Rigveda is considered to be the oldest recorded religious writings(grandha) book may be by the Indians.I do not know Whether it is a fact or not.Even the Wikipedia says so.

Is Rigveda the oldest recorded(grandha) religious writings(text) in the world? If it is not Rigveda what is the oldest recorded religious text available now?

Here is a link.


  • What do you call a 'book'? Rigveda is a collection of hymns existing in at least two variations. Its written form is just a later, still another variation. Rigveda had never been conceived as a 'book', that is, a text written on a material medium. – Yellow Sky Oct 8 '19 at 12:01
  • You don't have to do all the research, you just have to demonstrate that you've done some, so that answerers can try to understand what you know and tailor their answers to you, and so that you don't appear to be wasting others' time. – curiousdannii Oct 8 '19 at 13:50
  • 3
    Even with research, this is essentially trivia. We don't need questions asking about the oldest text of each genre, that won't teach anyone anything about linguistics. Instead a better place to ask questions like that is the Literature site. – curiousdannii Oct 8 '19 at 13:51
  • 2
    This is not a question about linguistics, and indeed, when you hover on the downvote arrow, you see a suggestion to use it for questions that seem to lack any prior research. You don't get to make up your own site rules, just because you think the current ones are anti-Indian or pro-Western or whatever. – LjL Oct 8 '19 at 13:58
  • 1
    Good answers, therefore good question. – Greg Lee Oct 8 '19 at 16:36

The Rg-Veda is not the oldest book. It can be linguistically dated circa 1000 BCE. Besides, we do not have copies that old. The dating is retrospective. The oldest recorded book with datable tablets is rather The Epic of Gilgamesh, which already existed circa 2000 BCE. This book itself assembles earlier narratives that are possibly as old as 2500 BCE.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – prash Oct 8 '19 at 16:51

There was news today on fragments of the Ancient Egyptian Book of Two Ways (spells to ward off demons and what may be a map, possibly a guide to the underworld) discovered in a woman's coffin at Dayr al-Barsha. The coffin was dated to the reign of Mentuhotep II (who ruled till 2010 BCE). A journal paper was published last month about the book: Harco Willems, "A Fragment of an Early Book of Two Ways on the Coffin of Ankh from Dayr al-Barshā (B4B)"

Here is an article on this discovery. This is possibly the oldest illuminated book known, albeit painted on the wooden side of a coffin (for the dead woman to read in the afterlife).

So here's another example of a text pre-dating the Rg Veda.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.