Why Was the Wheel so Important to Mesopotamia?
The wheel allowed Mesopotamians to create a number of novel transportation methods. It was also used in a variety of mechanical devices. Creating wheels may have also spawned new methods of making items that need precision.
While the wheel allowed to Mesopotamians to create novel means of transportation, sledges were likely in use at the same time. While wheels are advantageous in certain scenarios, the simplicity and low cost of sledges meant that they remained in use long after wheeled methods were available; however, the development of chariots was a pivotal moment in the history of civilization.
Wheels were also used in a number of mechanical devices. One of the most popular devices that used one was the potter’s wheel. These devices made it far easier to make pottery quickly, and they may have spawned related mechanical devices used for a variety of purposes.
Creating useful wheels requires a considerably amount of precision, which forced Mesopotamians to develop a method of creating precise devices. As a result, Mesopotamians spent a considerable amount of time devising methods of making wheels as round and smooth as possible. These early experiments led to insights in other fields, and some experts believe that they led to breakthroughs in other devices they used.