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by various writers' who have, however, regarded the sledge as the parent of the cart, as it was on sledges that the colossal statues of Egypt and the winged bulls of Assyria were rolled.
Dr. E. Hahn, however, in his learned and suggestive essay, Demeter und Baubo, argues against this view. He thinks
FIG. 23. Diagrams Illustrating a Probable Evolution of Wheels from a Roller. that in this case wheeled vehicles would have arisen wherever rollers have been employed; but it is not so, the waggon arose only in the district from which agriculture originally spread. He believes that the waggon was primitively a holy implement consecrated to the great goddess of agriculture and fertility, and that it only subsequently became a secular farm implement.
Dr. Hahn definitely states as his belief that the waggon has arisen because the wheel existed. The wheel in its
1 Reuleaux, Theoretische Kinematik, Braunschweig, 1875, p. 204 ; Kinematics of Machinery.
E. B. Tylor, “On the Origin of the Plough and Wheel-carriage," Fourn. Anth. Inst., X., 1880, p. 74.
most simple form is only a disc pierced through the centre. Such discs of stone, clay, etc., occurred in the same culture district as that in which agriculture arose, and was at the same time an implement and a religious object. This is the spinning whorl, and the sacred symbols, such as the svastika, on numerous whorls from Hissarlik, suggest that they were often used as votive offerings. As spinning was an occupation of the women, these whorls were probably dedicated to a female divinity, presumably to the goddess of Nature and generation.
It is only necessary to stick two or four of these whorls on one or two pieces of stick, and to fasten something over the axis, and a waggon would result. That these whorls are not large explains also the small size of many holy waggons. Later, following this model, large waggons were made, and these holy waggons were drawn by the sacred animal of the great goddess, the ox, and conveyed the image of the goddess.
There is no need to follow Dr. Hahn' in his disquisition on the curious wheeled objects of the Bronze Age, which were probably votive offerings, or at all events were religious symbols. His idea is that the small objects were symbols of the large real waggon in which rode the god or goddess, or the image of the deity.
Most students of ceremonial institutions will probably demur to Hahn's position. In the first place, there is no reason to believe that agriculture was discovered only in some area of Eurasia, and that the art thence spread over the greater part of the habitable world. Then the evolution of spindle-whorls into cart-wheels scarcely appears probable. It seems more in consonance with what we know of the history of sacred institutions and implements,
"E. Hahn, Demeter und Bauvo, Versuch einer Theorie der Entstehung unseres Ackerbaus, 1896, Lübeck.
that the waggon had an industrial origin, and it may well be that it arose in close connection with agriculture; the operations of agriculture have always been closely connected with religion, and there is no reason to deny that the agricultural cart at its inception may have been associated with the cult of agriculture. The small size of the votive offerings or wheeled symbols is no matter for surprise. On the whole, then, we may accept the older view of the origin of wheels as being the more probable alternative.
Dr. Hahn points out that he is dealing solely with the four-wheeled ox-waggon which was used for religious purposes. Later, two-wheeled horse-chariots were invented, and were used from India to Britain and North Africa. He adduces the authority of old Johann Scheffer, who published a book entitled De re vehiculari, in 1671, for the opinion that, contrary to what one would expect, the four-wheeled ox-waggon was the first vehicle; then the taming of horses led to the two-wheeled chariots or carts, and finally the horses were ridden.
The earliest history of the cart will perhaps always remain in obscurity; it is indeed probable that it arose independently in more than one area. The ancestral slide-car may have been one source, and it is by no means unlikely that a framework on rollers, which was used for moving large masses of stone, or even the common sledge, may also have given rise to a four-wheeled waggon.
We must now return from this long digression to a consideration of certain wheeled vehicles that are still in use, or, till recently, were employed in the British Islands. The wheels, however, are of small diameter, and are solid instead of having spokes.
In Captain Burt's famous Letters,' we find illustrations of
Burt, Letters from a Gentleman in the North of Scotland to his Friend in London, 1754.
two kinds of block-wheel cart that were in use in Inverness about 1730. Both of them are simple modifications of the slide-car, which, as we have already seen, was in contemporary use with them, with the addition of wheels. Concerning the latter we read:
“THE Wheels, when new, are about a Foot and half high, but are soon worn very small: They are made of three pieces of Plank, pinned together at the Edges like the Head of a Butter Firken, and the Axletree goes round with the Wheel, which having some part of the Circumference with the Grain, and other Parts not, it wears unequally, and in a little Time is rather angular than round, which causes a disagreeable Noise, as it moves upon the Stones.”
One of these carts appears to be nothing more than a wheeled slide-car, if the term be allowed, in which a round wicker basket is jammed between the shafts just behind the pony.
The other consists of an open framework, the base of which is formed by the two shafts; and, as a consequence, the basket-like body of the cart is tilted up at the same angle as the latter. This is “ that species wherein they carry their Peats.”
A very similar cart to the last is engraved on the map illustrating Twiss's A Tour in Ireland in 1775; but in this there is no front to the cart, and the side rails decrease in size from behind forwards, and cease by the flanks of the horse, so that when the cart is being drawn the tops of the rails are approximately horizontal. An illustration (Fig. 25) of the same cart is given by Croker.'
· These are called kellachies ; for another account of these and other primitive carts, see G. L. Gomme, The Village Community, 1890, pp. 278, 286. Isaac Taylor, The Origin of the Aryans, 1890, p. 179, may also be consulted. 9 T. Crofton Croker, Researches in the South of Ireland, 1824.
In an engraving by James Malton, published in 1791, of the College Green, Dublin,' we find an illustration of a cart which consists of two shafts which rest on pivots jutting out
from the centre of two solid wooden wheels, which are connected by a thick quadrangular axle-tree. In this cart the wheels and the axle are solidly joined together, and revolve as one piece. The only difference between the wheels of this cart and those of our second “missing link," as it may be termed, is that in the latter they are made out of a single tree-trunk, as in the Portuguese cart, whereas in the former they are built up of several pieces of wood. Owing to the small size of the wheels the shafts are inclined at a great angle, and in order to get it level, the platform of
Malton and Cowen, A Picturesque and Descriptive View of the City of Dublin in 1791.