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

The two scientists analysed 275 tales elements culture that existed modern languages like English, French and Italian. They say well-known tales like "Beauty and the Beast" and "Rumplestiltskin" are least 4,000 years old. Dr Tehrani said: "It's remarkable that these stories have survived so long being written down. They are older than the English language and would have been first told a language that is now extinct." Many the fairy tales we know today were first written in the 17th century. Dr Tehrani says the new findings suggest that: "A substantial number magical tales have existed Indo-European oral traditions long they were written down."

 
 

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