Why Did The Middle East Abandon The Wheel?
Over the first four or five centuries in the Christian era, the wheel as transport gradually but completely disappeared. From the grandest chariot to the humblest farm wagon, they were replaced by horses and camels. Why? Camels could not be hitched to a wheeled vehicle. And on their own, with their inexpensive diet of otherwise unusable plants, and the cost of breeding and maintaining herds shouldered by the country and desert peoples not the city merchants, camels were 20% less expensive than an ox-drawn cart for transport. Until the 1800s the camel remained the only land transport available from Syria to Saudi Arabia.