Many have a low opinion of people who lived in mediaeval times.
We often consider our ancestors primitive and uneducated.
Recent studies give us a unique opportunity to reveal the inner thoughts of our ancestors, and many of us will be surprised to learn how little humans
have changed over the years.
Modern technological breakthroughs do not change the fact that most people of today are still just as self-interested,
and afraid of illness as our mediaeval ancestors were.
It is possible to get into the medieval minds through their dirty books.
A new technique invented by Dr. Kathryn Rudy, lecturer in the School of Art History at the University of St Andrews, can measure which pages in
mediaeval manuscripts are the dirtiest, and therefore, the most read.
A machine called a densitometer allows the dirt contained within the pages of books centuries old to reveal the inner thoughts of our ancestors.
The ground-breaking research has even managed to pinpoint the moment that people fell asleep reading the same book.
A densitometer. Image credit: niversity of St Andrews
For example one of the dirtiest pages in a selection of European religious books was a prayer to St Sebastian who was often prayed to because
his arrow-wounds (the cause of his martyrdom) looked like the bubonic plague.
This shows us that the reader of the book was terrified of the plague and repeated the prayer to ward off the disease.
Similarly pages which contained the prayers for the salvation of others were less dirty than those asking for salvation for oneself.
As well as demonstrating mediaeval people prayed for their own assistance, the analysis showed the pages of a prayer to be said in the small
hours of the morning were only dirty for the first few pages.
Dr. Rudy's extrapolates that it shows most readers fell asleep at the same point.
She said: "Although it is often difficult to study the habits, private rituals and emotional states of people, this
new technique can let us into the minds of people from the past.
"Religion was inseparable from physical health, time management, and interpersonal relationships in mediaeval times.
In the century before printing, people ordered tens of thousands of prayer books-sometimes quite beautifully illuminated
ones-even thought they might cost as much as a house.
"As a result they were treasured, read several times a day at key prayer times, and through analysing how dirty the pages
are we can identify the priorities and beliefs of their owners."
Scots Are Descendants Of A Lost Race
DNA can be used as a telescope to look back into the past, and this is excatly what a group of scientists have done to cast more light on an ancient mystery.
New ground-breaking study suggests that Scots are descendants of long lost tribes from the Sahara.
In addition, the study also reveals that Scots are very closely related to Napoleon Bonaparte!
Mysterious Monolith At Gardom's Edge Was An Ancient Astronomical Calendar
Scientists have now reason to think that an ancient 4000-year-old stone monolith in England was likely an astronomical calendar, according to new archaeological evidence.
The 2.2 metre high monument, located in the Peak District National Park, has a striking, right-angled triangular shape that slants up towards geographic south.
Lost Civilization Beneath The Indian Ocean
Archaeologists believe there are ruins of an ancient lost civilization beneath the waters of the Indian Ocean.
Evidence suggest humans lived in the area in and around the Persian Gulf Oasis for over 100,000 years before the region was
swallowed up by the Indian Ocean about 8,000 years ago.
Biblical Giant Body Of Water Is Mysteriously Disappearing
In Ezekiel 47:1-10, the prophet says that there will be a time in the future when the Dead Sea will be healed of its salty waters
by a stream flowing eastward from the Temple, and that the Sea will teem with fish.
Nothing grows in the immediate area of the Dead Sea and there is no animal life but the sea has attracted visitors for thousands of years...
"Sacred" 1.7 Million Volt Light Of The Gods
Today, his cool experiment enables Zeus-like miracles!
For the ancient Greeks, the occurrence of lightning mean that Zeus, lord of heaven,
was often very angry and upset. God used to throw jagged, terrifying bolts of lightning, like spears of fire. This was for the ancients, a "sacred light".
In his lab near Chicago, Illinois, a retired electrical engineer, Bert Hickman, uses a particle accelerator acrylic plastic to "grab and keep the wrath of Zeus"...
Mysterious Jade Artifact Of Unknown Origin Puzzles Scientists
Scientists are currently trying to determine the origin of a mysterious jade artifact recently discovered.
According to the reserachers this finding is very puzzling because the rock has never been described in the archaeological record of the region.
So, where does it come from? Researchers are uncertain and say the discovery is geochemically extraordinary!