Boffins find urban life before the wheel -

A team of boffins from the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute, have dug up the remains of a society which had an urban lifestyle before the invention of the wheel.

According to Science Daily Tell Zeidan in the Euphrates River Valley near Raqqa, Syria, which had not been built upon or excavated for 6,000 years.

When it was dug into it revealed a society rich in trade, copper metallurgy and pottery production. The only thing that suggested its barbaric nature was that it didn't have the wheel or any Apple products.

It did have social classes according to power and wealth and this was long before the bigger urban civilisations in the Middle East.

Archaeologists have unearthed evidence of this society's trade in obsidian and production and development of copper processing.

Apparently if you were really wealthy you used to mark your property with stone seals.

The site covers 31 acres and is where the Balikh River joins the Euphrates River in modern-day Syria. It was a crossroads of major, ancient trade routes in Mesopotamia down the Euphrates River valley. The Ubaid period lasted from about 5300 to 4000 B.C.

It was a period of widespread irrigation, agriculture, centralized temples, powerful political leaders and the first emergence of social inequality as communities became divided into wealthy elites and poorer commoners.

Copper ore was carried to the site by workers from modern-day Diyarbakir, Turkey, about 185 to 250 miles away, then smelted at Tell Zeidan to produce metal tools and other implements.

While this might be considered a feat. In Ancient Great Britain workers carried bloody heavy Blue Stones all the way from Wales to stick in stone circles which did absolutely nothing. Of course this feat of engineering and religious futility was several thousand years later and thus closer to 1PN (the official date for the invention of pot noodle).  Wales's oldest man, Rev Spinola tells us that he can't remember that period of history, although at his age things get a little blurry before the Romans showed up.