Most of the sports that we are familiar with in modern times have been around for much longer than many people realise.
These are sports that have become part of humanity as a whole mostly in the last few hundred years, but many of them have been played for much longer than that.
While the rules and the players of these sports have changed in incredibly drastic ways as the sports have evolved, they are still the same in their premise. Here we will look at some of the very oldest sports in the world that are still being played and enjoyed to this day.
Boxing is a sport that’s beloved around the world, and sees some of the most skilled athletes of modern times fighting it out for the ultimate win. But the origins of the sport are much older than most people may know, with its origins being traced back to the ancient civilisations that lived in Mesopotamia, many thousands of years ago.
The evidence that these people boxed comes from a Sumerian relief tablet that depicts two men fighting with their fists clenched. Boxing has also been found in other ancient cultures, including the Minoans, who are widely regarded as the precursor people to the ancient Greeks.
It’s not hard to understand why swimming may be one of the very oldest sports and pastimes of all time. Humans have been enjoying water for as long as we have existed, but the idea of using swimming as a competitive venture did not come around until a few thousand years ago, around about the dawn of civilisation.
Findings have shown that ancient humans would engage in doggy paddle and breaststroke in a somewhat competitive way, although it was never a true competitive sport as we know it. In fact, it wouldn’t be until the 1800s in Victorian England before swimming was recognised as a real sport.
Although it might not be quite seen as a sport by most, the competitive nature in many gambling games does make it more of a sport in some instances. Regardless, gambling has been enjoyed around the world for countless millennia and saw great prominence in ancient China.
Archaeologists have found die that originate to some of the very earliest civilisations, meaning that our ancestors like to battle probability as much as we like to in the modern world, as evidenced when we play slots online on a daily basis.
One of the great advantages that humans have over other animals is our ability to run long distances without getting tired. And this is a skill that has persisted for hundreds of thousands of years, making it a natural runner-up in the oldest sport of all time.
Humans have probably been running competitively since before even the invention of a writing system, or even more complex languages.