Fascinating facts about the invention of the wheel by Mesopotamian's in c3500 BC"
The wheel is probably t he most important mechanical invention of all time.' Nearly every machine built since
the beginning of the lndustrial Revtlution involves a single, basic principle embodied in one of mankind's truly
significant inventions. It's hard to imagine any mechanized system that would be possible without the wheel or
the idea of a symmetncal component moving in a circular motion on an axis. From tiny watch gears to
automobiles., jet engines and computer disk drives. the principle is the same'
Based on diagrams on ancient clay tablets, the earliest known use of this essential invention was a potter's
wheel that was used at Ur in Mesopotamia (a part of modern Iraq) as early as 3500 BC. The first use of the
wheel for transportation was probably on Mesopotamian chariots in 3200 BC. It is interesting to note that
wheels may have had industrial or manufacturing applications before they were used on vehicles'
A wheel with spokes first appeared on Egyptian chariotsa round 2 000 BC, and wheels seemed to have developed
in Europe by 1400 B.C. Without any influence from the Middle East. Because the idea of the wheel appears so
simple, it's easy to assume tha tthe wheel would have simply "happened" in every culture when it reached a
particular level of soph istication. However, this, is not the case.The great Inca, Aztec and Maya civilizations
reachedan extremely high level of development yet they never used the wheel. In fact' there is no evidence that
the use of the wheel existed among native people anywhere in the Western Hemisphere until well after contact
Even in Europe, the whee levolved little until the beginning of the nineteenth century.
However, with the coming of the Industrial revolution the wheel became the central component of technology, and came to be used in thousands of ways in countless different mechanism.