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What was the impact of the Mesopotamian wheel on future civilizations?

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bellanicole98 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 30, 2013 at 12:47 PM via web

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What was the impact of the Mesopotamian wheel on future civilizations?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 30, 2013 at 1:35 PM (Answer #1)

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The impact of the wheel on future civilizations cannot be overemphasized.  It is one of the most important discoveries in the history of the world.  Let us look at two reasons why this is so.

First, the wheel makes for the possibility of greater economic wealth.  Without wheels, it is very difficult to transport large loads of anything over long distances.  It is possible to do so over water, but it is very hard to move things anywhere without navigable waterways.  The invention of the wheel allows farmers to have carts in which they can easily bring their produce a few miles to market.  This capability, of course, expanded dramatically with the invention of things like trains and automobiles, which also rely on the wheel.

The wheel also transformed warfare.  The chariot was an important cavalry weapon in many societies.  It helped, for example, the Hyksos to defeat the Egyptians.  In much later times, wheels would also lead to the possibility of tanks and of the mechanized, highly mobile warfare that was practiced in World War II.

Thus, the invention of the wheel transformed both war and economics.

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