I caught a snippet from the president’s remarks. He was talking about the wheel and how it is older than the wall.
Is there historical fact to back such a statement? Or the other way around?
History Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for historians and history buffs. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
No, wheels are not older than walls.
Walls (as in city walls, designed to protect a group of people) have been discovered at Jericho, and dated to c 8000 BCE. The earliest walls of any kind that we have found so far are at Göbekli Tepe, and these have been dated to the 9th millennium BCE.
The earliest wheel that we have found was discovered in the city of Ur, and was dated c 3100 BCE, although it seems the Ljubljana Marshes Wheel is of approximately the same date, so we can't as yet make any specific attribution about where the wheel was first invented. In any event, the evidence shows that the invention of the wheel occurred much later than the first walls.
Edit - additional information from comments
According to the best evidence currently available, potter's wheels appear to have been developed slightly earlier than wheeled vehicles. And, to be fair to President Trump, it is by no means clear what type of wheel he was referring to. It is interesting that the earliest surviving potters wheels are also made from baked clay [Roger, Peter & Moorey, Stuart: Ancient Mesopotamian Materials and Industries: The Archaeological Evidence, Eisenbrauns, 1999, p146] - which has helped ensure their survival. Had they been made from organic materials, like wood, which are less likely to survive in archaeological contexts, our current understanding might have been very different.
Personally, I would not be at all surprised if future discoveries indicate that the invention of the potter's wheel and the invention of wheeled vehicles were, in fact, broadly contemporaneous. And, of course, their invention would still be nowhere near as old as walls.
It could be argued the wheel predates the wall but only technically.
The dung beetle wheels their fodder for transport. Any caveman watching a rock rolling down a hill could see a working demonstration of a wheel. The complexity of the wheel was not conceiving of the circle or even the construction. The complexity of the wheel which made it so useful for transport was figuring out how to connect a stable, stationary platform to that moving cylinder. That is what makes the wheel useful and it's what took until 3500 B.C. to first invent. 3900 BC to first use that wheel for transportation. the Wheel found in Mesopotamia in 3500 B.C. was believed to be a potter's wheel.
3500 BC post dates the forming of cities by several thousand years.
The tricky thing about the wheel is not conceiving of a cylinder rolling on its edge. It's figuring out how to connect a stable, stationary platform to that cylinder