Wednesday, March 15, 2017

History is cool

I've been listening to this really great podcast. A History of the World in 100 objects. Each episode is about an object from the British Museum, starting with very early human tools found in Africa. The episodes talk about the objects, the place and time they came from and what they tell us about the past. The best ones also talk about the circumstances in which the object was found. Like, a bunch of welsh miners were just doing a spot of mining when boom, they uncovered a Bronze Age grave which has taught us heaps about the social and economic lives of people from thousands of years ago. 

It reminds me of being at school and learning about the Grauballe Man. You know, this guy:
He is an Iron Age era fellow who was preserved for thousands of years in a peat bog in Denmark. 
My kid mind was totally blown by the Grauballe Man. I mean, he was a dead body from the deep distant past, a time when people were killed and chucked in peat bogs as a human sacrifice. These things had never occurred to me. I thought history consisted of  those Old Testament guys, a bit of time,  then Jesus, a bit more time, then Captain Cook and Soverign Hill and then colour television. The notion that there were just regular folks living their regular lives in their old timesy societies well before Jesus? I loved it. I still love it. 

One of my favourite episodes of the podcast is the one where they talk about something called the flood tablet. It's a tablet from Mesopotamia that contains an account of a great flood, where it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. It's a great episode and contains some unexpected nudity. And all the things that are great about history. 

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