People think the original fidget spinner was invented 4,000 years ago

This museum artefact looks a lot like a fidget spinner

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.