According to archaeologists, the wheel was probably invented around 8,000 B.C in Asia but the oldest wheel as we know it dates back to Mesopotamia in 3,500 B.C. Early wheels were simple wooden disks with a hole for the axle. Because of the structure of wood a horizontal slice of a trunk is not suitable, as it does not have the structural strength to support weight without collapsing; rounded pieces of longitudinal boards are required.
The spoked wheel was invented more recently, and allowed the construction of lighter and swifter vehicles. The earliest known examples are in the context of the Andronovo culture, dating to ca 2000 BCE. Soon after this, horse cultures of the Caucasus region used horse-drawn spoked-wheel war chariots for the greater part of three centuries. They moved deep into the Greek peninsula where they joined with the existing Mediterranean peoples to give rise, eventually, to classical Greece after the breaking of Minoan dominance and consolidations led by pre-classical Sparta and Athens. Celtic chariots introduced an iron rim around the wheel in the 1st millennium BCE. The spoked wheel had been in continued use without major modification until the 1870s, when wire wheels and pneumatic tires were invented.
The invention of the wheel has also been important for technology in general, important applications including the water wheel, the cogwheel. The spinning wheel, and the astrolabe or torquetum. More modern descendants of the wheel include the propeller, the jet engine, the flywheel (gyroscope) and the turbine.