The first idea of animation is linked to sequenced images that depict or tell a story following each step by step. Giving a more detailed version of a story than a simple series of images.
"An Egyptian burial chamber mural, approximately 4000 years old, showing wrestlers in action. Even though this may appear similar to a series of animation drawings, there was no way of viewing the images in motion. It does, however, indicate the artist's intention of depicting motion." Wikipedia
This is a very detail description of a story of two wrestlers, as your eyes follow the drawings at a face past you could see it moving in a right pace for it to move. This is 4000 years old, this is before people could imagine the use of electricy or even comprehending a television. This is animation in it's earliest steps.
"A 5,000 year old earthen bowl found in Iran in Shahr-i Sokhta has five images of a goat painted along the sides. This has been claimed to be an example of early animation. However, since no equipment existed to show the images in motion, such a series of images cannot be called animation in a true sense of the word." -Wikipedia
Like most vases back in this time period that told stories especially greek vases, this one from Iran shows more of motion that story.