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Evidence of wheeled vehicles appears from the second half of the 4th millennium BC, near-simultaneously in Mesopotamia (Sumerian civilization), the Northern Caucasus (Maykop culture) and Central Europe, so that the question of which culture originally invented the wheeled vehicle is still unsolved.

The earliest well-dated depiction of a wheeled vehicle (here a wagon—four wheels, two axles) is on the Bronocice pot, a c. 3500 – 3350 BC clay pot excavated in a Funnelbeaker culture settlement in southern Poland.

The oldest securely dated real wheel-axle combination, that from Stare Gmajne near Ljubljana in Slovenia (Ljubljana Marshes Wooden Wheel) is now dated to 3340-3030 cal BC, the axle to 3360-3045 cal BC.

The invention of the wheel thus falls in the late Neolithic, and may be seen in conjunction with other technological advances that gave rise to the early Bronze Age.

Early wheels were simple wooden disks with a hole for the axle. Because of the structure of wood, a horizontal slice of a tree trunk is not suitable, as it does not have the structural strength to support relevant stresses without failing. The earliest known examples of wooden spoked wheels are in the context of the Andronovo culture, dating to c. 2000 BC. Soon after this, horse cultures of the Caucasus region used horse-drawn spoked-wheel war chariots for the greater part of three centuries. They moved deep into the Greek peninsula where they joined with the existing Mediterranean peoples to give rise, eventually, to classical Greece after the breaking of Minoan dominance and consolidations led by pre-classical Sparta and Athens. Celtic chariots introduced an iron rim around the wheel in the 1st millennium BC. The spoked wheel was in continued use without major modification until the 1870s, when wire wheels and pneumatic tires were invented.

The invention of the wheel has also been important for technology in general, important applications including the water wheel, the cogwheel (see also antikythera mechanism), the spinning wheel, and the astrolabe or torquetum. More modern descendants of the wheel include the propeller, the jet engine, the flywheel (gyroscope) and the turbine.

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Evidence of wheeled vehicles appears from the second half of the 4th millennium BC, near-simultaneously in Mesopotamia (Sumerian civilization), the Northern Caucasus (Maykop culture) and Central Europe, so that the question of which culture originally invented the wheeled vehicle is still unsolved.

The earliest well-dated depiction of a wheeled vehicle (here a wagon—four wheels, two axles) is on the Bronocice pot, a c. 3500 – 3350 BC clay pot excavated in a Funnelbeaker culture settlement in southern Poland.

The oldest securely dated real wheel-axle combination, that from Stare Gmajne near Ljubljana in Slovenia (Ljubljana Marshes Wooden Wheel) is now dated to 3340-3030 cal BC, the axle to 3360-3045 cal BC.

The invention of the wheel thus falls in the late Neolithic, and may be seen in conjunction with other technological advances that gave rise to the early Bronze Age.

Early wheels were simple wooden disks with a hole for the axle. Because of the structure of wood, a horizontal slice of a tree trunk is not suitable, as it does not have the structural strength to support relevant stresses without failing. The earliest known examples of wooden spoked wheels are in the context of the Andronovo culture, dating to c. 2000 BC. Soon after this, horse cultures of the Caucasus region used horse-drawn spoked-wheel war chariots for the greater part of three centuries. They moved deep into the Greek peninsula where they joined with the existing Mediterranean peoples to give rise, eventually, to classical Greece after the breaking of Minoan dominance and consolidations led by pre-classical Sparta and Athens. Celtic chariots introduced an iron rim around the wheel in the 1st millennium BC. The spoked wheel was in continued use without major modification until the 1870s, when wire wheels and pneumatic tires were invented.

The invention of the wheel has also been important for technology in general, important applications including the water wheel, the cogwheel (see also antikythera mechanism), the spinning wheel, and the astrolabe or torquetum. More modern descendants of the wheel include the propeller, the jet engine, the flywheel (gyroscope) and the turbine. More

 
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