Worlds oldest emoji discovered on 3,700-year-old pitcher

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Worlds oldest emoji discovered on the 3,700-year-old pitcher

In 1700 BC, the world’s first emoji could have been carved in Turkey. In the ancient city of Karkamş, archaeologists found a 3,700-year-old pitcher etched with what appears to be a smiley face.

The marked sherbet pitcher was discovered during excavations of the city’s extensive ruins, and researchers believe it was purposefully marked.

A prominent smiley face is drawn on the front of the vase-like, off-white coloured pot, which has a short handle.

The world’s first emoji may have been carved in Turkey in 1700 BC. Archaeologists have discovered a 3,700-year-old pitcher engraved with a smiley face in the ancient city of Karkamış

It was discovered as part of a seven-year-long excavation in the Karkamis district along the Syrian border under the guidance of Professor Nicolo Marchetti, an archaeologist at the University of Bologna, Italy.

‘We have found a variety of cubes and urns,’ Professor Marchetti told Anadolu Agency.

‘The most interesting of them is a pot from 1700 BC that features an image of a “smile” on it. ‘The pot was used for drinking sherbet.

‘Most probably, [this depicts] the oldest smile in the world,’ he added.

Professor Marchetti said much of the pottery found at the site depicts the era of the Hittites, an ancient civilisation and empire that is believed to have existed in the north-central Anatolian region.

The ‘smiley’ pot will now be put on display at the nearby Gaziantep Archaeology Museum.

Officially created in the 1980’s as a form of expressing digital emotion, about six billion emojis are sent around the world every day.

The Turkish smiley face carving is not the first to be declared the ‘world’s oldest emoji’ this year.

In February, a group of Slovakian researchers also made the claim – this one a 382-year-old smiley face.

The evidence suggests the inventor of the iconic smiley face is a lawyer by the name of Jan Ladislaides.

Head of the archive in Trencin Peter Brindza said: ‘We found a smiley face, which dates from the 17th century – from 1635 – by notary Jan Ladislaides next to his signature.’

The hand-drawn smiley face emoji appears after a passage where Ladislaides had checked several municipal accounts.

 

He states that he had no objections or problems, and the smiley face indicates he was happy with the documents.

There also appears to be a clown’s finger with a hashtag drawn on it, though the context is unclear.

Mr Brindza said hive was hugely surprised by his exceptional find and said: ‘In contemporary writings, of course, it is not a common thing.

‘I do not know if it’s the oldest Slovakian smiley or the world’s oldest, but it is certainly one of the oldest in the Trencin region.’

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P. Natasha Covers Classical Archaeology news and has been with Histecho since 2017. She has a Master's degree in MA Archaeology from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting program. A California native, she also holds a Bachelor of science in molecular biology and a Master of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego.

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