1. Ramle Bone Fragments
The oldest symbol known to man is the etchings on the Ramle bone fragments. Many archaeologists have theorized that these symbols have existed for hundreds of thousands of years in other regions as well. However, these bone fragments from the Ramle region in Israel represent the oldest known examples, dating back 120,000 years.
On a side of this ancient bone, researchers identified six distinct etchings that they believe are more than accidental markings and instead held a spiritual significance. The animal bone tool is believed to have been carved from the remains of an ancient cow.
2. Red Crosshatch
A deep red crosshatch symbol dug up in a cave in South Africa has been theorized to be the world’s oldest drawing. The crosshatch has been discovered throughout the Stone Age, but never this old. Of particular interest is that it was drawn in color, from a piece of ochre converted into an ancient crayon.
Researchers believe that the drawing was originally larger as the ends of the crosshatch drop off suddenly on the borders of the silcrete stone fragment. The full grindstone tablet has been searched for without success.
3. Cave Hands
The art lining the Maltravieso cave in Caceres, Spain has been dated to over 64,000 years old, making it the oldest such art. Figures included in the caves include symbols of humans, ancient pigs, deer, and red stencils of ancient hands.
Since the paintings are old enough to be dated to the last Ice Age, they predate modern human migrations into Europe by at least 20,000 years. This means that the art must have been made by Neanderthals, creating even more discussion on the history of symbols as it relates to human development.
Radiocarbon dating made estimating the age of this cave art difficult until modern techniques allowed for more accurate analyses. Today, we can even date paintings by sampling the marks made by the torches on the walls.
4. Cave Symbols
Cave writing throughout Europe dating back 40,000 years connects people and cultures through the use of similar symbols. Genevieve von Petzinger wrote about this phenomenon in her book, The First Signs. She was searching for the origins of cognitive symbology, a task that took her throughout Europe observing cave art from the Ice Age.
The geometric symbols in caves at Chauvet, Lascaux, Niaux, Bustillo, and more depict crude abstracts of figures and shapes, including crosshatches and spirals. They are so non-figurative that they cannot be understood as representing a single concept like a letter. However, Petzinger insists that they had cultural significance shared among regions.
Regional differences can help decode the symbols. For instance, a tectiform symbol that appears in caves in the Dordogne has not been found in the caves of neighboring regions. Petzinger theorizes that this could mean the tectiform is a tribal symbol rather than a cultural one.
What is now known near-exclusively as the emblem of the Nazi party is actually an ancient symbol with a very different meaning. The oldest Swastikas have been dated to ancient Eurasia, around 7,000 years ago. Researchers believe the design was a symbol of the sun traveling across the sky. They believe it was originally used as a sign of wellbeing and kinship.
Later examples have been discovered in the tombs of ancient Christians and in the Cathedral of Cordoba. To Buddhism, the symbol is holy, signifying the footsteps of Buddha. In India, the Swastika represents their sun god and is used as a sign of welcome at weddings and on the doors of shops.
The Swastika is even used in Vedic Mathematics, a representation of a cube of four dimensions symbolizing the fourth state of consciousness. It is held with deep significance as the fourth state of being after dreaming, sleeping, and waking. In India, Hitler’s use of it as a political icon is considered an offense on a philosophical and spiritual level.
According to oldest.org. Source of photo: internet