50 of the Oldest Things on Earth

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Source: Courtesy of British Museum

31. Writing
> Oldest: Clothing receipt
> Approximate Date: 3,000 B.C.
> Location: present-day Bahrain

The oldest example of writing is a receipt for clothes from about 3,000 B.C. It was inscribed on a clay tablet in cuneiform and was discovered in what is present-day Bahrain — an indication that record-keeping was already becoming important to ancient peoples. It is not known if the customer sought a refund for the item.

Source: Rick Goldwaser / Wikimedia Commons

32. Tree
> Oldest: White Mountains Bristlecone Pine
> Approximate Date: 3,050 B.C.
> Location: White Mountains, California

Scientists recently discovered that the oldest single tree in the world is 5,067 years old as of the 2017 growing season. The tree is a Bristlecone Pine, found in White Mountains, California. It beats the previous record holder named Methuselah, which is located nearby. While the general location is known, the precise spot is a secret to keep the tree safe.

Source: Courtesy of BBC News

33. Food
> Oldest: Neolithic Burnt Bread
> Approximate Date: 3,620-3,350 B.C.
> Location: Oxfordshire, England

The oldest food is not found in a college fraternity refrigerator but is believed to be a piece of burnt bread found in Oxfordshire, England. Originally, the 5,500-year old overcooked bread was thought to be charcoal. Then an archeologist found crushed grains of barley, indicating that those inhabiting what would become England were practicing farming during the Neolithic era.

Source: Courtesy of Günter Fritz

34. Crown
> Oldest: Nahal Mishar Hoard Crown
> Approximate Date: 4,500-3,600 B.C.
> Location: Judaean Desert, Israel

The world’s oldest crown was discovered in a cave above the Dead Sea in 1961. Before that, it sat in the cave for roughly 6,000 years. It’s not a fancy crown compared with diamond and jewel encrusted crowns we think of today. It’s simple, made of metal and adorned with vultures and doors. It comes from the Nahal Mishmar Hoard, a group of hundreds of artifacts that became one of the most important finds from the Copper Age.

Source: Pablo Trincado / Wikimedia Commons

35. Mummy
> Oldest: The Chinchorro Mummies
> Approximate Date: 5,050 B.C.
> Location: Atacama Desert, northern Chile

Though Mummies are often associated with Egypt, the earliest instances of mummification were actually found in South America. The Chinchorro people of the Atacama Desert, which is now in Chile, mummified their dead — and not just the wealthy and powerful. Archaeologists say all dead Chinchorros were mummified, regardless of status. Though the remains were preserved, the mummies are now deteriorating due to bacteria.