Special Report

The 50 Oldest Things in the World

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 Günter Fritz

33. 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: const_st / Wikimedia Commons

34. Recipe
> Oldest: Nettle pudding
> Approximate Date: 6,000 B.C.
> Location: United Kingdom

Nettles are typically thought of as something to avoid, but early humans may have counted them among their favorite foods. Welsh researchers discovered that people would mix boiled nettles with barley and water to make a sort of nettle pudding. Apparently, nettles won’t sting you if they are cooked.

Source: Courtesy of Friends of America's Past

35. Mummy
> Oldest: The Spirit Cave mummy
> Approximate Date: 8,000 B.C.
> Location: Great Basin Desert, northwestern Nevada

Though mummies are often associated with Egypt, the earliest instances of mummification were actually found in northwest Nevada. Scientists discovered the Spirit Cave mummy in 1940, in a cave in the Great Basin Desert in northwest Nevada. But they did not know the approximate age of the mummy until the 1990s, when radiocarbon dating technology revealed the mummy to be about 10,600 years old. The discovery helped scientists track the migration of humans across the Americas during the Ice Age.

Source: Courtesy of University of Birmingham / YouTube

36. Calendar
> Oldest: Warren Field Calendar
> Approximate Date: 8,000 B.C.
> Location: Scotland

Archaeologists think they discovered the world’s oldest calendar in Scotland in 2013. The calendar is believed to date back 10,000 years. Researchers from the University of Birmingham came upon a series of 12 pits near a castle in Aberdeenshire that followed the phases of the moon. Scientists think the hunter-gatherer society at the time needed accurate ways to track the passage of time. The discovery predates by 5,000 years the previously oldest calendar that was found in Mesopotamia.

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