The wooden wheel first used as a means of transportation around 5,500 years ago in what is now the Middle East, and the news spread fast in neighboring regions. In Sumerian times, wild donkeys hauled chariots, while oxen and mules were used for heavy loads. By about 900bc, the time of the Assyrian Empire, spoked wheels had replaced the earlier wheels made from a single piece of solid wood.
Roads varied in quality through the Assyrian Empire. Local paths were little more than tracks, but there were good roads between the main towns. These were well maintained so that messengers and state officials could reach their destination quickly. The Assyrians also perfected the art of chariot warfare, which gave them a big advantage over enemies who were fighting on foot. They could attack their enemies from above, and were able to move around the battlefield quickly.
METHODYOU WILL NEED
Thick card, compass, ruler, pencil, scissors, pen, masking tape, newspaper, two card tubes, flour and water, cream and brown acrylic paints, paintbrush, water pot, two pieces of dowel measuring 6 ¼in long, needle, four toothpicks.
The solid-wheeled chariot you have made is based on a very early chariot design made in northern Mesopotamia around 4000 years ago. When the spoked wheel replaced the solid wheel, chariots became lighter, faster and easier to steer.
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