Mongolia is a landlocked country in East Asia. Its area is equivalent with the historical territory of Outer Mongolia, that term is sometimes used to refer to the current state, it is sandwiched between China to Russia to the north. Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan. At 1,564,116 square kilometres, Mongolia is the 18th-largest and the most sparsely populated sovereign state in the world, with a population of around three million people, it is the world's second-largest landlocked country behind Kazakhstan and the largest landlocked country that does not border a closed sea. The country contains little arable land, as much of its area is covered by grassy steppe, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south. Ulaanbaatar, the capital and largest city, is home to about 45% of the country's population. Ulaanbaatar shares the rank of the world's coldest capital city with Moscow and Nur-Sultan. 30% of the population is nomadic or semi-nomadic. The majority of its population are Buddhists.
The non-religious population is the second largest group. Islam is the dominant religion among ethnic Kazakhs; the majority of the state's citizens are of Mongol ethnicity, although Kazakhs and other minorities live in the country in the west. Mongolia joined the World Trade Organization in 1997 and seeks to expand its participation in regional economic and trade groups; the area of what is now Mongolia has been ruled by various nomadic empires, including the Xiongnu, the Xianbei, the Rouran, the Turkic Khaganate, others. In 1206, Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous land empire in history, his grandson Kublai Khan conquered China to establish the Yuan dynasty. After the collapse of the Yuan, the Mongols retreated to Mongolia and resumed their earlier pattern of factional conflict, except during the era of Dayan Khan and Tumen Zasagt Khan. In the 16th century, Tibetan Buddhism began to spread in Mongolia, being further led by the Manchu-founded Qing dynasty, which absorbed the country in the 17th century.
By the early 1900s one-third of the adult male population were Buddhist monks. After the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911, Mongolia declared independence, achieved actual independence from the Republic of China in 1921. Shortly thereafter, the country came under the control of the Soviet Union, which had aided its independence from China. In 1924, the Mongolian People's Republic was founded as a socialist state. After the anti-Communist revolutions of 1989, Mongolia conducted its own peaceful democratic revolution in early 1990; this led to a multi-party system, a new constitution of 1992, transition to a market economy. Homo erectus inhabited Mongolia from 850,000 years ago. Modern humans reached Mongolia 40,000 years ago during the Upper Paleolithic; the Khoit Tsenkher Cave in Khovd Province shows lively pink and red ochre paintings of mammoths, bactrian camels, ostriches, earning it the nickname "the Lascaux of Mongolia". The venus figurines of Mal'ta testify to the level of Upper Paleolithic art in northern Mongolia.
Neolithic agricultural settlements, such as those at Norovlin, Tamsagbulag and Rashaan Khad, predated the introduction of horse-riding nomadism, a pivotal event in the history of Mongolia which became the dominant culture. Horse-riding nomadism has been documented by archeological evidence in Mongolia during the Copper and Bronze Age Afanasevo culture; the wheeled vehicles found in the burials of the Afanasevans have been dated to before 2200 BC. Pastoral nomadism and metalworking became more developed with the Okunev culture, Andronovo culture and Karasuk culture, culminating with the Iron Age Xiongnu Empire in 209 BC. Monuments of the pre-Xiongnu Bronze Age include deer stones, keregsur kurgans, square slab tombs, rock paintings. Although cultivation of crops has continued since the Neolithic, agriculture has always remained small in scale compared to pastoral nomadism. Agriculture arose independently in the region; the population during the Copper Age has been described as mongoloid in the east of what is now Mongolia, as europoid in the west.
Tocharians and Scythians inhabited western Mongolia during the Bronze Age. The mummy of a Scythian warrior, believed to be about 2,500 years old, was a 30- to 40-year-old man with blond hair; as equine nomadism was introduced into Mongolia, the political center of the Eurasian Steppe shifted to Mongolia, where it remained until the 18th century CE. The intrusions of northern pastoralists into China during the Shang dynasty and Zhou dynasty presaged the age of nomadic empires; the concept of Mongolia as an independent power north of China is expressed in a letter sent by Emperor Wen of Han to Laoshang Chanyu in 162 BC: Since prehistoric times, Mongolia has been inhabited by nomads who, from time to time, formed great confederations that rose to power and prominence. Common institutions were the office of the Khan, the Kurultai and right wings, imperial army and the decimal military system; the first of these empires, the Xiongnu of undetermined
A harpoon is a long spear-like instrument used in fishing, whaling and other marine hunting to catch large fish or marine mammals such as whales. It accomplishes this task by impaling the target animal and securing it with barb or toggling claws, allowing the fishermen to use a rope or chain attached to the butt of the projectile to catch the animal. A harpoon can be used as a weapon. In the 1990s, harpoon points, known as the Semliki harpoons or the Katanda harpoons, were found in the Katanda region in Zaire; as the earliest known harpoons, these weapons were made and used 90,000 years ago, most to spear catfishes. In Japan, spearfishing with poles was widespread in palaeolithic times during the Solutrean and Magdalenian periods. Cosquer Cave in Southern France contains cave art over 16,000 years old, including drawings of seals which appear to have been harpooned. There are references to harpoons in ancient literature, though, in most cases, the descriptions do not go into detail. An early example can be found in the Bible in Job 41:7: "Can you fill its hide with harpoons or its head with fishing spears?"
The Greek historian Polybius, in his Histories, describes hunting for swordfish by using a harpoon with a barbed and detachable head. Copper harpoons were known to the seafaring Harappans well into antiquity. Early hunters in India include the Mincopie people, aboriginal inhabitants of India's Andaman and Nicobar islands, who have used harpoons with long cords for fishing since early times; the two flue harpoon was the primary weapon used in whaling around the world, but it tended to penetrate no deeper than the soft outer layer of blubber. Thus it was possible for the whale to escape by struggling or swimming away forcefully enough to pull the shallowly embedded barbs out backwards; this flaw was corrected in the early nineteenth century with the creation of the one flue harpoon. In the Arctic, the indigenous people used the more advanced toggling harpoon design. In the mid-19th century, the toggling harpoon was adapted by Lewis Temple; the Temple toggle was used, came to dominate whaling. In his famous novel Moby-Dick, Herman Melville explained the reason for the harpoon's effectiveness: In most land animals there are certain valves or flood gates in many of their veins, whereby when wounded, the blood is in some degree at least shut off in certain directions.
Not so with the whale. Yet so vast is the quantity of blood in him, so distant and numerous its interior fountains, that he will keep thus bleeding and bleeding for a considerable period, he describes another device, at times a necessary addition to harpoons: All whale-boats carry certain curious contrivances invented by the Nantucket Indians, called druggs. Two thick squares of wood of equal size are stoutly clenched together, so that they cross each other's grain at right angles, it is chiefly among gallied whales. For more whales are close round you than you can chase at one time, but sperm whales are not every day encountered. And if you cannot kill them all at once, you must wing them, so that they can be afterwards killed at your leisure. Hence it is; the first use of explosives in the hunting of whales was made by the British South Sea Company in 1737, after some years of declining catches. A large fleet was armed with cannon-fired harpoons. Although the weaponry was successful in killing the whales, most of the catch sank before being retrieved.
However, the system was still used, underwent successive improvements at the hands of various inventors over the next century, including Abraham Stagholt in the 1770s and George Manby in the early 19th century. William Congreve, who invented some of the first rockets for British Army use, designed a rocket-propelled whaling harpoon in the 1820s; the shell was designed to impale the whale with the harpoon. The weapon was in turn attached by a line to the boat, the hope was that the explosion would generate enough gas within the whale to keep it afloat for retrieval. Expeditions were sent out to try this new technology; these early devices, called bomb lances, became used for the hunting of humpbacks and right whales. A notable user of these early explosive harpoons was the American Thomas Welcome Roys in 1865, who set up a shore station in Seydisfjördur, Iceland. A slump in oil prices after the American Civil War forced their endeavor into bankruptcy in 1867. An early version of the explosive harpoon was designed by Jacob Nicolai Walsøe, a Norwegian painter and inventor.
His 1851 application was rejected by the interior ministry on the grounds that he had received public funding for his experiments. In 1867, a Danish fi
Pottery is the process of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fired to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include earthenware and porcelain; the place where such wares are made by a potter is called a pottery. The definition of pottery used by the American Society for Testing and Materials, is "all fired ceramic wares that contain clay when formed, except technical and refractory products." In archaeology of ancient and prehistoric periods, "pottery" means vessels only, figures etc. of the same material are called "terracottas". Clay as a part of the materials used is required by some definitions of pottery, but this is dubious. Pottery is one of the oldest human inventions, originating before the Neolithic period, with ceramic objects like the Gravettian culture Venus of Dolní Věstonice figurine discovered in the Czech Republic dating back to 29,000–25,000 BC, pottery vessels that were discovered in Jiangxi, which date back to 18,000 BC.
Early Neolithic pottery artefacts have been found in places such as Jōmon Japan, the Russian Far East, Sub-Saharan Africa and South America. Pottery is made by forming a ceramic body into objects of a desired shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln and induces reactions that lead to permanent changes including increasing the strength and solidity of the object's shape. Much pottery is purely utilitarian, but much can be regarded as ceramic art. A clay body can be decorated after firing. Clay-based pottery can divided in three main groups: earthenware and porcelain; these require more specific clay material, higher firing temperatures. All three are made for different purposes. All may be decorated by various techniques. In many examples the group a piece belongs to is visually apparent, but this is not always the case; the fritware of the Islamic world does not use clay, so technically falls outside these groups. Historic pottery of all these types is grouped as either "fine" wares expensive and well-made, following the aesthetic taste of the culture concerned, or alternatively "coarse", "popular" "folk" or "village" wares undecorated, or so, less well-made.
All the earliest forms of pottery were made from clays that were fired at low temperatures in pit-fires or in open bonfires. They were hand undecorated. Earthenware can be fired as low as 600°C, is fired below 1200°C; because unglazed biscuit earthenware is porous, it has limited utility for the storage of liquids, eating off. However, earthenware has a continuous history from the Neolithic period to today, it can be made from a wide variety of clays, some of which fire to a buff, brown or black colour, with iron in the constituent minerals resulting in a reddish-brown. Reddish coloured varieties are called terracotta when unglazed or used for sculpture; the development of ceramic glaze which makes it impermeable makes it a popular and practical form of pottery. The addition of decoration has evolved throughout its history. Stoneware is pottery, fired in a kiln at a high temperature, from about 1,100°C to 1,200°C, is stronger and non-porous to liquids; the Chinese, who developed stoneware early on, classify this together with porcelain as high-fired wares.
In contrast, stoneware could only be produced in Europe from the late Middle Ages, as European kilns were less efficient, the right sorts of clay less common. It remained a speciality of Germany until the Renaissance. Stoneware is tough and practical, much of it has always been utilitarian, for the kitchen or storage rather than the table, but "fine" stoneware has been important in China and the West, continues to be made. Many utilitarian types have come to be appreciated as art. Porcelain is made by heating materials including kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between 1,200 and 1,400 °C; this is higher than used for the other types, achieving these temperatures was a long struggle, as well as realizing what materials were needed. The toughness and translucence of porcelain, relative to other types of pottery, arises from vitrification and the formation of the mineral mullite within the body at these high temperatures. Although porcelain was first made in China, the Chinese traditionally do not recognise it as a distinct category, grouping it with stoneware as "high-fired" ware, opposed to "low-fired" earthenware.
This confuses the issue of. A degree of translucency and whiteness was achieved by the Tang Dynasty, considerable quantities were being exported; the modern level of whiteness was not reached until much in the 14th century. Porcelain was made in Korea and in Japan from the end of the 16th century, after suitable kaolin was located in those countries, it was not made outside East Asia until the 18th century. Before being shaped, clay must be prepared. Kneading helps to ensure an moisture content throughout the body. Air trapped within the clay body needs to be removed; this is called de-airing and can be accomplished either by a machine called a vacuum pug or manually by wedging. Wedging can help produce an moisture content. Once a clay body has been kneaded and de-aired or wedged, it is shaped by a variety of techniques. After it has been shaped, it is dried and fired. Greenware refers to unfired objects. At sufficient moisture content, bodies at this stage are in their most plastic form (as they are soft and mal
In archaeological terms, a projectile point is an object, hafted to weapon, capable of being thrown or projected, such as a spear, dart, or arrow, or used as a knife. They are thus different from weapons presumed to have been kept in the hand, such as axes and maces, the stone mace or axe-heads attached to them. Stone tools, including projectile points, can survive for long periods, were lost or discarded, are plentiful at archaeological sites, providing useful clues to the human past, including prehistoric trade. A distinctive form of point, identified though lithic analysis of the way it was made, is a key diagnostic factor in identifying an archaeological industry or culture. Scientific techniques exist to track the specific kinds of rock or minerals that used to make stone tools in various regions back to their original sources; as well as stone, projectile points were made of worked bone, antler or ivory. In regions where metallurgy emerged, projectile points were made from copper, bronze, or iron, though the change was by no means immediate.
In North America, some late prehistoric points were fashioned from copper, mined in the Lake Superior region and elsewhere. A large variety of prehistoric arrowheads, dart points, spear points have been discovered. Flint, obsidian and many other rocks and minerals were used to make points in North America; the oldest projectile points found in North America were long thought to date from about 13,000 years ago, during the Paleo-Indian period, however recent evidence suggests that North American projectile points may date to as old as 15,500 years. Some of the more famous Paleo-Indian types include Clovis and Dalton points. Projectile points fall into two general types: dart/spear points, arrow points. Larger points were used to atlatl darts. Arrow points are smaller and lighter than dart points, were used to tip arrows; the question of how to distinguish an arrow point from a point used on a larger projectile is non-trivial. According to some investigators, the best indication is the width of the hafting area, thought to correlate to the width of the shaft.
An alternative approach is to distinguish arrow points by their smaller size. Projectile points come in an amazing variety of shapes and styles, which vary according to chronological periods, cultural identities, intended functions. Typological studies of projectile points have become more elaborate through the years. For instance, Gregory Perino began his categorical study of projectile point typology in the late 1950s. Collaborating with Robert Bell, he published a set of four volumes defining the known point types of that time. Perino followed this several years with a three-volume study of "Selected Preforms and Knives of the North American Indians". Another recent set of typological studies of North American projectile points has been produced by Noel Justice. Bare Island projectile point Cascade point Clovis point Cumberland point Eden point Folsom point Greene projectile point Jack's Reef pentagonal projectile point Lamoka projectile point Levanna projectile point Susquehanna broad projectile point Plano point Elf-arrows Levallois technique Lithic reduction
Mortar and pestle
Mortar and pestle are implements used since ancient times to prepare ingredients or substances by crushing and grinding them into a fine paste or powder in the kitchen and pharmacy. The mortar is a bowl made of hard wood, ceramic, or hard stone, such as granite; the pestle is a blunt club-shaped object. The substance to be ground, which may be wet or dry, is placed in the mortar, where the pestle is pressed and rotated onto it until the desired texture is achieved. Scientists have found ancient mortars and pestles that date back to 35000 BC; the English word mortar derives from classical Latin mortarium, among several other usages, "receptacle for pounding" and "product of grinding or pounding". The classical Latin pistillum, meaning "pounder", led to English pestle; the Roman poet Juvenal applied both mortarium and pistillum to articles used in the preparation of drugs, reflecting the early use of the mortar and pestle as a symbol of a pharmacist or apothecary. The antiquity of these tools is well documented in early writing, such as the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus of ~1550 BC and the Old Testament.
Mortars and pestles were traditionally used in pharmacies to crush various ingredients prior to preparing an extemporaneous prescription. The mortar and pestle, with the Rod of Asclepius, the Green Cross, others, is one of the most pervasive symbols of pharmacology, along with the show globe. For pharmaceutical use, the mortar and the head of the pestle are made of porcelain, while the handle of the pestle is made of wood; this is known as a Wedgwood mortar and pestle and originated in 1759. Today the act of reducing the particle size is known as trituration. Mortars and pestles are used as drug paraphernalia to grind up pills to speed up absorption when they are ingested, or in preparation for insufflation. To finely ground drugs, not available in liquid dosage form is used if patients need artificial nutrition such as parenteral nutrition or by nasogastric tube. Mortars are used in cooking to prepare wet or oily ingredients such as guacamole and pesto, as well as grinding spices into powder.
The molcajete, a version used by pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican cultures including the Aztec and Maya, stretching back several thousand years, is made of basalt and is used in Mexican cooking. Other Native American nations use mortars carved into the bedrock to other nuts. Many such depressions can be found in their territories. In Japan large mortars are used with wooden mallets to prepare mochi. A regular sized Japanese mortar and pestle are called surikogi, respectively. Granite mortars and pestles are used in Southeast Asia, as well as India. In India, it is used extensively to make spice mixtures for various delicacies as well as day to day dishes. With the advent of motorized grinders, use of the mortar and pestle has decreased, it is traditional in various Hindu ceremonies to crush turmeric in these mortars. In Malay, it is known as batu lesung. Large stone mortars, with long wood pestles were used in West Asia to grind meat for a type of meatloaf, or kibbeh, as well as the hummus variety known as masabcha.
In Indonesia and the Netherlands mortar is known as Cobek or Tjobek and pestle is known as Ulekan or Oelekan. It is used to make fresh sambal, a spicy chili condiment, hence the sambal ulek/oelek denote its process using pestle, it is used to grind peanut and other ingredients to make peanut sauce for gado-gado. Large mortars and pestles are used in developing countries to husk and dehull grain; these are made of wood, operated by one or more persons. Good mortar and pestle-making materials must be hard enough to crush the substance rather than be worn away by it, they can not be too brittle either. The material should be cohesive, so that small bits of the mortar or pestle do not mix in with the ingredients. Smooth and non-porous materials are trap the substances being ground. In food preparation, a rough or absorbent material may cause the strong flavour of a past ingredient to be tasted in food prepared later; the food particles left in the mortar and on the pestle may support the growth of microorganisms.
When dealing with medications, the prepared drugs may interact or mix, contaminating the used ingredients. Rough ceramic mortar and pestle sets can be used to reduce substances to fine powders, but stain and are brittle. Porcelain mortars are sometimes conditioned for use by grinding some sand to give them a rougher surface which helps to reduce the particle size. Glass mortars and pestles are fragile, but suitable for use with liquids. However, they do not grind as finely as the ceramic type. Other materials used include stone marble or agate, bamboo, steel and basalt. Mortar and pestle sets made from the wood of old grape vines have proved reliable for grinding salt and pepper at the dinner table. Uncooked rice is sometimes ground in mortars to clean them; this process must be repeated until the rice comes out white. Some stones, such as molcajete, need to be seasoned first before use. Metal mortars are kept oiled. Since the results obtained with hand grinding are neither reproducible nor reliable, most laboratories work with automatic mortar grinders.
Grinding time and pressure of the mortar can be adjusted and fixed, saving time and labor. The first automatic Mortar Grinder was invented by F. Kurt
The Schöningen spears are a set of eight wooden throwing spears from the Palaeolithic Age that were excavated between 1994 and 1998 in the open-cast lignite mine in Schöningen, Helmstedt district, together with an associated cache of 16,000 animal bones. The excavations took place under the management of Hartmut Thieme of the Lower Saxony State Service for Cultural Heritage. Assessed as being between 380,000 and 400,000 years old, they represent the oldest preserved hunting weapons of prehistoric Europe so far discovered; as such they predate the age of Neanderthal Man, is associated with Homo heidelbergensis. The spears support the practice of hunting by archaic humans in Europe in the late Lower Paleolithic; the age of the spears was estimated from their stratigraphic position, "sandwiched between deposits of the Elsterian and Saalian glaciations, situated within a well-studied sedimentary sequence.". More thermoluminescence dating of heated flints in a deposit beneath that which contained the spears suggested that the spears were between 337,000 and 300,000 years old.
The site of the finds is one of 13 Palaeolithic places of discovery in the open-cast, lignite mine, excavated in the course of the prospection of the quaternary surface layer from 1992 to 2009. The 60 by 50 m excavation base, excluded from coal mining represents a small segment of a former littoral zone; this zone has been visited over millennia, between the Elster- and Saale ice ages, by humans and animals alike. The pedestal displays five massive, layered sediment packages that were created by varying levels of the lake and silting-up processes. Thanks to the quick, airtight covering of the archaeological layers by mud, the organic materials are exceptionally well preserved. In the sequence of the sedimentary layers, climate changes can be read with a high resolution - from a warm, dry phase to airy deciduous forests to tundra; the spears themselves are from an 10 m wide and 50 m long strip, parallel to the former lake shore in the sedimentary layer four, the late Holstein-interglacial. The archaeological layers beneath have only been excavated and have been an objective of a research excavation by the DFG since 2010.
Together with the spears, some stone artefacts, chips as well as over 10,000 animal bones were found, amongst them 90% horse bones, followed by red deer and European bison. The horse bones are indicative of at least 20 individuals, they show numerous cut marks made by stone tools, but only a few bite marks made by animals. The site is interpreted by the excavator Harald Thieme as testimony of a hunting event as well as the following cutting up and preparation of the kill. According to his scenario, the thick reeds at the lake shore gave the hunters cover, from where the horses, trapped between the hunters and the lake, were culled with accurate spear throws; because there are bones of young animals amongst the horse bones, he concludes that the hunt took place in autumn. Furthermore, he sees evidence of ritualistic activity; the spears, deformed by the load of the sediment pressure, are made from slim, straight spruce stems – except for spear IV, made from pine wood. The spears vary in length with diameters ranging from 29 to 47 mm.
They have been worked thoroughly and are evidence of developed technological skills and of a workmanlike tradition. Like in today’s tournament javelins, the greatest diameter and therefore its centre of gravity is in the front third of the shaft; the tips are worked symmetrically from the base of the stems, the end of the tips were worked beside the medullary ray, the weakest part of the stem, on purpose. In their throwing qualities, the Schöningen Spears are equal to modern tournament javelins. During tests, athletes could throw replicas up to 70 m; the choice of the wood is to be climatically determined, because during the cooler climate near the end of the interglacial, conifers grew close to the site of the finds. More unique wooden artefacts were found at the place of discovery of the wild horse hunting camp: a charred wooden staff as well as a wooden tool, tapered at both ends, interpreted as a throwing stick; the stone tools at the place of discovery consist of different pointed forms.
Evidence of blank production is missing. Among the finds are the so-called "grooved wooden tools", excavated at the place of discovery No. 12. Made from the hard wooden branch-bases of the European silver fir, noticeably incised at one end, they may have been used as a mounting for stone blades. If this interpretation is correct, they are the oldest composite tools of mankind. Thanks to the good preservation conditions at the place of discovery, there are many finds of small animals, among them small mammals, fish and insects. Together with the carpological remains they make a detailed reconstruction of the climate and the environment of the passing of an interglacial period possible; the spears and the place of discovery have revolutionized the picture of the cultural and social development of early humans. The widespread opinion was that Homo heidelbergensis were simple beings without language that lived on plants and carrion; the spears and their correlated finds are evidence of complex technological skills and are the fir
The ard, ard plough, or scratch plough is a simple light plough without a mouldboard. It is symmetrical on either side of its line of draft and is fitted with a symmetrical share that traces a shallow furrow but does not invert the soil, it began to be replaced in most of Europe by the carruca turnplough from the 7th century. In its simplest form it resembles a hoe, consisting of a draft-pole pierced with a nearly vertical, spiked head, dragged through the soil by draft animals and rarely by people; the ard-head is at one end a stilt for steering and at the other a share which gouges the surface ground. More sophisticated models have a composite pole, where the section attached to the head is called the draft-beam, the share may be made of stone or iron; some have two separate stilts for handles. The share comes in two basic forms: a socket share slipped over the nose of the ard-head. Additionally, a slender protruding chisel can be fitted over the top of the mainshare. Rather than cutting and turning the soil to produce ridged furrows, the ard breaks up a narrow strip of soil and cuts a shallow furrow, leaving intervening strips undisturbed.
The ard is not suited for clearing new land, so grass and undergrowth are removed with hoes or mattocks. Cross-ploughing is necessary to break the soil up better, where the soil is tilled twice at right angles to the original direction; this results in square or diamond-shaped fields and is effective at clearing annual weeds. The ard's shallow furrows are ideal for most cereals, if the seed is sown broadcast, the ard can be used to cover the seed in rows. In fact, the ard may have been invented in the Near East to cover seed rather than till; that would explain. The ard is most useful on light soils such as loams or sands, or in mountain fields where the soil is thin, can be safely used in areas where deep ploughing would turn up hardpan or would cause salination or erosion. Ards may be drawn by oxen, water buffalo, camels, or other animals. Ards come in a number of varieties. Based on use, there are two kinds: the tilth ard, for cutting furrows in cleared land, the rip ard, or sod buster, which has a hooked share that gouges deeper into the soil and more clears virgin or fallow land.
The two were in early times used in conjunction with each other. Third is the seed drill ard, used in Mesopotamia, which added a funnel for dropping seed in the furrows as the ard cut them; the earliest and most basic tilth ards are the two-piece models: bow ard, made of a bow-shaped draft-pole pierced by a spear-like head developing a composite body with a separate head and stilt inserted in the pole. The bow ard is the weaker and earlier of the two, it is used for shallow tillage with a tang share, in dry, stony soils. It is restricted to the Mediterranean, Ethiopia and eastern India and Sumatra; the more widespread body ard and heavier for deeper tillage has a socket share, sometimes laterally extended or has serrated wings for better mixing of soil and cutting of weeds. It had a short portion of the body, first made to slide on the furrow bottom and developed into a horizontal body; the body ard dominates in Portugal, western Spain, the Balkans, Sri Lanka, Thailand and most of Latin America.
The bow ard favored the development of a long horizontal sole body sliding on the ground. This led to the sole ard, first attested in Bronze Age Cyprus, being single-handled and consisting of a flat sole into which were set the draft-pole and stilt, meaning there were three separate pieces, their use in Ancient Greek agriculture was described by Hesiod. In northern Europe the single-handled crook ard was favored, consisting of a stilt inserted into a pole with a crook-shaft, i.e. the pole had a curved shape and had a natural crook tip that served as a share. Variations of the sole ard come in two types: the triangular and quadrangular ards; the triangular ard has a horizontal sole body holding the beam and stilt which cross each other, forming a triangle at the base. The quandrangular ard has a horizontal sole body connected to a straight, nearly parallel beam by a stilt and a brace. Evidence of its use in prehistory is sometimes found at archaeological sites where the long, shallow scratches it makes can be seen cutting into the subsoil.
The ard first appears in the mid-Neolithic and is related to the domestication of cattle. It spread with animal traction in general across the cereal-growing cultures of the Neolithic Old World, its exact point of origin is unknown, but it spread throughout West Asia, South Asia and Europe in the late Neolithic and early Chalcolithic. Evidence appears in the Near East in the 6th millennium BC. Iron versions appeared c. 2300 BC both in 3rd-dynasty Egypt. In Europe, the earliest known wooden ard dates from around 2300-2000 BC, but the earliest scratch marks date from 3500-3000 BC. All of these were bow ards depicted in the rock drawings of Bohuslän, Fontanalba, France; the first bow ards were adapted from hoes and like instruments a