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.
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.