Meaning: extremely old. More on dirt.
Rewrite 1: old as the rocks
Rewrite 2: old as Abraham
Rewrite 3: old as last month’s jokes
Rewrite 4: the Egyptian antiquities are younger than this
Comment: This cliché is close to the stuff of “he’s so old…” jokes, so it depends on your intent as a writer how serious you make the rewrites. Also, I used “Abraham” in rewrite 2 to span the three main religious groups: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity to broaden the appeal and the understanding. He was also about 125 years old, old by any human standards.
More reading about clichés
What I found when I googled “clichés”:
• Caught in historical clichés: from India’s national magazine.
Check out the new alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.