The 50 Oldest Things in the World

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Source: Flausa123 / Wikimedia Commons

22. Bridge
> Oldest: Mycenaean Bridge at Kazarma
> Approximate Date: 1,300-1,200 B.C.
> Location: Arkadiko, Greece

Even if something is ancient it can still be useful. The Mycenaean Bridge at Kazarma was built more than 3,000 years ago but is still used by modern Greeks. The arch bridge is an impressive feat of engineering, as it doesn’t use any type of adhesive to hold itself together. It was also built with curbs, presumably to keep speeding chariots from falling off.

Source: University of Basel / Wikimedia Commons

23. Timepiece
> Oldest: Ancient Egyptian Sundial
> Approximate Date: 1,300 B.C.
> Location: Egypt

The world’s oldest timepiece is an Egyptian sundial that dates back to the 13th century B.C. The device was discovered in 2013 in a hut in the Valley of the Kings, where Egypt’s rulers are buried. The age of the instrument is about 1,000 years older than what researchers had thought was the oldest sundial.

Source: Kåre Thor Olsen / Wikimedia Commons

24. Original Sport
> Oldest: Mesoamerican Ball Game
> Approximate Date: 1,600 B.C.
> Location: Modern-day South America

The Mesoamerican Ball Game, called ulama, was played under various sets of rules using a rubber ball in contests that pitted two teams against each other. More than 1,500 ulama ball courts have been unearthed where Mayan and Aztec civilizations flourished. Spectators ate venison and imbibed an alcoholic drink from fermented corn while watching the game. The phrase “sudden death” takes on a different meaning for this contest; the losers could be decapitated.

Source: Courtesy of Yale University Library

25. Cookbook
> Oldest: Cookbook
> Approximate Date: 1,700 B.C.
> Location: Babylon

The oldest cookbook dates from 1,700 B.C. It is written on three clay tablets in cuneiform — an early writing system invented by the Sumerians. The artifact is housed at Yale University. Scientists believe the 35 recipes in the cookbook were written for professional cooks. So what did foodies eat in the time of King Hammurabi? Stews and broths featuring meat such as fowl and mutton.

Source: Juni / Wikimedia Commons

26. Written Piece of Music
> Oldest: Hurrian Hymn No. 6
> Approximate Date: 2,000-1,400 B.C.
> Location: Ugarit, Syria

The oldest known written piece of music is titled “Hurrian Hymn No. 6,” an ode to the goddess Nikkal, that was created in 1,400 B.C. and found in the ancient Syrian city of Ugarit. The song was inscribed on clay tablets in cuneiform. Accompanying the song were instructions on how to play it on a lyre. Before the discovery of the hymn in the 1950s, music historians had believed the music scale was only about as old as the ancient Greeks.