A Babylonian clay tablet stored at the British Museum has revealed a previously overlooked image. A portion of the tablet appears blank, but there is a barely-discernible carving showing a man being led away by a woman who is holding his hands bound by a rope. The tablet is 3,500 years old, which makes this the oldest known drawing of a ghost ever. How do we know the man is supposed to be a ghost? Because the back of the tablet contains text that are instructions for how to get rid of a lonely ghost.
See, the ghost is haunting the living because he is in need of female companionship. The ancient cuneiform writing lays out a ritual in which one would make figurines of the ghost and a woman and place them in a romantic setting with all the supplies for a night of earthly bliss.
Dr. Irving Finkel of the British Museum lays out the story in his forthcoming book The First Ghosts: Most Ancient of Legacies. Get an overview of the story, including more details of the exorcism ritual at The Guardian. -via Strange Company
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