This Is What the Oldest Known Household Objects Look Like

We encounter new kinds of technology on a regular basis, yet we rarely think about how certain everyday objects have existed in their basic forms for hundreds, even thousands, of years.

LikeAble has put together a selection of the oldest known examples of household items that have survived up to the present day. It’s not out of the question that some of them might have appeared even earlier than these examples.

The oldest pair of socks (1,500 years old)

These woolen socks from Egypt were meant to be worn with sandals and were made somewhere between 300 and 499 AD. They were discovered in the 19th century.

The oldest recorded recipe (5,000 years old)

This is a recipe for Sumerian beer, dated to 3,000 BC. The beer is said to be very strong, with pieces of bread floating in it.

The oldest pair of sunglasses (800 years old)

These sunglasses were discovered in Canada, on Baffin Island. They were meant to protect the eyes from the sun’s rays that were reflected by the snow.

The oldest sculpture of a human being (35,000-40,000 years old)

This sculpture of Venus was found in the Hohle Fels Cave in Germany. Experts believe that the unknown sculptor carved the figure from the tusk of a mammoth.

The oldest shoes (5,500 years old)

This right moccasin shoe made from an ox’s skin (the left one was never found) was discovered in a cave in Armenia. It was preserved with the help of grasses and dried-out sheep manure.

The oldest pants (3,300 years old)

These pants were found in western China. They’re woven together from wool and decorated with complex ornamental patterns. They probably belonged to a nomad from Asia.

The oldest bra (500 years old)

This bra was worn by someone from Austria in the period 1390-1485. Although it’s the oldest bra that’s been preserved, in manuscripts such items were described as “breast pouches.”

The oldest purse (4,500 years old)

This bag was found in modern-day Germany. Over thousands of years, the leather and material it was made from have degraded. Only the dogs’ teeth, which most likely served as decoration and protection, have been preserved.

The oldest artificial limb (3,000 years old)

According to scientific investigations, these wooden toes were meant to help a person walk — they weren’t for appearances. Thanks to them, a person could not only walk but also wear sandals (the most common form of footwear in ancient Egypt).

The oldest condom (370 years old)

This reusable contraceptive item is made from sheepskin and was used in Sweden in the 1600s. Instructions for it have even been preserved, in which it’s recommended that it be cleaned using warm milk in order to help the user avoid catching a venereal disease.

The oldest flush toilets (2,000 years old)

In ancient Ephesus, there were flushable public toilets. The water that flowed beneath them carried waste into the nearest river.

The oldest piece of chewing gum (5,000 years old)

This piece of fossilized birch tree resin found in Finland is considered to be the oldest known piece of chewing gum. It may have been used to resolve mouth infections or as a kind of glue to fix broken crockery.

The oldest musical instrument (40,000 years old)

This flute made from bone was found in southern Germany. The first musical instruments were made by ancient peoples from the bones of birds and the tusks of mammoths. The theory exists that music helped give homo sapiens an advantage over neanderthals.

The oldest recorded tune (3,400 years old)

This tune was found on the territory of the ancient city-state of Ugarit (now in modern-day Syria). It was written in honor of the wife of the Moon god.

The oldest coin (2,700 years old)

The oldest coin was discovered in the ancient Hellenic city of Efes, in modern-day Turkey. It was made by fusing gold and silver, and it has a lion’s head on one side.

The oldest globe (510 years old)

This globe was made from the widest parts of two ostrich eggs. Maps of the Old and New Worlds are depicted on the different hemispheres. Experts believe that the globe was made in Florence, perhaps even by the master craftsman Leonardo da Vinci himself.

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