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   ancient      century      collector      elements      first      folklorist      humans      least      links      long      metal      modern      old      older      remarkable      scientists      substantial      theory      thousands      years  
The famous 19th-century fairy tale Wilhelm Grimm suggested fairy tales dated back of years. Scientists now support his and claim that many of the fairy tales we know and love could be over 4,000 years . Anthropologist Jamshid Tehrani and Sara da Silva say the oldest known fairy tale dates back over 6,000 to the Bronze Age. This is a time between the Stone Age and Iron Age when first started making tools from . Dr Tehrani studied the evolution of our early languages. He found strong between a tale called "The Smith and the Devil" and the Proto-Indo-European language - an common language that dates to around 6,000 years ago.

The two analysed 275 tales for of culture that existed before languages like English, French and Italian. They say well-known tales like "Beauty and the Beast" and "Rumplestiltskin" are at 4,000 years old. Dr Tehrani said: "It's that these stories have survived so long without being written down. They are than the English language and would have been told in a language that is now extinct." Many of the fairy tales we know today were first written down in the 17th . Dr Tehrani says the new findings suggest that: "A number of magical tales have existed in Indo-European oral traditions before they were written down."

 
 

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