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Echoes of Ancient Children: 4,200-Year-Old Rattle Found in Turkey

Ian Harvey
Photo credit: Ancient Origins
Photo credit: Ancient Origins

An early Bronze Age toy similar to the current day rattle has been found at the Acemhöyük digging site in Yeşilova, Aksaray. It is an uncommon artifact that shed some knowledge on children and daily life in ancient times.

This rattle is one of the oldest samples of a child’s toy, yet this finding is also interesting for the reason that the artifacts resemble modern-day rattles.

The toy was sealed and has tiny ornaments and tiny pebble stones within. The rattle still produces a sound when it is shaken.

The toy is formed like a ball, and it used to have a handle which might have helped the child or adult to shake it. It was created out of terra cotta, and was found within a layer that dated back to 2200 BC.

The team unearthing the site at Acemhöyük in central Turkey want to analyze the primal layers of the Bronze Age jointly with other layers, and this location has a city wall that dates from that time.

It is thought that the toy is one of the most fascinating artifacts found at the site throughout the last digging season. Yet archaeologists have as well excavated a seventh layer and found a fragment of a necklace created out of metal needles, cups, and bones.

Toys have forever been a significant portion of daily human existence. In the year 2015, Ancient Origin advised readers about a burial site found on the northwest shore of the Lake Itkul within the Minusink basin of Russia.

The archaeologists stated that the burial site goes back 4,500 ages ago, and the mysterious small figurines were found within the grave of a baby. The figurines might have been utilized as rattling toys or charms to fend off evil spirits, Ancient Origins reported.

Eight small horned human-like figurines, and more of birds, boar, elk, and unrecognizable carnivores, were found on the baby’s chest. The figurines were engraved from deer antlers and varnished with red ocher. Several of them have interior cavities and can create noises like current day rattles. It is believed that the figurines could have been linked to a cradle. Another thought was that they may have been toys made to protect the baby from evil beings, something common in this period of time.

It is fascinating to speculate that the rattle might not have been used as a toy at all.

Read more on a similar topic from our vault: Did the ancient Incas sacrifice children? Peruvian tomb found to contain the bodies of adolescents who had their feet chopped off

Could these artifacts have been utilized for ritual practices, or maybe as an offering to pacify or scare off the gods or spirits that could have taken the baby away with them? Possibly they were created to keep others from sharing the same fate? These questions might never be answered.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News