The origin of fairy tales

Over at The Atlantic, Ed Young has a very good write up of some work done by Sara Graça da Silva and Jamie Tehrani on the origins of folktales. The researchers have used existing databases of folktakes, fitted them with their geographical distribution, and used statistical methods from evolutionary biology to trace back the ancesty of common European folktales. Their results suggest that some of these folktales might be 6000 years old — talk about strong attractors!

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