Excerpt from Preliminary Report on the Geology of the Common Roads of the United States
The wheel, though an ancient instrument, in use in Egypt and neigh boring countries more than four thousand years ago, served first for chariots Of war and state, and only gradually became... an important instrument of commerce in the hands of the Romans. Until that emi uently economic people developed the use of the wagon, the sled and the detached roller placed beneath the burden were the only instruments for conveying heavy weights over the land. The road, as distinguished from the unimproved pathway, is thus a relatively modern invention. Like nearly all the other advances in civilization, it brought men into a closer dependence upon the conditions of the earth. As long as burdens went upon the backs of men or beasts the condition of the trail over which the pack-bearers made their way could vary greatly262 geology or common roads or united states.
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