Monday, June 28, 2010

Where was the wheel invented?

The earliest wheels discovered so far were found in graves at Kish and Susa, two ancient Mesopotamian cities. These wheels are believed to date from 3,500 B.C. They were made from three planks, clamped together with copper clasps. This kind of wheel also existed in ancient times in Europe and the Near East. No one is sure where the wheel was invented, but this archeological evidence suggests it was probably in ancient Mesopotamia.

A wheel with proper spokes was not invented until after 2,000 B.C. There are records of this wheel in northern Mesopotamia, central Turkey, and north east Persia. By the 15th Century B.C., spoke wheels were being used on chariots in Syria, Egypt, and the western Mediterranean.

The solid wheel was used mostly in farming. Tripartite wheels - wheels with three spokes - were being used in the Bronze Age in Denmark, Germany, and northern Italy for carts.

The invention of the wheel made it possible for people to transport heavy objects much more easily. It also enabled them to travel farther and trade with each other more easily, and so find out about other countries and customs.

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