Fairytales date back as far as bronze age

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by Plazma Inferno!, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    The study has revealed that popular fairytales such as Beauty and the Beast and Rumpelstiltskin were first written down in the 17th and 18th century, but they can be traced back to the emergence of the major western Indo-European subfamilies as distinct lineages between 2,500 and 6,000 years ago, with one tale originating from the bronze age.
    Using techniques normally employed by biologists, researchers studied common links between 275 Indo-European fairy tales from around the world and found some have roots that are far older than previously known, and "long before the emergence of the literary record".
    Edont Knoff likes this.
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  3. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

    Wow. I like to tell stories, and often think I should know way more stories. And if it wasn't such a badly paid job, I'd totally become a storyteller - be it for children or in a care home for old people. Everyone likes to be entertained with a well told story.

    Nice to see that this is an old trait in humanity. Personally I interpret this result as "proven to exist at least since 6000 years, but likely people told stories even before" - because I'm very confident that imagination was big in all humans a long time back, and imagination immediately leads to at least enhancing real life events into a interesting story, and in the next step, creating purely fictional stories.

    Actually I cannot imagine humans without stories. Our brains are made to constantly create ideas about events in the near future and evaluating them, to see which are likely, and then to prepare for the more likely events. This ability is very important for survival - be it short term, in hunting, when one needs to extrapolate the bhaviour of the prey and the fellow hunters actions, or long term to thinmk of the next winter (or other bad season) and start preparations in time.

    The ones who failed to "think ahead", be it in the hunt, or in nprepaprations for bad seasons, well, they were sorted out quickly by nature. The remaining ones were thos who could think through imaginary events, and therefore also able to daydream when they had free time. And from daydreaming to a story, it really is only a very small step, actually one just tells about the ideas that came up while daydreaming in an interesting manner.

    There is something more to a well told story - the storyteller can take people to a virtual journey. The storyteller can create images in the other peoples minds, images which lead to sensations and emotions. To me it is totally amazing that a person can take others with them on a imaginary journey just by telling a story, make them feel with the actors of the story, or just "feel" a scene - serene, or action loaded. I'm very sure that our ancestors discovered this very early and since there were no books, no TV and no computers, storytelling was one of the few available entertainments, and at the same time, a very thrilling one.
    Plazma Inferno! likes this.
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Many of the preposterous fairytales that are now dressed up as "religions" go back to the Bronze Age. The Jews have calculated a date of the creation of the universe, based on the events in the Torah (the first five books in the Old Testament), that aligns reasonably well with the dawn of the Bronze Age in Mesopotamia. Of course bronze technology was also invented/discovered independently in several other places (including India, China, Central America and South America) but it happened considerably earlier in Mesopotamia.

    The same is true of the twin technologies of farming and animal husbandry that comprise agriculture and ushered in the Neolithic Era (the "late stone age" when people gave up nomadism and began living in permanent settlements). It was developed first in Mesopotamia.
    Plazma Inferno! likes this.
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