EARTH'S OLDEST TOYS DISCOVERED | Flat base decoded
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EARTH'S OLDEST TOYS DISCOVERED

 


Today parents buy their children electric car toys to play with, but thousands of years ago the situation was somewhat different.
Yet, this ancient discovery reveals our ancestors were aware of the wheel 7500 years ago!
A stone car with two axles and 4 wheels dating from about 7500 years ago was found during excavations in the Kiziltepe district of the southeastern province of Mardin, are now on display at the Mardin Museum, Turkey.
Archaeologist Mesut Alp said that the toy car, which is made out of stone, dates back to the late Stone Age and is thought to be 7,500 years old.

The world’s earliest toy car (L) and title deed, unearthed at excavation sites in Mardin’s Kiziltepe district, are on display at the Mardin Museum. (Photo: Cihan)
In display was also an ancient stone tablet inscribed with writing.
Following exhaustive historical analysis, the writing on the 5 centimeter stone, which was uncovered at an excavation site at the Girnavas Mound, 4 km from the historic district of Nusaybin -was deemed to be the content of an ancient title deed.
Is this little ancient toy the earliest evidence of the wheel?
Beliktay said that the writing on the historic tablet had managed to remain intact over the years because of excellent preservation techniques. The script, he explained, had been scraped on to the clayish surface with a nail and then the tablet had been placed in a burner.

Archaeologist Alp explained that the title deed is 2,800 years old and pertains to the selling of a garden. The content of the deed he added refers to a fruit garden, and the fruit trees within, which are to be split between the three sons of the owner. The deed refers to "Nabulu" which Alp explained was in fact the old name of current Nusaybin. Beliktay has confirmed that comprehensive information on the two finds will be provided soon.


Still, the most fascinating item is the ancient car toy. Some have suggested it is not a car, but rather a chariot. However, chariots usually have only two wheels and pulled by an animal.
Evidence of ancient knowledge of wheel can be found in other time periods.
Rock engravings, the handful of wagon models and the wagon depictions incised onto clay vessels are no longer our only proof for the use of wagons. The archaeological record has been enriched by new categories of evidence.

The National Toy Hall of Fame awarded "oldest toy" to the stick. Edward Bleiberg, a curator of Egyptian art at the Brooklyn Museum, says that Neolithic balls made from mud are probably out there, but in any case it would be difficult to determine if they were playthings.

In 2004, archaeologists dug up a 4,000-year-old stone doll head in the ruins of a village on the Italian island of Pantelleria. That the head wasn't found in a ceremonial ground made it different than most ancient human figures and suggests that it was probably a toy. It had curly hair and was buried with miniature kitchenware. Bleiberg says that archaeologists have found many wooden dolls in Egyptian tombs that date back just as far, but most of those figures were found engraved with reproductive symbols, and probably weren't for play.

Games might be older than dolls. In ancient Egypt, senet, a board game that looks like backgammon, appears in wall drawings from around 2686 B.C. Egyptian kids might not have played senet, but they did play something like jacks around the same time—throwing rocks in the air and picking up pieces of clay before they fell back to earth.


Researcher: Stacy Morgan
Source: Pop Science
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