Just how old are fairy tales?

When we were running through our alphabet journey, we looked at the importance of storytelling and how the idea of it is as old as mankind. ¬†Until now, we weren’t sure just how old some of our well known and loved fairy tales might be, but some fascinating research has uncovered evidence that shows they could be as much as 5,000 or more years old. ¬†Some of them even pre-date modern languages, having been told in a now extinct Indo-European language.


Read more about it in this BBC news article here: Fairy tale origins thousands of years old, researchers say

Share your thoughts about this fascinating discovery, which just goes to prove how intrinsic our need to tell stories really is…



  1. I love telling and reading fairy tales, both with children in the class and with my grandchildren. We all know the classics. I remember one of my children wanting me to read Red Riding Hood every night for weeks and weeks. In this modern world in which we live, we sometimes forget about the simple pleasures in life – the look of rapture on a child’s face when they are told a fairy tale. Thanks for reminding us of the pleasures and origins of fairy tales.

    • Yes, I think you are right – fables and fairy tales are often a child’s first experience of storytelling. They are wonderful at sparking the imagination – something we need to make an effort to hang onto when we are all grown up!

  2. I had a Grimm upbringing! I agree. I recently went to photograph Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s statue and that reminded me of the hoaxes he was connected to – the Piltdown Man (Charles Dawson), yes – but what about the Cottingley Fairies:
    The trouble is that many thousands of adults wanted to believe in those fairies so much because of their upbringing on fairy tales that they fell for the hoax hook line and sinker.
    We wish that the world was not as real as it is. We hope that the Will-O’-the-Wisp really is a creature that lives in the marshes and that the noises heard on the cave ceilings on Cornish Tin Mines are not boulders being moved by the tide – but really The Tommyknockers!

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