50 of the Oldest Things on Earth

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Source: Courtesy of Anadolu Agency

26. Shipwreck
> Oldest: Port of Urla Wreck
> Approximate Date: 2,000 B.C.
> Location: Izmir, Turkey

Experts believe the world’s oldest shipwreck was found at Turkey’s Urla Port. The ship is estimated to be about 4,000 years old. The discovery was made by archaeologists from Ankara University in 2014. The port dates to the seventh century B.C., and because it was a coastal town, it is the site for many other sunken ships. An earthquake in the eighth century devastated the city, and it sank into the sea.

Source: PericlesofAthens / Wikimedia Commons

27. Written Language
> Oldest: Chinese
> Approximate Date: 1,250 B.C.
> Location: China

The oldest living language in the world is Chinese, whose earliest written evidence dates back to about 1,250 B.C. Scholars think the Chinese language is older than that, however, as some precursors of the language date back thousands of years earlier. There are about 1.2 billion Chinese speakers in the world today. Other old languages still spoken are Tamil, Hebrew, and Sanskrit.

Source: Courtesy of National Geographic, Ancient Egyptians / Wikimedia Commons

28. Religious Text
> Oldest: Egyptian Book of the Dead
> Approximate Date: 2,670 – 2,613 B.C.
> Location: Egypt

The Egyptian Book of the Dead was a set of instructions for deceased Egyptians to navigate through the tests they would encounter in the various stages of the afterlife. The paintings and texts were first found in tombs associated with Egypt’s Third Dynasty and date back more than 4,600 years. The book eventually became extremely popular, and individuals who fell ill would often commission their own copy. One completed copy was measured at more than 40 feet long.

Source: Luoyang Museum - Gary Lee Todd / Wikimedia Commons

29. Eating Utensil
> Oldest: Chopsticks
> Approximate Date: 3,000 B.C.
> Location: China

The first chopsticks were probably used mainly for cooking. They did not become a utensil until later when China’s population rapidly increased, putting pressure on cooks to reduce costs. They cut food into smaller pieces that required less cooking oil and the smaller morsels were the perfect size for chopsticks. Some superstitions have been associated with chopsticks, such as the belief that if one is given an uneven pair of them, you will miss a boat or plane.

Source: Courtesy of University College London

30. Garment
> Oldest: Tarkhan Dress
> Approximate Date: 3,000 B.C.
> Location: Egypt

The earliest example of fashion is known as the Tarkhan Dress. It was made in Egypt 5,000 years ago and is the oldest dress in the world. The garment, housed in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London, features tailored sleeves, a V-neck, and is pleated. The garment was excavated in the early part of the 20th century but was overlooked for decades until it was found among a bunch of rags in 1977.