The 50 Oldest Things in the World
> Oldest: Antikythera Mechanism
> Approximate Date: 205 B.C.
> Location: Greece
Though it may not be considered a computer by today’s standards, the Antikythera mechanism was remarkably advanced for its time. Discovered in the wreckage of an ancient ship, the machine baffled scientists for decades before they realized it predicted the movements of the planets and the sun. The device could even tell when eclipses would occur. It was reportedly so advanced that it took over 1,000 years for anything else as advanced to be invented.
> Oldest: Babylonian Map of the World
> Approximate Date: 700-500 B.C.
> Location: Babil Governorate, Iraq
The oldest known map depicts the Mesopotamian world and is inscribed on a stone tablet. Babylon is carved in the center of the map. Experts also identified places from antiquity such as Assyria. The lands on the map are circled by a body of water called the “Salt-Sea.” A cuneiform text accompanies the map and describes the region with accounts of heroes as well as mythical beasts. The map was discovered in the late 1800s in Sippar, Iraq, and is housed in the British Museum.
18. Movable Painting
> Oldest: Pitsa panels
> Approximate Date: 540 B.C.
> Location: Greece
The Pitsa painted panels in Greece are the oldest human paintings not found in caves. The oldest of these panels, found near the Corinthia region, date back to 600 B.C. Most of the examples of this kind of art that have survived are from Egypt and have been preserved by the dry climate.
> Oldest: The Etruscan Gold Book
> Approximate Date: 660-600 B.C.
> Location: Struma River, Bulgaria
The Etruscan Gold Book, believed to be the oldest multi-page book in the world, is made from six sheets of 24-carat gold and bound with rings. The plates are inscribed in Etruscan characters and show a horse, horseman, a mermaid, and soldiers. The item was discovered in 1943 in a tomb while workers were digging a canal near the Struma River in Bulgaria. The book can be found in Bulgaria’s National History Museum in the city of Sofia.
> Oldest: Lydian Stater
> Approximate Date: 750-560 B.C.
It’s believed the ancient kingdom of Lydia (now known as Turkey) was the first to use coins as currency well over 2,500 years ago. The coins, known as staters, were made of a naturally occurring gold and silver alloy known as electrum, helping them stand the test of time. Lydia’s far reach helped spread the staters across Eurasia. In 2014, a diver in Bulgaria found one in the Black Sea.
21. 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.