One thing that has fascinated me in recent years has been the flow of discoveries coming from the excavations in the Burnt City in what is now Iran. As if the city, itself, wasn’t interesting enough, there have been some truly amazing finds: the oldest known backgammon set complete with six-sided dice, a prosthetic eye made of light-weight resin and covered with gold, and what might be the oldest example of animation ever found, a ceramic goblet with painted images of a goat.
This beautiful piece has five images of a goat with a leafy tree (Some peg it as a representation of the Tree of Life.). The thing is, these images aren’t static images, each one shows the goat in a different pose.
When this goblet is spun around, the images act like a flip-book animation and the goat seems to launch itself into the air to snag a leaf off the tree. There is an animated GIF of the goat jumping, too. I also found this GIF on Iran’s Cultural Heritage News Agency (CHN). So I’m assuming it was assembled by someone on the CHN staff. Whoever compiled it, it’s a nice one! Click here to see it.