The chariot was invented by the Mesopotamians around the turn of the third millennium B.C. By the year 2000 B.C., the invention of the spoked wheel and the introduction of the horse produced a lighter, more maneuverable chariot.
The Hittites, Mycenaeans, Hyksos and Aryans used the chariot to great effect in battle, moving soldiers swiftly around the field and giving them a platform from which to shoot arrows or hurl javelins. Over the course of the second millennium B.C., the chariot spread from its Middle Eastern origins, reaching places as far afield as China and Britain. Ancient people used the chariot for hunting, racing and parades when they were not using it for war. By the fourth century B.C., mounted cavalry had superseded the chariot as the mounted military unit of choice.