Historical story

Vase from Bronocice and its secrets

Ok. 5700 years ago, an anonymous artist placed a drawing of a wagon with four wheels on a clay vase. It was done by an artist who lives in today's Poland!

It is believed to be the first drawing of a sled vehicle in human history. If so, it means that the ancient inhabitants of our country knew and used the wheel before it was discovered by the oldest civilizations of mankind!

The Mesopotamian Circle

It is believed that the invention, a breakthrough for the technology and development of civilization, saw the light of day in the middle of the 4th millennium BCE. in Mesopotamia . From this period come the first written certificates documenting the use of the wheel . First was the potter's wheel, then the transport wheel.

The oldest material remains of a displacement wheel were found in Slovenia. It is a open wooden wheel in a swamp near Ljubljana - the Slovenian capital. Scientists estimated the age of the find to be 5100–5300 years . The wooden circle is 72 cm in diameter and 5 cm thick. It is made of two types of wood - two ash "disks" connected with four oak wedges. In addition to the wheel, which is most likely part of a single-axle bogie, an oak axle itself, 142 cm long, was also found.

It is believed that the invention, a breakthrough for the technology and development of civilization, saw the light of day in the middle of the 4th millennium BCE. in Mesopotamia.

The Ljubljana wheel is to this day the oldest known transport wheel . It is supposed that the wheels were previously used in Mesopotamia. The first wheels of mankind were full - and therefore heavy - "plates" wooden or stone. Over time, they were constructed by combining several elements. Only around the 20th and 15th centuries BCE In the Middle East, lighter spoke wheels were discovered. Sometimes their invention is attributed to the Hittites, who placed on their seals the image of a wheel with four spokes. But is the Middle East really the cradle of the invention that changed the fate of civilization? Not necessarily.

Funnelbeaker culture

Far north of the Middle East, and also from the Balkans - in today's Poland (with a cradle in Kujawy) from the 4th millennium BC the so-called Funnelbeaker culture . The name comes from its characteristic product, namely dishes with a widely flared, "funnel-shaped" collar. Representatives of the Funnelbeaker culture, like other Neolithic peoples, already led a sedentary lifestyle . They were engaged in the cultivation and cultivation of cereals . These people did not come from anywhere. This culture was born in Poland. Its representatives used the plow, created ceramics, and also mined flint from the mines in Krzemionki and Świeciechów-Lasek near Annapol.

Scientists are more and more fascinated by this mysterious prehistoric people, which turns out to be amazingly developed for the times when man was just beginning to subjugate nature. One of the most spectacular and mysterious remains of this culture are huge megalithic graves, sometimes called the Polish pyramids be the tombs of the giants. It is about large stone and earth structures containing skeleton tombs - most likely of chiefs or other important social figures.

Piramidy made in Poland

These buildings were built in Kujawy (including Izbica Kujawska, Wietrzychowice) and Western Pomerania - from around 3500 BC. They were erected on the plan of an elongated triangle or trapezoid. They were up to 150 meters long and several meters high at the forehead. The boulders from which they were built weighed even several tons.

The buildings are distinguished by a characteristic structure. At the front of the tomb, that is in the front, higher part, there was an entrance to the so-called mortuary temple and only behind it was the tomb itself. Men were buried there in the advanced, as for the Neolithic age, 40-50 years. Valuable personal belongings, such as weapons, were put into the graves. Sometimes there were also characteristic clay "bottles", the so-called flasks with orifice , reminiscent of poppies. According to the researchers, it is possible that they were used to store poppy seeds or a decoction of this plant, which was narcotic and analgesic. The poppy was cultivated and used by this community, among others for magical purposes.

The most famous Polish megalithic tombs are in Wietrzychowice.

Megalithic structures have always been facing east. The long tomb gradually narrowed and decreased in size. Even 400-600 huge stones and hundreds of tons of soil were used for construction. Researchers believe that temples in megalithic "pyramids" were used not only for funeral ceremonies . There may have been other rituals that are important to the community. The earth embankments themselves were the centers of worship for a few or a dozen nearby settlements. The construction of the great pyramids required a great deal of effort and organization from the community. The structures were therefore a testimony to the strength of the group, but also to the developed belief system and spiritual life.

Circle from the Vistula River

It was this culture that also left behind another, apparently less spectacular artifact. It is about a clay vessel with the world's oldest representation of a four-wheeled wagon . The image of the vehicle was engraved on the so-called vase z Bronocic . This vessel was discovered in 1976 in Bronocice on Nidzica in the Świętokrzyskie Province, 50 km from Krakow.

Vase from Bronocice

The artist who embellished the vase included a mapping of typical elements of the group's everyday life - so there were images of a tree, river, crops and a wagon with two axles, four wheels and a drawbar . The fact that this is the meaning of "drawing" is indicated by other remnants. The bones of the turns were discovered in the vicinity of the vase. The animals' horns were chafed, suggesting that they were covered with a kind of yoke. Then it is the rounds that would be draft animals used to pull carts.

The time of the vessel formation is estimated at 3635–3370 BC. Picture on the so-called the vase from Bronocice, which can be admired at the Archaeological Museum in Krakow, is considered to be the oldest reproduction of a wheeled vehicle in the world . If this is the case, it proves that the wheel and carts were known and used in Central Europe, in today's Poland, much earlier, before the oldest civilizations of mankind in the Middle East started using it.


  1. Konrad J jazdewski, Culture of Funnel Beakers in Western and Central Poland , Poznań 1936.
  2. Aleksandra Cofta-Broniewska, Aleksander Kośko, Primary history of the Kujawy societies , Warsaw - Poznań 1982.
  3. Janusz Ostoja-Zagórski, The most ancient history of the Polish lands , Bydgoszcz 2005.
  4. Adam Ziółkowski, The Universal History. Antiquity, Warsaw 2009.
  5. "Megaliths. A history from 5500 years ago ”, dir. Krzysztof Paluszyński.