Important Scientific Discoveries, Developments and People | 2 of 33
This extremely helpful invention has come and gone throughout the ages, it has been invented, forgotten and then reinvented a few times. It is however known that around 6,000 years ago, humans were using the wheel for such things as plows and sledges.
It is believed that using stones or logs as rollers may have been the precursor to the modern wheel. Although there is an issue with this theory, and it is that logs tend to split and fall apart rather easily, while in the Middle East where the first modern where was seen, the types of tress necessary to make rollers were not abundant.
In archaeology, a wheel which rotates on an axle is a sign of (relatively) advanced civilization. The earliest sighting of a wheel on an axle was around 3,200 B.C.E. in Mesopotamia, that which is now Iraq. The construction was rather basic and was seen in similar but more refined forms at later times in such places as Egypt and Rome. The wheel was also seen around 2,800 B.C.E. in China, although it is believed that it was discovered independently.
It is believed that the first use of the wheel may not have been for transportation, but rather for such enterprises as pottery fly wheels and spinning wheels for yarn manufacturing. The wheel has led on to a plethora of inventions including the steam engine turbines, gyroscopes, castor wheels cogs, and the list goes on.
- 3,500 B.C.E.: First potters wheels in Mesopotamia
- 3,200 B.C.E.: First axled wheel on a vehicle in Mesopotamia
- 2,800 B.C.E.: Chinese develop the wheel (independently)
- 85 B.C.E.: Waterwheel developed in Greece
- 500-1,000 B.C.E.: Spinning wheel developed in China