The Wheel in Ancient Ghana, Mali, and Songhai?

Oct 2015
275
Florida, USA
#1
Before I start, I just want to clarify that I'm not one of those people who thinks that the wheel is a caveman technology like fire or stone tools. I'm aware that the invention of the wheel has only ever happened independently maybe 2 or 3 times in history. Likely Europe and the Middle East and then spread elsewhere into India, East Asia and North Africa. There was also an instance in Meso-America but it was never used for practical application.

I often hear that the wheel never spread to Sub-Saharan Africa except for Ethiopia. Is this true? If so, why? The Ghana, Mali, and Songhai seem to have been very well capable of using the wheel. Not only capable but it seems as though they were likely to have been exposed or informed of it by other cultures from the north. They lived north of the forest zone too so they didn't have to worry about the tetse fly, so they had horses, camels, donkeys, and cattle. They had constant trade with the Mediterranean world including articles such as Chinese porcelain, silk, paper, and later gunpowder and they were active members in the Islam world (and it's science). So again my question is, outside of Ethiopia, did any other part of Sub-Saharan Africa use the wheel before the modern era?
 
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Nov 2012
3,847
#2
your joking when you say wheel came from west and middle east in India. Indian civilizations are being deeply underrated by foreigners. India was indeed equal to Rome, China and Middle East with a huge fiscal surplus for over two millenia. It had more gold then anyother place in the world. Wheel did not come to India. India invented the wheel for itself.
 
Oct 2015
275
Florida, USA
#3
your joking when you say wheel came from west and middle east in India. Indian civilizations are being deeply underrated by foreigners. India was indeed equal to Rome, China and Middle East with a huge fiscal surplus for over two millenia. It had more gold then anyother place in the world. Wheel did not come to India. India invented the wheel for itself.
Umm nobody even knows who invented the wheel. The oldest definitive wheel was uncovered in Europe and dates to around 3000 BC, also India did not have more gold than any other part of the world, West Africa did. In ancient and medieval times, most of the world's gold supply could be traced back to West African mines, notably the Ghana and Mali Kingdoms. Also I never talked poorly about India, I know that Indian civilizations were very sophisticated and I don't deny that it's often underrated by the West. Lastly, "India" is something relatively new. Throughout most of the Indian subcontinent's history, it was divided into many kingdoms and city-states.
 
Nov 2012
3,847
#4
Umm nobody even knows who invented the wheel. The oldest definitive wheel was uncovered in Europe and dates to around 3000 BC, also India did not have more gold than any other part of the world, West Africa did. In ancient and medieval times, most of the world's gold supply could be traced back to West African mines, notably the Ghana and Mali Kingdoms. Also I never talked poorly about India, I know that Indian civilizations were very sophisticated and I don't deny that it's often underrated by the West. Lastly, "India" is something relatively new. Throughout most of the Indian subcontinent's history, it was divided into many kingdoms and city-states.
Nope 200 hundred years each under Mughals, Mauryas, Guptas and British India was one entity. That is 800 years history for you. I am also not including the Sultanate which itself ruled right upto the southern tip for atleast 50 years after Khiljis. 850 years of entity rulership is more than what most nations in Europe would have.

You clearly did not understand my argument on gold. I didnt say India had gold mines. I said India had a huge fiscal surplus where due to positive trade balance India had more gold coming from Rome and China and Middle East due to spices,perfumes, textiles etc. This is undeniable.
 
Oct 2015
275
Florida, USA
#5
Nope 200 hundred years each under Mughals, Mauryas, Guptas and British India was one entity. That is 800 years history for you. I am also not including the Sultanate which itself ruled right upto the southern tip for atleast 50 years after Khiljis. 850 years of entity rulership is more than what most nations in Europe would have.

You clearly did not understand my argument on gold. I didnt say India had gold mines. I said India had a huge fiscal surplus where due to positive trade balance India had more gold coming from Rome and China and Middle East due to spices,perfumes, textiles etc. This is undeniable.

First of all, those empires were all ruled by different ethnic groups at different times. That would be like saying British are Romans just because Rome ruled over part of the British Isles at one point in time. Secondly, none of them ruled the whole of modern India. Secondly, why are you hijacking my thread? I asked about the use of the wheel in Sub-Saharan Africa yet you turned it into an Indian history validation thread. I suggest you keep the topic relevant to the OP otherwise I'll report you.
 
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Oct 2015
275
Florida, USA
#8
The rock paintings of Chariots in the Sahara goes back to 3000 years ago. The ancient empire of Ghana was part of the Sahara, I guess it counts. I think a map of Saharan chariot rock art paintings includes Ghana:British Museum - Chariots in the Sahara
Hm so do you think that this technology carried over to Mali and Songhai considering they were the ones to absorb the Ghana empire?
 

mansamusa

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
3,308
#9
Hm so do you think that this technology carried over to Mali and Songhai considering they were the ones to absorb the Ghana empire?
The technology may have existed and may have been adopted on a small scale. However to be honest, chariots like the sort seen in Saharan rock paintings have been proven to be quite fragile and impractical in terms of trade and transport. Therefore more practical forms of Saharan transportation such as camel caravans would have quickly replaced it. Many cultures saw no need to adopt or incorporate the wheel as part of their daily lives. It may have been less efficient than human or animal labor. For example Japan:https://youtu.be/J08wvDV3r3g
 
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