The original fidget spinner may have been invented as far back as 4,000 years ago, or so the internet seems to think.
Earlier this week, Wired journalist Arielle Pardes tweeted a museum artefact described as a “spinning toy with animal heads” that dates back to between 2000 and 1800 BCE. Looking a lot like a fidget spinner, Pardes joked that it was “proof that there are no original ideas anymore”.
See the artefact – which is on display at Chicago’s Oriental Institute Museum – in the tweet below.
However, Oriental Institute Museum chief curator Jean Evans has since told The Verge that while the item “does look like a fidget spinner” that she doesn’t think that the categorisation of it as a spinning toy is correct. Instead, Evans believes it’s actually the head of a mace.
“We do have toys that survive from ancient Mesopotamia — baked clay rattles, whistles, animal figurines, and wheeled carts, to name a few,” Evans said. “But the fact that this ‘spinning toy’ would be a largely singular example of such a toy also suggests to me that it would be more accurate to think of it as a mace head.”
Meanwhile, Arcade Fire have been selling their own fidget spinners. The now sold-out item was being sold for $109 and also functioned as a USB device.