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Sunday, 9 March 2014

Chariot

The chariot was invented in Asia Minor around 2000 BC using lighter, spoked wheels that turn round the axle. More distant countries were able to be reached and invaded.

War horses and chariots were used by the Mitanni in Syria and the Hittites in Anatolia by about 1600 BC. A remarkable book, the earliest known work devoted exclusively to horses, was written by a Mitanni horseman hired by a Hittite king. The clay tablets that comprise the book give detailed directions for the care and training of chariot horses.

Egyptian chariots were the finest in the ancient world. They were small and light, carrying a driver and one passenger. The wheels were about 40 inches in diameter and 7 feet apart from stability. The floor was a half-circle in front and straight in back along the axle. When the floor was made of woven leather it provided some suspension for the riders.

Noise from hooves and chariot wheels on the stone roads was so loud that Julius Caesar tried to ban all traffic at night.

Zebras were trained by the Romans to pull chariots around the circuses. They even gave our stripy friends the  name “hippotigris”, meaning “Horse-tiger."

Sources The So That’s Why! Bible, Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc. 

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