L Banks: Artist’s version of the world’s oldest animation


L. Banks illustrated a publication about an ancient bowl found at the Burnt City, in what is now Iran.

L. Banks illustrated a publication about an ancient bowl found at the Burnt City, in what is now Iran.

It’s a nice rendering of . . . gee, what is that?

If you remember correctly, it’s a goat.  It’s a goat.

More specifically, it’s the goat depicted on “the world’s oldest animation,” a bowl more than 5,000 years old that some researchers think may have been the earliest attempt to depict animals in motion.

I wrote about the bowl back in 2008.  I learned of it from Kris Hirst at About.com, and I thought it was interesting.  “Animation” in the headline, at spring break, and tens of thousands of kids took a look at the little .gif animation from photos of the bowl.  The post took about ten minutes to compose, and it remains the single most popular post ever at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub (even more popular than the posts about the imaginary Texas chainsaw massacre).

So I stumbled on Banks’s drawing.  Illustration is often high art — the image above is identified as an educational image.  Children’s book?  Don’t know.

Banks has some other very nice illustrations on display, on completely different subjects.  You should go see.

What was that bowl maker trying to show with the goat and tree on that bowl?  Did s/he dream that people would be making images inspired by the bowl, 52 centuries later?

World's oldest animation; bowl from the Burnt City

An animated .gif made from photographic images of a bowl found at the Burnt City, and dated at 5,200 years.

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