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Chariot Racers of the Steppes


The invention of the chariot reinvented the art of warfare. This high-speed, highly maneuverable vehicle gave a warrior a protected platform from which he could shoot an arrow or launch a spear and make a quick getaway. Archeologists have long assumed that the first charioteers were the urban sophisticates of ancient Mesopotamia, the innovators who gave us writing and metallurgy–and, more to the point, the wheel. But David Anthony, an archeologist from Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York, subscribes to a different theory. He thinks the earliest charioteers were not the people who invented the wheel but the people who first rode on horseback – the nomads of the Eurasian steppes.

Chariot Racers of the Steppes

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