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People Think This Super Old Artifact Is The "Original Fidget Spinner" But It's Totally Not

It's not even what the museum has it labeled as.

Posted on August 2, 2017, at 2:55 p.m. ET

Recently, an image of what appeared to be a super-old, clay "fidget spinner" sitting in a museum went viral. Here's the official photo of the ancient spinner:

Courtesy of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago / Via oi.uchicago.edu

Originally shared by Arielle Pardes, senior associate editor of Wirer, over 40,000 people have since retweeted what appeared to be an ancient version of the modern fad toy.

Proof that there are no original ideas anymore

There were plenty of thoughts about the whole thing...

@JShahryar @pardesoteric @ShammaBoyarin This is what ruined the Isin-Larsa period and left them vulnerable to conquest by Amorites

@pardesoteric @amandadeibert #YeOldeFidgetSpinner

@pardesoteric @TheIvanhobe I've heard of retro, but that's fucking ridiculous.

Including what the younger generation thought of the news:

@pardesoteric @terjerp My eleven year old boy when he saw this: "4000 years??? Wow, spinners are so out."

And other modern ~fidget~ products that may have been invented long ago.

@pardesoteric Fidget cubes showed up a few hundred years later.

However, Kiersten Neumann, a research associate and curator at the University of Chicago Oriental Institute where the "ancient fidget spinner" is currently on display, told BuzzFeed News it's likely that the "spinning toy with animal heads" has been mislabeled and is actually a mace.

"Mace heads were usually made of stone so it is interesting that our example is of baked clay," she said.

"That our baked clay example was found in the area of a temple also supports that it is a mace head since they were considered weapons of the gods in the second millennium BC."

Neumann said that the reason the clay object probably wasn't a toy or a fidget spinner is because if it were a "spinning toy" it would be a largely singular example of such an object. (As in, no other Mesopotamian fidget spinners have been found to suggest this was ever a thing).

The biggest issue seems to be how and why the object was misidentified in the gallery.

"All I can say is that our ideas change over time," said Neumann.

The museum plans to update its labels to reflect what this fake ancient fidget spinner really is. But otherwise, now you know.

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