What was the effect of the wheel on history?

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The wheel was an extremely important technological development, almost as significant as the ability to control and use fire. Civilizations that made use of the wheel had a greater ability to produce food, manufacture goods, and transport goods and people than those that did not. Because making wheels required metal tools, the wheel added a sort of multiplier effect to the unequal development in various civilizations in different geological areas. 

Perhaps the first use of the wheel was for making pottery. The potter's wheel allows faster manufacture of pottery of higher quality. Pottery itself was an important part of early civilization, providing insect- and vermin-proof storage for food, liquids, and other important goods and containers usable for cooking. It was also a medium of artistic expression and useful in trade (one...

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