Special Report

The 50 Oldest Things in the World

Source: Ian Poellet / Wikimedia Commons

37. Shoes
> Oldest: Fort Rock Shoes
> Approximate Date: 8,970-7,700 B.C.
> Location: Fort Rock, Oregon

The oldest shoes in the world were actually found in the new world, in Fort Rock Cave in Oregon in 1938. Anthropologist Luther Cressman discovered dozens of sandals under a layer of volcanic ash that scientists say came from the eruption of Mount Mazama 7,500 years ago. Fibers from the sandals were determined to be more than 9,000 years old. They were made of shredded sagebrush bark.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

38. Standing Building
> Oldest: Tower of Jericho
> Approximate Date: 9,000 B.C.
> Location: West Bank, Palestine

The 11,000-year-old, three-story structure is connected to the ancient walls of Jericho in what is now the West Bank. The Neolithic-period tower was built near where the Bible says Jesus was tempted by Satan. Archaeologists believe the building, which has a staircase, may have been constructed by ancient people to mark the summer solstice and seen as symbolic protection against darkness.

Source: Daniel Case / Wikimedia Commons

39. City
> Oldest: Jericho
> Approximate Date: 9,000 B.C.
> Location: Palestinian Territories

Though there is some dispute as to which cities are truly the oldest, Jericho seems to have as strong a case for the title as any other place. There is evidence that people first settled in the area that is now known as Jericho close to 11,000 years ago. Archaeologists believe tribes were attracted to the area because of the Jordan River. For the most part, people have continuously lived in Jericho, which is now located in the Palestinian territories on the West Bank. The oldest city in the United States is St. Augustine in Florida, founded in 1565.

Source: Teomancimit / Wikimedia Commons

40. Place of Worship
> Oldest: The Göbekli Tepe
> Approximate Date: 9,300 B.C.
> Location: Şanlıurfa, Turkey

Millennia before many of the most common religions of today were founded, worshippers attended the Göbekli Tepe in what is now Turkey. The site may have been constructed as a place to worship the star Sirius, based on its relative position to the star. Despite that hypothesis, it is unclear exactly what religion or belief system the temple actually served.

Source: etiennevoss / Getty Images

41. Food
> Oldest: Bread
> Approximate Date: 12,000 B.C.
> Location: Jordan

Amaia Arranz-Otaegui, an archaeobotanist from the University of Copenhagen, found in July 2018 evidence of the earliest food in human history. Arranz-Otaegui was working at an excavation site in Jordan and came across charred embers of burnt bread made by a hunter tribe from the Epipaleolithic era in the stone age — dated at about 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. The remains of the food were evidence that our ancestors were baking well before scientists had previously thought.

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