Oldest Known Depiction of a Ghost Discovered on Babylonian Tablet
Hollywood movies have taught us that ghosts are otherworldly hair-raising creatures, who terrorise whoever they meet, but according to Dr Irving Finkel, curator of the Middle Eastern Department at the British Museum, the one depicted on the tablet seems quite nice – he became a ghost in an attempt to find a female companion.
"It's obviously a male ghost and he's miserable. You can imagine a tall, thin, bearded ghost hanging about the house did get on people's nerves. The final analysis was that what this ghost needed was a lover", he said.
As mentioned earlier, the ancient tablet has been in the possession of the British Museum for a long time, but only recently were researchers able to discover the painting. Dr Finkel suggested that it could enter the Guinness Book of Records.
"You'd probably never give it a second thought because the area where the drawings are looks like it's got no writing. But when you examine it and hold it under a lamp, those figures leap out at you across time in the most startling way. It is a Guinness Book of Records object because how could anybody have a drawing of a ghost which was older?", he said.