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"Which is older - wheels or walls?" Topic


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475 hits since 11 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2019 12:09 p.m. PST

I was listening to a broadcast by an eminent historian of technology who said that "the wheel is older than the wall".

I'm not sure this is true – we know that there were civilisations which had really big walls, but did not use the wheel.

I can't think of a civilisation that had the wheel, but did not develop the wall.

What do you think?

Walls are older than wheels
Wheels are older than walls.
Walls and wheels were invented simultaneously.

JimDuncanUK11 Jan 2019 12:11 p.m. PST

What about wheeled walls?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian11 Jan 2019 12:19 p.m. PST

Flintstones. Case closed. grin

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2019 12:52 p.m. PST

And white-walled wheels?

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2019 1:17 p.m. PST

Flintstones. Case closed

But is it?

picture

Back of that picture – a wall!

Here's Fred's car:

picture

No wheels – that's a roller.

But wait – on this bike, I see wheels

link

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2019 1:22 p.m. PST

Fred Flinstone above has both a wall and wheels.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2019 1:40 p.m. PST

Yes! We see walls. We see ROLLERS. We do also see wheels.

But I have a pen and a computer in front of me right now but pen technology is older!

So the question remains which came first?

Wheels?

Walls?

Simultaneous?

TMPWargamerabbit11 Jan 2019 2:16 p.m. PST

Bush walls or woven material predates the wheel when caveman left his stone wall den. Why invent the wheel when winter winds/snows require a wall. Thats my take on the thought. Now… later in the historical time line, when moving mud bricks about, the wheel is invented to carry a pile of mud bricks from brick manufacturer to building project site.

Tony S11 Jan 2019 3:16 p.m. PST

I thought Jericho's walls were around 8000 BC. Wheels – Sumerian ox carts? 2000 BC?

rustymusket11 Jan 2019 3:24 p.m. PST

Cave walls before wheels were invented or found?

Nick Bowler11 Jan 2019 3:38 p.m. PST

A wheel is a complex invention. The issue is friction against the axle. There is a reason pre-columbian america didnt have the wheel

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Jan 2019 3:46 p.m. PST

Whitewall wheels came first.

As with any question of technology, it depends on what you count as a wheel and a wall. F'r'ex, while the Fintstone pic above is funny, is it a roller a wheel? Does a wheel have to have an axle? How permanent or deliberate does a wall have to be? How big? What type of construction?

TBeyer Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2019 4:14 p.m. PST

'Norsemen' is much better:

YouTube link

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2019 5:56 p.m. PST

This is a question worth discussing, but it's ultimately a question of fact, not opinion, and therefore not a proper subject for a poll.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian11 Jan 2019 7:55 p.m. PST

Do pottery wheels count?

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2019 3:51 a.m. PST

Well, quite surprisingly the most rudimentary potter's wheel is dated to ~4500BC. So all we need is an older wall….

Tony S12 Jan 2019 6:25 a.m. PST

Well, quite surprisingly the most rudimentary potter's wheel is dated to ~4500BC. So all we need is an older wall….

QED.

8000 BC.

link

Coelacanth12 Jan 2019 6:59 a.m. PST

picture

Boats! laugh

Ron

Legion 412 Jan 2019 8:47 a.m. PST

I think Tony S is correct.

Not to question anything you see on US TV cartoons and all, but … !? huh?

TMPWargamerabbit12 Jan 2019 1:57 p.m. PST

Before the canoe….. it was the log. But the tech race was for bigger and bigger logs to carry more family and tribe members….. till they became stuck in the river. Then someone came up with the idea to lighten to log by craving it out…. with the axe.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2019 5:34 p.m. PST

I think Tony S is correct.

Not to question anything you see on US TV cartoons and all, but … !? huh?

No – I'm with you on this!

When the first hominid put one rock on top of another the wall was not far away – but the wheel, that was a technology leap!

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Jan 2019 9:26 a.m. PST

When the first hominid put one rock on top of another the wall was not far away

What a speciesist statement! :) Many of our mammal ancestors built walls before our hominid ancestors. And the avians, reptiles, insects, and aquatic ones before that. I think the gorillas showed their superior intelligence by building "nests" that took less work than things like bird nests or beaver dams, yet met all their protection and other needs.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2019 1:30 p.m. PST

What a speciesist statement! :)

Sorry but I did intend the question to be related to humans and close ancestors. I guess we could credit the dung beetle with the first roller-ball…..

Perhaps that hominid was inspired by observation of other creatures' efforts, but we'll never know unfortunately.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Jan 2019 2:16 p.m. PST

My point, behind the joking, was that hominids were evolutionarily predisposed to building walls, not wheels.

Maybe a gorilla's nest counts as having walls, maybe not. The same would go for many of the efforts of early hominids. Size, permanence, purpose, lots of criteria could change what counts as the "oldest" wall.

Legion 414 Jan 2019 7:30 a.m. PST

Let's not argue about it like a bunch of Neanderthals !!!! huh? wink

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Jan 2019 8:43 a.m. PST

Awwww, man … that's the best way to argue!

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2019 6:01 a.m. PST

Anyhoo…. Neanderthal walls it is : link

Mysterious structures found deep inside a French cave are the work of Neanderthal builders who lived in the region more than 100,000 years before modern humans set foot in Europe.

The extraordinary constructions are made from nearly 400 stalagmites that have been yanked from the ground and stacked on top of one another to produce rudimentary walls on the damp cave floor.


The most prominent formations are two ringed walls, built four layers deep in places, which appear to have been propped up with stalagmites wedged in place as vertical stays. The largest of the walls is nearly seven metres across and, where intact, stands up to 40cm high.

So – wheels are not older than walls. I was right. Good to know!

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