Some new findings in Turkey confirm our ancestors’ childhoods included playing with Bronze Age toy chariots made of clay.
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Sogmatar, also referred to as “Sumatar,” is one of the oldest known settlements in the world. As such, it is also the stuff of legend. Part of the Abraham Path — the cultural route that connects the places related with Abraham’s journey — Sogmatar was, in its day (around 5,000 years ago, that is), an important cultic center with temples and altars dedicated to different deities around a higher centric sacred hill. Tradition also claims it was here where Moses fled after killing the Egyptian overseer in the palace where he grew up.
But since last May, archaeologists have found some objects that show everyday life in Sogmatar might not have been that different from our own contemporary lives … at least, for kids. In an infant’s tomb, a toy horse carriage with wheels and a decorated rattle were found.
In an article published by Hurriyet Daily News, the Şanliurfa Museum Director Celal Uludağ, who is also the head of the Sogmatar excavations, explained “the toy dates back to the Bronze Age and is thought to have been produced for the children of kings or administrators in the city. It shows us the sense of art and children’s sense of play 5,000 years ago.”
Now we know two things for certain:
1) Rattles have been around for at least five millennia.
2) Kids have always loved playing with miniature wheeled thingies, whether chariots or trucks.