Pre-History & Archaeology

Toy cart

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Toy cart
C. 2500 B.C.

Place of Origin: Harappa
Materials: Clay
Dimensions: Height: 11 cm
Acc. No. HR 13974/222

A toy but indexing life's actual mode, as it was then lived, this plaything, cast in fine clay, assembled using clay wheels and trolley for containing goods, and wooden shafts, is a tiny model of the carts that the Harappan settlers used in their day-today life for transporting their loads, and sometimes also passengers. Tracts of land around his settlements were flat alluvial plains where to plough fields or to draw carts, that is, from cultivation to transportation, besides the source of this dairyman's nourishing food, the cattle was the Indus man's ultimate power. The carts' tracks revealed in excavations and a number of two-wheeled tiny cart models recovered from various Harappan sites attest the massive use of bulls-driven carts by the Indus man. Excavations of various Harappan sites have revealed such tiny models of about six types of carts.

A highly simplified form, the toy cart consists of two wheels with hubs, even in thickness and perfectly rounded, a trolley shaped like a bowl with a rectangular frame and two projections on its underside to attach it to the axel, a wooden shaft, the axel, for holding the wheels, draw-shaft, and another, the yoke holding the cart over the bulls' shoulders. The wheels and the trolley's projections are holed for the axle to pass through. A perfect mechanism, the trolley's projected part also has yet another hole in the centre to attach it with draw-shaft and finally with the yoke affording the cart complete form. In every likeness such carts were used for covering short to medium distances.

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