7 of the Oldest Things on the Planet

In their respective category, that is
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2017 2:16 PM CST
Updated Dec 9, 2017 5:10 PM CST
7 of the Oldest Things on the Planet
Head of a mummy from the Chinchorro people.   (Wikimedia Commons/Pablo Trincado)

When it comes to crunching data, 24/7 Wall St. has given us everything from the drunkest states to the most expensive places to divorce. Now, a list with a much less current bent. It's pored over scientific journals, record-keeping groups, newspapers, and other sources to come up with a list of 25 of the oldest known surviving items. "Surviving," because the items it identified weren't always the first in their class, but rather the one that's managed to survive the longest. Case in point: the oldest tree, a Bristlecone Pine found in (a secret location in) California's White Mountains that is 5,067 years old—and trounces Europe's record for oldest tree. Here are 6 more items that make the list of 25:

  1. Photograph: Joseph Nicéphore Niépce’s "View from the Window at Le Gras" was taken in 1826 or 1827, and 24/7 Wall St. calls it "an astonishing development in technology." Niépce missed out on tacking a few years on to his record: He destroyed an image he took in 1822 when he later tried to copy it.
  2. Restaurant: Speaking of astonishing, Stiftskeller has been operating in Salzburg, Austria, since 803. It continues to serve patrons in the same building it has for more than a millennium: St. Peter’s Abbey.
  3. Shipwreck: The find is a relatively recent one, made in 2014 by archaeologists from Ankara University working in Turkey’s Urla Port. There, they found a ship believed to be roughly 4,000 years old, far predating the port, which was operating around the seventh century BC.
  4. Food: It's not this quarter-pounder. What was originally thought to be charcoal upon its discovery in Oxfordshire, England, was confirmed as bread burnt some 5,500 years ago, during the Neolithic era.
  5. Mummy: If your guess involved Egypt, you've got the wrong continent. Chile's Chinchorro Mummies date to 5,050 BC. The Chinchorro people living in the Atacama Desert mummified all their dead, but while the remains managed to survive for some seven millennia, they're now turning to "black ooze."
  6. Musical instrument: Radiocarbon dating showed that bone flutes found in Hohle Fels Cave, Germany, were crafted as long ago as 41,000 BC. The bones once belonged to mammoths.
Read the full list here. (More discoveries stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.