Major Engineering Events in History: Invention of the Wheel 3000 B.C.

About the major engineering events in history, the invention of the wheel for transportation in 3000 B.C.

Great Engineering Feats from Early Times to the Present

3000 B.C. (Wheeled Transportation Is Realized). Man had lived on earth for centuries before necessity caused him to create the wheel, a device which enabled him to move heavy loads over long distances. The earliest examples of wheeled vehicles were little more than sleds with 2 attached solid wheels, but this was an enormous improvement over dragging. Early examples of these wheeled vehicles were found within a region between Lake Van in eastern Asia Minor and Lake Urmia in northern Iran, an area no more than 1,200 mi. across. This evidence indicates that these wheeled vehicles emerged more than 5,000 years ago, during the final centuries of the 4th Millennium. The remains of later vehicles, both carts and wagons, often survive as nothing more than stains in the soil, such as those found in the royal tombs at Kish and Ur, in Mesopotamia. Evidence was found during the mid-1960s in the region between the Black and Caspian seas of the U.S.S.R. that disk-wheeled vehicles flourished during the Kura-Araxes culture, beginning about 3000 B.C. Here pottery models of vehicles with wellmarked, hubbed, disk wheels were found that were identical to the vehicles buried at a later date in Kish and Ur. Based on this evidence, Russia, not Mesopotamia, appears to have fostered man's tentative love affair with the wheel, a love affair that has endured throughout the ages.

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