Before modern sanitation was invented a lot of people had worms. I learned this from the Lloyds Bank coprolite (viking turd) studied by Paleoscatologists.
Another common discovery in old faecal matter are trichuris nematodes – or whip worms – that can be found living in their hundreds inside the gut. The biggest infestation Jones ever found was 3,000 worms. These worms would have been an everyday part of people’s lives – children would pass them, people would cough them up and they’d be particularly prominent at the end of people’s lives.
You are actually just looking at bits of old excrement and, let’s face it, that is a bit odd.
We go on to talk about worms that wiggle across people’s eyes and others that cause diseases like elephantitis. Then there are pustule-headed dracunculus nematodes, that burst out of blisters. It isn’t hard to imagine how these worms could take on some primal, nightmarish significance and Jones is convinced they have influenced Celtic, iron age and Viking art.
Link: Click Here for The Guardian article
This is indeed something from nightmares and I wonder if the origin of the dragon myths don’t possibly come from this plague of worms?
Travel – With the invention of the airplane we’re able to travel great distances in a short amount of time. In the past traveling far away (Irish diaspora etc) that meant saying goodbye to your family forever. You’d never see your home country or family again.
Indie – Means Independent.
Ancient humans were not necessarily primitive. We simply study humanity back to about the Roman empire and ancient Greece with anything before buried in some tomes that rarely see the light of day. Most people consider the time of Jesus to really be the beginning of human history but there was a lot going on before that. In our minds we think of biblical times as ancient but the human story goes back millennia and we just don’t have the records to enlighten us about what they did and who they were. I love coming across anything before the Roman empire. We’re not taught this in school and the only time it ever comes up is in archaeological discoveries or in random journals here and there.
I love it when I come across something because there is so much more to the story of humanity than we really know. It also influences my thinking of organized religion. There is so much to our history which make Jesus a relative newcomer and so each new discovery solidifies my belief that Jesus was just another profit from the Middle East and through a series of political events ended up determining what people believe today.
In fact, looking at the grandeur of their buildings I would say that religion and spirituality played much more of a central role in the ancient’s lives than it does today. Take a look at Angkor Wat, Chichen Itza or, the temples of ancient Greece and Rome and stack them up against the greatest religious cathedrals or mosques from the middle ages until now and you’ll see what I mean. Westminster Abbey, or Notre Dame, while spectacular works of art, do not hold a candle to the sprawling complex of Angkor Wat, or the various Roman or Greek temples must have looked like in their day.
What strikes me as interesting is that we have so much knowledge and technology now but the majority of the population still clings to an old belief. I wouldn’t say Christianity is ‘ancient,’ I reserve that for all that is BCE (Before the common era). I would say it is old, and it is completely made up. So here we have science, technology and real answers on one hand, and myth, superstition, and fantasy on the other. Scientists who normally are logical and use reason check those traits at the door when they enter the church on Sunday.
But there is something, and the ancients knew it. So they built incredible structures which are evidence in how much religion played a role in society. Religion and spirituality were central to the entire civilization and trying to understand the nature of reality and what all of this is, is the most noble of pursuits. Here in 2019 USA, the root of society is money and greed. This is not noble and our society has lost its way. This is evidenced by President Trump who is a perfect reflection of what society in the USA now is.
The idea of witches most likely comes from the fact that throughout most of history girls could not attend school. Instead they learned their skills from nature such as healing with herbs, ‘potions’ to drink and so on. These ‘natural arts’ then came to be seen as ‘witchcraft’ by religious fanatic men who saw them as the arts of the devil.
I forget where I read this, I think it may have come from Lapham’s Quarterly’s edition on Nature but I didn’t quote it in my list of favorites here.
Isn’t it ironic that we now have the highest levels of education for the masses in all of history yet the superstition of religion still dictates how the world is run? We are currently experiencing a revolt against science and against learning. In my opinion, part of this is due to an overwhelming amount of (mis)information. The other part is due to Capitalism and the desire to sell more by whatever means necessary. The constant selling creates mistrust and people do not know who to believe.
I for one put my ‘faith’ in science expounded upon in my next point
I’ve come to the conclusion that we really have no idea what is going on in terms of the universe and our reality. Science gives us little hints but our discoveries are little more than an infant learning to crawl when put in the context of all there is to know as a whole. Even that analogy is giving us too much credit. We think so highly of ourselves but all we have to compare ourselves to are the animals. The reality is that we do not know what is going on and it is both exciting and terrifying. Religion is a balm used to slaver over our ignorance and give us comfort in a vast, mostly empty void we do not well understand. So we invoke the idea of God to help us sleep at night when at any moment a random rock could crash into our home and wipe out our entire existence and all we ever were.