The world's oldest wheel found at the Ljubljana Marshes in 2002 is on display at the City Museum of Ljubljana. The 5,200-year-old wooden wheel with its axle, in terms of both age and technological perfection, belongs at the very peak of the world's cultural heritage.

The world's oldest wheel found at the Ljubljana Marshes in 2002 is on display at the City Museum of Ljubljana. The 5,200-year-old wooden wheel with its axle, in terms of both age and technological perfection, belongs at the very peak of the world's cultural heritage.

The wheel consists of two ash plates, which are joined with four oak wedges; its diameter is 72 cm. The choice of wood, taking into account shrinkage and stretching, and the manner of fixing and joining, indicates an extremely skilful master who was an expert on wood species. It was excavated from the remains of the pile dwelling settlement in the Ljubljana marshes (Ljubljansko barje).

The pile-dwellers (about 5,000-1,000 B.C.) had a unique culture. They lived in pile-dwellings, i.e. wooden settlements built on piles which were set on the bottom of marshes or lakes. Archaeologists have found over 10,000 artefacts from different historical periods, which is why the pile-dwellings near the Alps joined the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011.

Photo: MGML, Matevž Paternoster