I’ve read before that the oldest surviving work of literature is the Epic of Gilgamesh, engraved on ancient Babylonian tablets 4,000 years ago. But no doubt our need to tell stories goes back beyond this, oral storytelling and art, for example in the form of the ancient cave paintings, both fulfilling this ancient, human desire.
In one of those moments of serendipity, as I was wondering what the oldest stories could be, beyond known written narratives such as Gilgamesh, I came upon a BBC article, Fiction Addiction: Why Humans Need Stories (link below) with this interesting sidebar:
Much in the way that local folklore gives definition to landscape and the world that surrounds us, did ancient man also make sense of his world with such creations?
The examples in the sidebar image are clues passed down to us that survive in written form, but what about before these? If only we could trace the lineage back, the evolution of storytelling, back into those obscuring mists of pre-history to rediscover the very first story, and pay homage to that very first storyteller, maybe sat around a fire or in a flame-illuminated cave, speaking into being the first myths and tribal histories.
Explaining events that gave fuel to a people evolving to wonder at origin and meaning, weaving a magic that still enchants today.