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Subject: 8. wheel invented (5,000 bc) rss

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Stephen Tavener
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Now that I'm researching them, I can see that wheels are actually pretty
high-tech. A slice across a tree trunk is apparently not strong enough to bear any significant weight; you have to slice the tree lengthways to get the right grain. Once you've done that, a wheeled vehicle is actually pretty useless unless you are (a) carring a lot of weight (=> trade), and (b) have a flat surface to travel on (=> roads, in most locations). Modern man apparently arose 150,000 years ago, but wheels only around 5,000 BC.

So, a bit of fun... the fantasy past has taken to the air - winged sprites, perhaps? Flying carpets? Riding pterodactyls or dragons? Up to you. The steampunk past, they invented the square wheel. See link below:

http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/pages/puzzlezone/muse/muse...

... of couse, that means all the roads are specially shaped, but it almost makes sense. Improved road holding, built-in drainage.
 
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Ian Kelly
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Roads for square wheels would need to be paved or masoned, since dirt wouldn't hold the required shape well. That would make them expensive. Also, turning would be problematic. The roads would be more like railroads than general-purpose roads. Just imagine the complexity of building a square-wheel parking lot.
 
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Stephen Tavener
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Quote:
Roads for square wheels would need to be paved or masoned, since dirt wouldn't hold the required shape well. That would make them expensive.

Could well be. The steampunk timeline did most things the hard way.

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Also, turning would be problematic.

Merely very uncomfortable, I suspect

Quote:
The roads would be more like railroads than general-purpose roads. Just imagine the complexity of building a square-wheel parking lot.



 
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