(Copenhagen) Kissing as a sign of romantic or sexual attachment is a practice among humans dating back at least 4,500 years, a millennium earlier than commonly believed, the authors of the study told AFP on Friday. an Anglo-Danish study.

Their work, published this week in the journal Science, shows evidence that “kissing on the mouth is attested in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt” as early as 2500 BCE.

The practice could, however, go back even further in antiquity to prehistory, explained to AFP Troels Pank Arbøll, of the University of Copenhagen, who co-authored the study with Sophie Lund Rasmussen of the University of Copenhagen. ‘Oxford.

A specialist in the ancient Middle East, he is surprised to read in scientific publications that the romantic human kiss is attested by an Indian source from 1500 BC.

“I knew there was older evidence in ancient Mesopotamia,” explained Mr. Arbøll, an expert in cuneiform — an ancient Mesopotamian script — on ancient clay tablets.

In the thousands of cuneiform texts available, the two researchers found few references to the romantic kiss.

But enough to say “there are clear examples that kissing was common in ancient times.”

Experts on the subject distinguish between the “friendly-parental” kiss and the “romantic-sexual” kiss.

While the former seems universal across ages and geographies, the latter “is not culturally universal.”