On Wednesday 16 July 2003 06:34 pm, JS Bangs wrote:
> Thomas R. Wier sikyal:
> > Quoting John Cowan <[log in to unmask]>:
> >
> > > Mark J. Reed scripsit:
> > >
> > > > Okay, my goal is to design a family of languages that all
> > > > from PIE, but have been completely isolated from all other
> > > > members of that family for the past few tens of millennia
> > >
> > > The time depth of PIE is only about 6000 years.
> >
> > This is by no means universally accepted, though it is the currently
> > reigning orthodoxy.  In particular, those who advocate an Anatolian
> > Urheimat, such as Colin Renfrew, usually claim an age of somewhere
> > between 7,000 and 9,000 years B.P., when agriculture was spreading
> > out of Anatolia into Europe and elsewhere. One of the key pieces of
> > evidence usually cited in favor of the orthodox age is the fact that
> > a PIE root for "wheel" can be reconstructed, and no wheels have been
> > discovered earlier than about 6,000 years B.P.
> >
> > (While I have no strong opinion on this, I have never gotten an
> > adequate response about the existence of wheels existing in
> > PreColumbian Meso-America which were used only with toys, and
> > not with modes of transportation.)
> Curious--what is the inconsistency here? The wheel could easily have
> invented multiple times, and as for its failure to become important in
> Meso-America, I have always heard that attributed to the lack of large
> pack animals to make carts/plows worthwhile.
> Curious that that Incas never invented carts to hook up to their
> though.

I think carts need a combination of suitably sized draft animals and
suitable (i.e. not too vertical or bumpy) terrain to be really useful.
Also a good way of harnessing the critter (horse collars were a fairly
late (and revolutionary) development: there´s a reason ox-carts came

Aside from the obvious Andean terrain problems, llamas may be a little
on the small side for pulling carts, or their anatomy may not be easily
adaptable for pulling against a harness instead of carrying weight in

Elyse Grasso

The World of Cherani Station
Cherani Tradespeech