Puppetry is a very ancient art form, thought to have originated about 3000 years ago. Puppets have been used since the earliest times to animate and communicate the ideas and needs of human societies, and they pre-date actors in theatre. There is evidence that they were used in Egypt as early as 2000 BC when string-operated figures of wood were manipulated to perform the action of kneading bread. Wire controlled, articulated puppets made of clay and ivory have also been found in Egyptian tombs. Hieroglyphs also describe "walking statues" being used in AncientEgyptian religious dramas. Puppetry was practiced in Ancient Greece and the oldest written records of puppetry can be found in the works of Herodotus and Xenophon, dating from the 5th century BC.