Important Inventions


The development of the wheel

9500 BC - 4500 BC

the first use of the wheel likely began as early as 9500 BC, when rollers and sledges were combined, and then the rollers were modified to have thinner axel, and be held in place by a couple of pegs, though the wheels were still a part of the axel.

Earliest wheeled vehicles

4500 BC - 3300 BC

This particular invention fell in around the same time period as the domestication of the horse.

Invention of the potter's wheel

4500 BC

Invention of the spoked wheel

2200 BC - 1500 BC

The spoked wheel had greater structural integrity than previous forms of the wheel, and was able to spin at greater speeds, allowing for faster transport, and the chariot.


Early boats

10000 BC - 3000 BC

some of the earliest boats were little more than just animal skins stretched over a wooden frame, or dug-in canoes, or rafts, and some may have had sails made of animals skin, put up on a small wooden mast.

Egyptian ships

3000 BC - 1000 BC

by around 3000 BC, ancient Egyptians were able to make wooden ships by lashing the planks together, and using reeds in-between to keep the vessels water-tight.


2000 BC

the Minoans became a naval military power, around this time


1200 BC - 800 BC

this is considered the high point of the Phoenicians and their navy.
The phoenicians improved shipbuilding techniques, and made sturdier ships which were able to sail very far.


340 BC

the Greek navigator Pytheas of Messalia sailed from Greece to western Europe

Roman navy

200 BC - 100 BC

The Roman navy achieves "Mare Nostrum," which was their complete rule of the Mediterranean sea.

Chinese navigation

1040 - 1117

the chinese used a loadstone compass for navigation.

Mali Empire

1200 - 1300

the Mali empire had a powerful naval fleet under emperor Mansa Musa



400 BC - 885

The Mangonel is the "classic" catapult, and was invented by the Romans. It was far more powerful, though less accurate, than the ballista. Like the ballista, the Mangonel stored its power in the arm and ropes. The angle of the arch that projectiles were fired in, could be adjusted by adjusting the stopping block, and had a maximum range of 1300 ft. It was also easy to make, and with wheels, easy to move.


399 BC - 50 BC

The ballista was the earliest form of catapult, and was essentially a giant crossbow and got it's firepower from both the tension of wood and ropes. the ballista was invented by the Greeks, and later adapted and modified by the Romans. It fired wooden poles, often with sharpened wooden tips, similar to spears. While the ballista had the greatest accuracy, it didn't have the same power as it's successors.


300 BC - 886

The trebuchet is thought to have been invented by the chinese, and arrived in Europe in AD 500. The trebuchet was the most powerful of catapults, and therefore, the most feared. The trebuchet was basically a lever, with a sling on one end, and a counterweight on the other, with the fulcrum all the way on the end with the counterweight. the counterweight was raised as high as it could be gotten, and then released. the trebuchet was capable of taking down entire sections of castle walls, and the most destructive of catapults.

Navigational instruments


150 BC

the astrolabe was invented by the Greek man Hipparchus.

Mariner's astrolabe

1295 - 1475

the mariner's astrolabe is a version of the astrolabe developed for use at sea.