Curators from the National Archives in Trencin, Slovakia have found what they believe is the world’s oldest emoji in a 382-year-old account book.
The discovery- a small circle with two dots and a line- was made in a legal document dating back to 1635. The document reportedly belonged to a 17th century Slovakian lawyer.
• The findings suggest that the drawing, which is recognised today as the smiley face emoji, was signed by the lawyer as his go-ahead.
• He was reviewing municipal account documents in a village, situated next to Slovakia’s Strazov mountain range.
• The discovery makes it the world’s oldest known emoji.
• The previously known oldest smiley face was discovered in a 1648 poem titled ‘To Fortune’, which was written by Robert Herrick from England in 1648 itself.
• The new discovery beats the old one by 13 years.
According to Peter Brindza, the head of the National Archives in Slovakia, it is not certain whether the newly discovered smiley is indeed the world’s oldest but it is definitely one of the oldest in the Trencin region.
Though there is a chance that the drawing could be interpreted as a straight face expression instead of a smiley, the picture follows a passage that indicates that the lawyer seemed to have had no problems with the accounts.
Besides this, the curators also discovered a drawing featuring a pointing clown’s hand within the documents but they haven’t yet been able to establish its context.