Some have surmised that children may not have played with toys in the ancient era, yet archaeologists have proven this belief to be false after they discovered a 5,000-year-old rattle and toy in the form of a horse carriage with wheels in Turkey. The toys were found in Sogmatar, one of the oldest towns in the world, and a location that was also alleged to be the home of Moses after he fled from Egypt.
Assistant Professor Yusuf Albayrak from Harran University assisted in the archaeological excavations in Turkey which began in May, and numerous rock tombs were found in the area, including the one which held the Bronze Age child’s 5,000-year-old toy carriage and rattle.
The head of the Sogmatar excavations, Celal Uludag, is also the director of the Sanliurfa Museum and has explained that as this area of Turkey is so vastly ancient and rich with historical finds, you can travel to many different locations and still manage to discover new archaeological treasures. In this particular case, a child’s ancient toys were found inside of a tomb.
“We have so far obtained important findings in the excavation field. In a tomb in the necropolis area we found an earthenware toy horse carriage and its wheels.”
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Celal Uludag further elaborated that it is his belief that the 5,000-year-old toy carriage and rattle most likely belonged to the child of one of the city’s kings or administrators and someone who would have been quite important at the time. He said that this archaeological find showed just how important play and imagination was for children, even during the Bronze Age.
“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. This finding is very important to us and will be displayed at Turkey’s largest museum complex, the Sanliurfa Archaeology Museum. We think we will get more important findings as long as the excavations continue.”
Once upon a time, Sogmatar was a vast and thriving haven for those who practiced Paganism, according to Yusuf Albayrak, and when a survey of the ancient settlement was undertaken in 2012, it was found that it had once been given up in dedication to Sin, the god of the moon. Albayraf observed that the area was “not only a temple, but also a necropolis.” Yusuf also noted that several of the tombs had even been left intact during Roman times.
“We have so far opened 45 tombs, finding three tombs that were not even opened in the Roman era.”
While the Bronze Age child who once played with the 5,000-year-old toy carriage and rattle may be gone today, a little piece of his childhood has been left behind in Sogmatar, Turkey.
[Featured Image by John Moore/Getty Images]