discovery reveals our ancestors were aware of the wheel 7500 years ago!
A stone car with two axles and 4 wheels dating from about 7500 years ago was found during excavations in the Kiziltepe district of the southeastern province of
Mardin, are now on display at the Mardin Museum, 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.
The world’s earliest toy car (L) and title deed, unearthed at excavation sites in Mardin’s K?z?ltepe district, are on display at the Mardin Museum. (Photo: Cihan)
According to the Culture and Tourism Director of Mardin, Davut Beliktay, the car is like a copy of cars today. He also points out that
the shape of this ancient toy resembles a tractor.
Beliktay also revealed that toy dolls and whistles, also made of stone, were found at sites in the area,
"we believe that the whistles and dolls are 5,000 to 6,000 years old. The whistles are still in working condition," he said.
In display was also an ancient stone tablet inscribed with writing. Following exhaustive historical analysis, the writing on the 5 centimeter stone,
which was uncovered at an excavation site at the Girnavas Mound, 4km from the historic district of Nusaybin -was deemed to be the content of an ancient title deed.
Is this little ancient toy the earliest evidence of the wheel?
Beliktay said that the writing on the historic tablet had managed to remain intact over the years because of excellent preservation techniques.
The script, he explained, had been scraped on to the clayish surface with a nail and then the tablet had been placed in a burner.
Its shape resembles a tractor, archaeologists say.
Archaeologist Alp explained that the title deed is 2,800 years old and pertains to the selling of a garden. The content of the deed he added refers to a fruit
garden, and the fruit trees within, which are to be split between the three sons of the owner. The deed refers to "Nabulu" which Alp explained was in fact the
old name of current Nusaybin. Beliktay has confirmed that comprehensive information on the two finds will be provided soon.
Still, the most fascinating item is the ancient car toy. Some have suggested it is not a car, but rather a chariot. However, chariots usually have only two wheels
and pulled by an animal.
So the question remains:
Is this little ancient toy car perhaps the earliest evidence of the wheel?
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