I have read a sentence which says that a place is 'as ancient as the Earth', but I was wondering if I want to use a specific century in place of Earth, will that be acceptable, though both the versions sound weird! Not sure, kindly help..

'The artifacts are as ancient as the 9th century" or shall I stay with 'The artifacts are as old as the 9th century"?

edit 1: Maybe I can say it this way: The artifacts are as old as time; carbon dating says they date back to 9th Century

edit 2

Here is an example I found on Internet: Glass industry is as old as 9th century

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-in-school/glass-industry-is-as-old-as-9th-century/article24775621.ece

2 Answers 2


No, I don't think that'd work. The phrase as ancient as the earth seems to me a variation on the metaphor as old as time, which seems to work for things that are very, very old, and still around. It also seems to work best for things that we take for granted and that are part of the natural world.

The 9th century was a long time ago, but it's no longer with us. The earth and time are much, much older than the 9th century, and they're still going.


That is circuitous phrasing. Which means you are seeking something other than the most direct wording. As a plain sentence, "The artifacts 'date from' the 9th century." says what you mean. To add prose details to the sentence, it could become, "These ancient artifacts have been dated back to the 9th century and the Viking invasions of Britain and Ireland.". Also... I am not exactly sure what the original phrase you cite means. "...a place is "as ancient as the Earth." is contrived and poetically vague.


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