is one of the oldest sports, and there are many references in documents and paintings
that date thousands of years ago.
From the Sumerians, to the Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Middle Ages and Renaissance wrestling
competitions has been a really popular among different civilisations.
In the XIX century professional wrestling emerged prior to the revival of the Modern Olympics
first real traces of the development of
wrestling date back to the time of the Sumerians,
5000 years ago.
Epic of Gilgamesh written in cuneiform, the
sculptures and the low reliefs are numerous sources
that reveal the first umpired competitions.
bronze sculpture, discovered at Khafaji, near
Baghdad and nowadays on display in Baghdad
Museum, shows two wrestlers grip each other by
the belt Made around 2 800 B C it is the oldest
representation of ritual wrestling of which we have
A bronze sculpture, discovered at Khafaji, near Baghdad and now displayed in
the National Museum of Iraq, shows two wrestlers gripping each other by the belt.
Image of the Tombs of Baqet and Khety, located in Beni Hasan, Egypt
There are also many historical and archaeological traces of wrestling in Ancient Egypt with
tombs representing around 400 pairs of wrestlers painted around 2100 B.C. These drawings, as
well as many other vestiges, witness the existence of organised wrestling in Ancient Egypt,
wrestling rules and umpiring codes.
Base of a statue representing two wrestlers, Relief
of Marble, 510
B.C., National Archeological Museum, Athens.
For the Greeks, wrestling was a science and a divine
art, and it represented the most important training for
young men. Athletes wrestled naked, with their bodies
coated with olive oil and covered with a layer of very
thin sand to protect the skin from sunlight or from cold
during winter. After wrestling, they scraped this layer
off with an instrument called strigil and washed
themselves with water. Fights were similar to those of
freestyle wrestling, as shown by drawings and
inscriptions from that time. The competitor who first
threw his opponent or first brought him down either
on his back, hips, chest, knees or elbows was
proclaimed the winner.