10 unusual household items of our ancestors
We often admire modern inventions that make our life much easier than our ancestors did. Of course, some new items are deadly, but most of the inventions change our lives for the better.
However, many of the comforts we used to rely on have been in one form or another for thousands of years. Our ancestors did not have modern means of production and many materials, but natural fantasy often helped them in solving everyday problems.
10. Greenland thong from fur
As a rule, over time, clothing becomes more frank. However, modern strings have a fairly long background, the Greenland Inuit have been wearing them for several hundred years.
Naatsity - so called ancestors of strings. They were made of fur deer and leather seals. Naatsitsi were decorated with small beads hanging from a belt on thin straps.
This underwear was worn by both men and women. Usually, warm fur trousers were worn over the Naatsits, but at home women could also flaunt in some Naatsits, thereby confusing Danish missionaries who had come to visit.
9. Twelve-sided dice
Cubes for the game have been around for ages. The Metropolitan Museum has the oldest cube in the world - the twenty-edged icosahedron from Egypt, dating from the Ptolemies period, i.e. he is over 2,000 years old.
Little is known about him, except that he is 2.5 cm in diameter and is made of serpentine (a spotted stone, resembling a snake skin pattern). On the faces there are Greek letters. Its history can be traced only over the past 100 years, since it was acquired by Reverend Chaunce March, engaged in missionary work in Egypt.
It is unlikely that the ancient artisan made it for table or gambling. As a rule, in ancient times such cubes were used for fortune telling or for ritual purposes.
8. Bed with mosquito repellent
One of their finds in South Africa suggests that “cavemen” were much more creative than we think.In the cave of Sibudu, archaeologists discovered a bed carved in sandstone with a “mattress” that is more than 77,000 years old.
The discovery helped to learn more about the ancient flora, as the mattress is made of at least 15 layers of medicinal plants and herbs, including “sedge, reed and straw”. In particular, the wild river quince was used, which repels mosquitoes.
The mattress from the Cibuda cave is 50,000 years older than the most ancient beddings known before, and it is very comfortable. Its thickness is about 30 cm, the layers of plants changed regularly. With proper care, the mattress can easily continue to be used over the next 39,000 years.
7. Cyprus jugs for opium
The ancients used those drugs that grew in their region. The inhabitants of the fertile regions in the Middle East made alcohol, and the Mesoamericans preferred psychedelic plants. Recently, scientists have discovered the first evidence of drug use in the Middle East.
In a region that has traditionally been and remains conservative, researchers have discovered something like a kitchen of a large area, in which ancient Cypriots were engaged in mass-making ritual drugs and drugs.Among them were opium substances and some medicinal varieties of chamomile.
After the preparation of opium, Cypriots poured the finished product into vessels in the form of poppy fruit, which can be considered one of the first examples in the history of branding. Researchers have discovered these pitchers at local religious sites, as well as in such remote lands as the Levant and Egypt, suggesting that the history of the opium trade is more than 4,000 years old.
6. Hair Extension in Ancient Egypt
The Egyptians considered hair as a status symbol, so they invented different ways of hair extensions, and also used gels that allowed them to look better not only during their lives, but also after death.
Reconstruction of the remains of the city of Amarna, which is about 3,300 years old, made it possible to establish that the deceased wore "a very complex hairstyle with approximately 70 accrued strands." Archaeologists have also found many other Egyptian bodies with hair extensions, which are fairly well preserved and still look good.
In addition, a study of 18 mummies of people aged 4 to 58 years who died about 3,500 years ago showed that nine of them had traces of a greasy gel in their hair.It was probably a privilege of people from the higher strata and was used both during life and after death, to be sure that a person would not lose his hair during a long journey through the afterlife.
5. Ancient anti-shock packaging of flowers
In 2014, in English Wiltshire, archaeologists discovered a storehouse of Roman bronze pots. Of course, the pots themselves were an interesting find, but their packaging became truly unique.
It turned out that the valuable pots of 1500 years ago were wrapped in what could be called the first anti-shock packaging in history. Pollen analysis revealed a mixture of ferns, cornflowers, and several endemic flowers and plants, including clover and buttercup.
This helped determine the date of creation of the repository. Based on data obtained with the help of plants, scientists have concluded that the pots were hidden at the end of summer in the fifth or sixth centuries of our era.
4. Artistic urine culture
The urine civilization preceded the Incas, it existed in the north of Peru for about 700 years, after which it mysteriously disappeared - probably for environmental reasons.
In addition to temples, tombs and irrigation canals, urine was left behind a collection of the most beautiful and unusual pottery of the pre-Columbian era. In this case, the urine did not even have a potter's wheel.
In contrast to the boring monotonous products created by other cultures, urine made their pots in the form of animals, plants, human faces or scenes of nature. Some pots were sent as a gift to neighboring communities, others were placed in tombs as burial relics.
3. Luxury Viking Feather Pillows
The Vikings, famous mainly for their raids, also made some of the most advanced pillows and blankets in our history. During the autopsy of Viking mounds in Norway, archaeologists discovered that they were equipped with comfortable bedrooms.
They contained many unusual objects, including pillows and blankets, stuffed with feathers and down. Researchers found that the Vikings stuffed their bedding is not just all that came to their hands. They used a well-chosen combination of feathers from rare and widespread birds, resulting in soft, but at the same time elastic cushions.
The Vikings used the feathers of ravens and other birds in combination with eiderdown. But the main component turned out to be feathers of owls.
2. Glass Cameos of Ancient Rome
Initially, the production of glass was artisanal. Limited technical capabilities led to the fact that the production of one jug took a week, so glassware was valued on a par with precious metals and stones.
Then, in 50 BC, the Romans invented a glassblower, which simplified production. When more advanced furnaces were added to this, the Romans began to produce glass not in kilograms, but in tons. As a result, for some time the glass depreciated, but the Romans found a way to return it to value. From about 27 BC up to 68 AD in Rome, cameos were made glass, which became a luxury item.
In the manufacture of glass layered one on another, in each of them were the corresponding cuts. The result was a multi-color patterns, more beautiful than the natural sardonyx (layered onyx). Then the Romans painted glass figures of gods and sketches from everyday life.
1. The first toy car
In one of the oldest settlements in the world, several 5,000-year-old children's toys were discovered. Among them - and the world's oldest toy "machine" - a four-wheeled stroller.
This toy carriage was found in a tomb complex in the Turkish city of Sogmatar. There is a necropolis and a religious center dedicated to the god of the moon Sin. One of the tombs probably belonged to the child and contained a wheeled toy and a rattle in the shape of a bird.
Both are the oldest among such things. Few could afford such complex toys, so probably they were made for the children of someone from the rulers or nobles of the bronze age.