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Catacomb culture wagons of the Eurasian steppes

  • N.I. Shishlina (a1), D.S. Kovalev (a2) and E.R. Ibragimova (a1)

The origin and development of wheeled vehicles continues to fascinate today no less than when Stuart Piggott (1974) first wrote about the subject in Antiquity 40 years ago. A growing number of examples from the steppes of southern Russia and Ukraine are providing new insights into the design and construction of these complex artefacts. A recent example from the Ulan IV burial mound illustrates the techniques employed and the mastery of materials, with careful selection of the kinds of wood used for the wheels, axles and other elements. Stable isotope analysis of the individual interred in this grave showed that he had travelled widely, emphasising the mobility of steppe populations.

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