I have a well worn basketball that is loosing its covering. The kids don't seem to care. They still dribble and dunk it and leave it under the shrubbery until they go looking for it again.
I have no idea how old this ball is. I do know it is not as old as the leather ones discovered in northern China. Those are 3,000 years old. Looking a bit like bean bags, the are stuffed with hair and are hundreds of years older than ancient drawings of ball games. Which, by the way, surprised the experts who thought ball games in Eurasia were not played until much later.
Did you ever wonder who invented the ball to be used for playing games?
We will probably never know their name, but so far Egypt wins first place for having the oldest discovered ball. They are dated around 4,500 years old and are made from linen. We can probably rule out dribbling or bouncing action in their ball games.
But in Central America, a winner for the oldest dated rubber balls, ball players enjoyed large stone courts dating back 3,700 years. Greece, famous for its athletes, dates to around 2,500 years ago.
What is cool about the Eurasian ball players is they played a game with a leather ball and sticks while riding their horses. Sounds like polo doesn't it? (Just a side note– the horse riders wore pants, not fur togas.) We may never know the exact game they played, but experts believe the games were used to build military skill besides being enjoyed as leisure entertainment.
You might be wondering, "So what's ancient leather, rubber and linen balls have to do with Genesis in the Bible?"
Well, why aren't the balls dated to millions of years? Why aren't the drawings dated to millions of years? If man is that old why did he wait to play ball? Surely someone would have learned to bat a coconut or a rock with a stick and started brainstorming an invention.
But no, we have man acting like a man when the Bible says he lived, and– all over the earth, Egypt, Eurasia, Central America. Just like Genesis says.
If you are interested to learn more about ancient man from a biblical viewpoint, or would like to pass on knowledge like this to the young people in your life, check out our books NOAH and From Abram To Abraham. You can read the article about the Eurasian discovery here.
Image by Ben Hershey courtesy of Unsplash.
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