The oldest wheel ever found dates from 3,200 BC ©Museum and galleries of Ljubljiana
The oldest wheel ever found dates from 3,200 BC ©Museum and galleries of Ljubljiana

Brief history of… the wheel

posted by Marc Gadian
14 July 2017

Rightly hailed as one of our most useful innovations, it’s hard to imagine a time when humans didn’t roll with it

Although the wheel has revolutionised mankind’s ability to travel and move goods around the world, its first use was not as a mode of transport. The Sumerians in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) in around 3,500 BC are documented as the first to use wheels, when potters turned stone wheels to make clay.

This is relatively late in human history, implying  several millennia of agriculture taking place without the aid of a wheel. Significant inventions that came first include sewing needles, boats and the flute. Priorities…


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