Thursday Salute to Originals: The Ancient Smiley Face

Art can be traced back to the earliest of paintings and drawings found hidden in caves and hieroglyphics, dating back centuries. Each year, new artifacts are being unearthed that continuously shape (and reshape) our every day perceptions of the Old World – and our present. Recently, a simple and humorous discovery was made on a very old object that was dug up.

Turkish and Italian archaeologists discovered an interesting symbol on a 3,700-year-old white jug that you might be familiar with: A smiley face! The unmistakable smiley face that hovered above a crack in the jar had almost gone unnoticed – until a lab received it for restoration.

What we love about this discovery is its relatability. In more recent artworks, regardless of the medium, we have seen many pieces where the sole subject of the work is a smiley face. Just last week we showed you Joe Suzuki’s Happy Accidents series, in which a smiley face is depicted (pictured below). They have become a part of our everyday lives. We use them to communicate through emoticons; We doodle them while we should be taking important notes; We use them as a part of brand recognition, like Walmart. In essence, this little smiley face found on an ancient artifact allows us to get a little closer to the past and the history of humanity.

This week, we salute the team of archaeologists who unearthed this simple little smiley face. While we may not always know much about the past or understand it, discoveries like this one make us feel all that much closer and connected with history as a result.

Sources: This is Colossal