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Top 12 Oldest Professions in the World (Update: Aug 2023)

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In this article, we are gonna share some details about the Oldest Professions in the World.
Many years ago, people were engaged in various tasks. In ancient times people always tried to engage themselves in meaningful employment. Nowadays, the workplace is constantly evolving and new professions are being created regularly. But some of the past professions are still practiced and exist in the present work environment. Some professions were highly practiced in the past but have vanished today.

The main reason why people engage themselves in meaningful ventures includes the need for money for their livelihood and for basic needs that are required to maintain a healthy living standard. Due to this modern era, the old professions are vanishing, and the new profession has been accepted and adopted across the globe.

Top List of the Oldest Professions

Oldest Profession

According to research, prostitution is considered the “World’s oldest profession“. However, some of these ancient jobs still exist because they are necessary for most basic human needs. Nowadays our necessities are also increasing which include shelter, food, clothing, and education and all these can be afforded only with the use of money. So, here we came up with a new article to cover the most practiced oldest professions in the world.

The oldest professions are difficult to pinpoint with certainty, but historians believe that some of the oldest professions in human history include.

12. Teacher

Teaching is one of the most important professions in ancient times as well as today also. It is considered one of the noble professions not only in India but all over the world. Everyone knows about famous ancient teachers like Dronacharya & religious preachers like Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. From ancient times, teaching was considered one of the most important professions. Without education, there will be no development in the world. In ancient times, students used to study below the banyan tree. Throughout history, we heard the names of many amazing teachers like Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle, who said “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all”. Even today, the salary of a teacher is not as high as other professions but still, this profession is important.

11. Doctor

We all know that today there is massive growth in technology and medicine as compared to ancient times. But still, the doctor is considered the oldest profession as it played a major role in ancient times. Do you guys know about Sushruta? He is known as the “Father of Indian Medicine” and “Father of Plastic Surgery” and was the one who invented and developed surgical procedures. In ancient times, there were physicians or some doctors to treat the king’s clan and the soldiers. At that time, ayurveda was very popular and was massively used for the treatment of the ancient people. Nowadays, there is a lot of development in the medicine sector and a large number of doctors are appointed in every hospital for the treatment of patients.  A job of a doctor is not that easy, you have to carefully go through the patient’s disease and need to cure it.

10. Farming

Farming is one of the oldest professions engaged in both subsistence and commercial levels. Farming includes the clearing and tilling of the soil to cultivate crops of all kinds. Farming is one of the common occupations in ancient times as people are highly dependent on it for food. But in recent times, farming has become more lucrative than it used to be which is a result of the modern technologies used in farming on a very large scale.

Do you know that our ancestors were collecting and eating wild grains till 11,000 BCE? Yes, we all have accepted some modern and new professions but still, we all are dependent on farmers for crops. Due to the massive population growth, humanity has never stopped needing farmers. Some farmers are only in this profession because it has been their family business for several generations.

9. Mining

Mining is the most dangerous profession in the world. It is considered a risky job and not everyone likes to do this job. Mining involves digging up the ground in search of various precious metals and stones like gold, silver, etc. Though mining is a risky job still circumstances force many people to choose this profession. Today, mining has a great demand, and the mining industry with time is only growing. Miners are still in demand today. Mining is counted in the list of the 12 oldest professions in the world.

8. Tailoring

Tailoring is one of the oldest professions and till now it is practiced by some people due to its importance in human existence and general well-being. Tailoring is a work that includes stitching fabrics using special instruments like a needle and thread to make fitting and matching clothing that is used to cover the body and other necessary services. It is an important profession because it helps to provide for or meet one of the most basic needs of humans.

Do you know when ancient humans started wearing clothes? But it is estimated that clothing came about between 100,000-500,000 years ago. But there is no evidence that our ancestors stopped wandering around naked. Though clothing has an important role and become more than just a necessity, tailors, dressmakers, custom sewers, and seamstresses are still needed today.

7. Toolmaker

Toolmaking is another important oldest profession in this world. It started 2.6 million years ago when our earliest human ancestors began producing stone tools. These tools are made from flint and wood that they used to hunt animals or construct shelters. The old tools comprised sharp flakes manufactured from quartz, obsidian, or flint, as well as slabs of rock for hammering. These stone tools are highly used in the butchering of animals.

The evolution of tools led to the evolution of modern humans, who became so skilled at manufacturing and utilizing tools that we are now the only hominid species left. This tool-making skill still has demand but seems to have come in contact with technology. Tools help people to carry out various functions like making the bed & chairs, fishing, and hunting. The oldest stone tools are known as Oldawan.

6. Storytellers

Storytelling is always one of the most famous oldest professions in many civilizations. Our ancestors used the profession of storytelling to pass on various important information and explain it to the people around them. This profession had great demand until the written language was invented. In those days, many people used to sit and gather in one place and listen to stories. But these days, the storytelling profession has vanished and people use their smartphones and other digital assets to collect information and news.

No one knows who is the first hominid species to develop proto-language skills. Storytelling is usually practiced by educated professionals to narrate stories to small children and to pass various useful information to people. Storytelling is considered one of the oldest professions in the world.

5. Musician

People always had a craze for music from ancient times. It is one of the most famous old professions in the world. As per the research, our ancestors started composing music about 50,000 years ago during a cultural explosion. Music has an important role both in social and religious life. Even some of us don’t know that the oldest existing instruments are about 42,000-43,000 years old and come from Germany. Since then, Music always had an important place in nearly every culture around the world.

Musicians are one of the most popular entertainers and the oldest profession. In ancient times, most of the songs were eulogies, dirges, and war songs. But in recent times, music has gained more recognition and has become even more lucrative and famous.

4. Artist

Top Oldest Profession

The artist is one of the most popular oldest professions in the world. A cave painting of a red hand stencil from Spain is the oldest painting in the world. The cave painting is estimated to be around 67,000 years old but still has demand. Researchers believed that humans already could make art before they left Africa over 65,000 years ago. In ancient times, people used to do wall paintings and various types of other paintings which show some historic evidence.

There are various paintings whose worth is more than gold. Over time art became more sophisticated and old paintings and sculptures are now among the world’s most precious possessions. Some people like to collect unique paintings. Through paintings and art, you can make every simple thing into a beautiful creation. Using art, you can design pots, plates, and fabric. It was considered a renowned profession at that time.

Top 3 Oldest Professions are Below

3. Hunter

Top Oldest Professions

In ancient times, people usually started hunting and eating meat for nearly 2 million years. Early humans are very much dependent on hunting for their food. They only scavenged animals that had died from natural causes or were left over by lions, leopards, and other predators. Nowadays, hunting is no longer considered a profession.

Now, most people only hunt for sport or to provide for their families. Before agriculture, humans were mostly hunter-gatherers. In those times, hunting is a technique for obtaining food and supplies from animals that has been practiced since the dawn of time. In early 13,000 BCE, people only hunted woolly mammoths. But today, the demand for hunting has decreased and it is considered a recreational activity or a hobby. Still, there are some societies on Earth where hunting is a good full-time occupation.

2. Spy

Oldest Professions in the World

Spy is another popular and oldest profession at that time. Almost everyone knows that every civilization sought to defend itself against its adversaries in ancient history. Kings usually send their spies to their enemy countries to know their military plans and strategies. Usually, women prostitutes were sent as spies to hostile countries under the rule of Chandragupta Maurya.

Till today almost all countries have their spies and intelligence officers at work who always collect important information about opponent countries. Spying is the most important profession in ancient times as it dealt with security and secret missions. People use to earn a decent income in this profession.

1. Prostitution

Oldest Profession in the World

Prostitution or sex workers is considered the world’s oldest profession. Prostitution is the work of having a sexual relationship with another or unknown person in exchange for money. In ancient times, people believed that having intercourse with a temple prostitute was one way to obtain favor from a fertility god in Sumerian and Babylonian cultures.

Do you know there were approximately 42 million prostitutes in the world and three-quarters of them are aged between 13 to 25? Most prostitutes work against their will and became the target of human trafficking.

Conclusion of Oldest Professions

Conclusion

This is all about the top 12 oldest professions in the world. Here we collected various information about ancient times. If you guys are researching the oldest professions, then this article will help you. Read this article fully to know the details of the oldest profession.

Summary

Here is the list of the Top 12 Oldest Professions in the World.

  1. Prostitution
  2. Spy
  3. Hunter
  4. Artist
  5. Musician
  6. Storytellers
  7. Toolmaker
  8. Tailoring
  9. Mining
  10. Farming
  11. Doctor
  12. Teacher

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Hello readers !!! I am Soumyashree Kahalsingh from Odisha. I am continuing my graduation and also have a hobby of writing different articles. I always try my best to write creative content and to provide SEO-friendly engaging content.

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