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Ancient Roots of Stories Detected

January 23rd, 2016

Cinderella_-_Project_Gutenberg_etext_19993A key idea in modern-day Druidry is that some of the old stories contains keys to our understanding and development that have been buried within them for thousands of years.  Here the BBC reports on new research that confirms this idea:

Fairy tales like Beauty and the Beast can be traced back thousands of years, according to researchers at universities in Durham and Lisbon.

Using techniques normally employed by biologists, academics studied links between stories from around the world and found some had prehistoric roots.

They found some tales were older than the earliest literary records, with one dating back to the Bronze Age.

The stories had been thought to date back to the 16th and 17th Centuries.

Durham University anthropologist Dr Jamie Tehrani, said Jack and the Beanstalk was rooted in a group of stories classified as The Boy Who Stole Ogre’s Treasure, and could be traced back to when Eastern and Western Indo-European languages split more than 5,000 years ago.

Analysis showed Beauty And The Beast and Rumpelstiltskin to be about 4,000 years old.

And a folk tale called The Smith And The Devil, about a blacksmith selling his soul in a pact with the Devil in order to gain supernatural abilities, was estimated to go back 6,000 years to the Bronze Age.

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6 Responses to “Ancient Roots of Stories Detected”

  1. This is very interesting. An Iranian friend Dr Iraj Emami once told me that all European folk tales come from Iran, which I have verified by reading the 1001 Nights (mostly Iranian folk tales). All the various European fairy story modules are represented in it. It could of course equally be that all European folk tales come from the same Indo-European root culture as Iran. One thing puzzles me about the blacksmith and the devil though – correct me if I am wrong but 6,000 years ago predates the Bronze Age. There were no blacksmiths and surely no Devil around at that time!

  2. Fascinating!
    I found it very interesting that the old stories passed down through who-knows-how-many generations of the native people of the Australian east coast tells an accurate story of how the Great Barrier Reef was formed. It tells in in a storified way (and if that word didn’t already exist – I’m sure it did – it does now! 🙂 ) but is non the less accurate, as was explained in the excellent recent David Attenborough series about the Great barrier Reef on the Beeb.

  3. So interesting to learn about the way different traditions (and stories!) evolved and traveled through the ages. I’m especially interested in the connections and similarities between Celtic traditions and those of Northeastern Native American communities.

    Thank you for posting!!

  4. Heart gives rise to inspiration, growth spirals upward like a tree at the top of the spinal trunk. Thoughts go out on limbs with leaves in the sun, wind an rain.

    Rooted in the will of knowing nurtured by sacred waters. Swaying with a gentle song rising above everything. Embracing the perfect calm of the heart of the night.

    Transitioning Life Love and Song. A home for souls on the wing. Recording in the rings the records of time.
    Paul McKye

  5. and today it is published that neutrinos travel at speeds faster than the speed of light- what we have thought we know about most things is being shaken up …..awen thrice!

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