Approximate historical map of the spread of the chariot, 2000-500 B.C.
This map shows the diffusion of chariot technology in Eurasia and to the Middle East from about 2000 BCE to 500 BCE. The ‘isochrones’ are only rough approximations.
Legend (from ):
- red, 2000 BC: area of the earliest known spoke-wheeled chariots (Sintashta-Petrovka culture)
- orange, 1900 BC: extent of the Andronovo culture, expanding from its early Sintashta-Petrovka phase; spread of technology in this area would have been unimpeded and practically instantaneous
- yellow, 1800 BC: extent of the great steppes and half-deserts of Central Asia, approximate extent of the early Indo-Iranian diaspora at that time. Note that early examples of chariots appear in Anatolia as early as around this time.
- light green, 1700 BC: unknown, early period of spread beyond the steppes
- green/cyan, 1600-1200 BC: the Kassite period in Mesopotamia, rise to notability of the chariot in the Ancient Near East, introduction to China, possibly also to the Punjab and the Gangetic plain (Rigveda) and East and North Europe (Trundholm Sun Chariot), assumed spread of the chariot as part of Late Bronze Age technology
- blue, 1000-500 BC: Iron Age spread of the chariot to W Europe by Celtic migrations