To the best of our knowledge, the earliest wheels were cut of wood planks, pegged together, then cut round. It might seem that discs could be cut from a tree trunk, but this doesn’t work. Unless the disc is sealed at once, today with polyurethane, long ago perhaps with oil– unless the disk is sealed it will within days split. Now even if sealed discs don’t make good wheels, they inevitably split. Wooden wheels of planks also split; so from the inception of wheels creating wheel rims was very important. Willow is reasonable, bronze is usable but tends to crack, so progress toward iron wheel rims was swift.
We date the root of “wheel” to ATLANTIC III and identify it as a descendent of “willow.”
Greek Homeric Greek oinos (wine), oinon eruthron (red wine). Aeolian Greek witus (willow), rim of wheel- perhaps bent around wooden wheels before bronze then iron rims were made; Mycenae Greek woitue (willow), oisuon (rim of wheel), welikon, helike (willow), Greek Mount Helikon (willow mountain)