3400 BC – The earliest documentation of the wheel and wagon comes from Northern Germany

Publication by Doris Mischka
We draw attention to the recent publication "The Neolithic in Flintbek. A fine chronological study of the settlement history based on graves" by Professor Doris Mischka. Besides other things, she documents the earliest known example of the use of the wheel and wagon.

Doris Mischka, now a professor at the Institute for Prehistory and Early History at the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, habilitated at Kiel University in 2012. The publication is her habilitation thesis. Here, she documents the entire genesis and development of the Neolithic and Bronze Age burial field in Flintbek, near Kiel. By using 14C analyses, the age of organic materials can be determined. With this, she dated the genesis and development of the burial field in detail.

Around 3800 BC, the first burials appear in the area. People started building long mounds, which they steadily enlarged with successive additions. Moreover, they erected burial mounds with small stone chambers, so-called dolmens. 500 years later, around 3300 BC, they built passage graves, which served as collective burial places for many centuries. Doris Mischka assumes that families from different areas each had their burial place here. Thus, the Flintbek area was a ritual centre for the entire region.

Two initially inconspicuous brown lines in the soil turned out to be traces of wheels. This is clear proof that for the building of the monuments, this new technology was used around 3400 BC. The technology was thus probably not invented in the Near East, as previously assumed.

The book is the 20th volume of a publication series coordinated by the Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology at Kiel University, which presents the research results of the priority program "Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation".

We congratulate Doris Mischka for this detailed study, which will effectively enhance scientific discourse.

Mischka, Doris, 2022. Das Neolithikum in Flintbek. Eine feinchronologische Studie zur Besiedlungsgeschichte anhand von Gräbern. Frühe Monumentalität und soziale Differenzierung 20. Verlag Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH (Bonn 2022).


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