World’s oldest animation, 5,200 years old

An Italian team of archaeologists unearthed the goblet in the 1970s from a burial site in Iran’s Burnt City, but it was only recently that researchers noticed the images on the bowl tell an animated visual story.

The oldest cartoon character in the world is a goat leaping to get the leaves on a tree.

According to an article in the Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies: The artifact bears five images depicting a wild goat jumping up to eat the leaves of a tree, which the members of the team at that time had not recognized the relationship between the pictures.

Several years later, Iranian archaeologist Dr Mansur Sadjadi, who became later appointed as the new director of the archaeological team working at the Burnt City discovered that the pictures formed a related series.

The bowl has some controversy associated with it. Some researchers claimed the tree on the bowl to be the Assyrian Tree of Life, but the bowl dates to a period before the Assyrian civilization.

The Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) in Iran made a short film using the images on a bowl from the Burnt City.

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