First Online Video Dates Back to 2600 B.C.

first ever online videoAlas, online viewers may have a short attention span, but the rapid-fire entertainment has its roots more than 4000 years ago. Here’s the oldest recorded animation, and it’s made by sequencing five images on a goblet that may date back to 2600 B.C.

This according to the archeology blog on About.com (warning- pop-ups will chase you home tonight if you click that link):

Now this is deeply cool. The Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) in Iran has made a short film using the images on a bowl from the Burnt City. The Burnt City (Shar-i Sokhta) is a site in Iran that dates to about 2600 BC, and has seen some decades of investigation. The bowl shows five images of a wild goat leaping, and if you put them in a sequence (like a flip book), the wild goat leaps to nip leaves off a tree.

What does a historic goblet animation teach us about online video?

  1. Keep the story simple.
  2. Animals sell. Animals are to online video as red and yellow are to fast food.
  3. Jumping animals are funnier. I would have prefered to see the goat smash his head, but I’m clearly not on PETA’s Christmas list.
  4. Watching feeble attempts make us feel better about ourselves. The goat never quite catches the leaves. That’s only moderately funny now, but it killed on Bob Saget’s “Iran’s Funniest Goblets.”
  5. Don’t forget the permanence of the medium. I suspect the poor Iranian that drew this might have put a bit more attention into the totally unconvincing trees and over-extended goat horns if he (or she) knew it would be flopping around the Internet. Of course, they didn’t yet have electricity, so I doubt they really could conceive the notion of the Internet until maybe a few hundred years later.

Doesn’t Steamboat Willie seem a bit Neuvo now?

8 thoughts on “First Online Video Dates Back to 2600 B.C.”

  1. U mean al gore invented the internet in 2600 bc? hmmmmm imagine that! BTW, have u guys seen the old video of the exploding whale? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtVSzU20ZGk Im not joking,the whale was dead and washed up on a beach,so the authorities loaded it with explosives,and well,u can probably imagine the outcome! o yea,F*CK YOUTUBE!!!

  2. marquis you definitely have too much time on your hands and so does that guy!

    Kev I long for the days before 2550bc or should I say bce, must be politically correct I suppose, a simpler time none the less. Would be nice tho to see this primitive animation before Bush starts bombing it back to the stone age.

  3. OMG the exploding whale! I think that was the first one I’d ever seen sent electronically. I was like “what the heck is this file! I must be 500K or something!” BTW, Jan, politically correct in 2550 meant you only killed your enemies. And Sukatra- the only reason I found this was because wordpress featured it. Archeology is SO antiquated.

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