OK, so maybe I was too critical of the sex and bodily parts/function jokes:
Academics have unearthed what they believe to be Britain's oldest joke, a 1,000-year-old double-entendre about men's sexual desire.
They found the wry observation in the Codex Exoniensis, a 10th century book of Anglo-Saxon poetry held at Exeter Cathedral.
It reads: “What hangs at a man's thigh and wants to poke the hole that it's often poked before?' Answer: A key.”
Scouring ancient texts, researchers from Wolverhampton University found the jokes laid down in delicate manuscripts and carved into stone tablets up to three thousand years old.
Dr Paul MacDonald, a comic novelist and lecturer in creative writing, said ancient civilizations laughed about much the same things as we do today.
He said jokes ancient and modern shared “a willingness to deal with taboos and a degree of rebellion.”
“Modern puns, Essex girl jokes and toilet humour can all be traced back to the very earliest jokes identified in this research,” he commented.
Lost civilisations laughed at farts, sex, and "stupid people" just as we do today, Dr McDonald said.
Ah, the eternal fart joke.