Curious posts for curious people

Trephination

Posted by Tamsin Wilde on

Trephination

Trephination has been practiced all over the world with evidence being found showing its use from the late Palaeolithic up until today. Trephination, trepanning, trephining – whatever you want to call it, is basically a surgical intervention where a hole is drilled or scraped into the human skull. This intentional perforation of the cranium exposes the dura mater – the thick membrane that surrounds your brain, to treat health problems related to intercranial diseases or release pressured blood build-up from and injury. Given our Neolithic ancestors weren’t really aware of the dura mater and intercranial pressure, it’s a good question...

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The Dark Hedges

Posted by Tamsin Wilde on

The Dark Hedges

This is the Dark Hedges, located in Northern Ireland, but is now better known as the King's Road thanks to Game of Thrones. The history of these trees can be traced back to 1775 when a chap called James Stuart built himself a house named Gracehill, which he named after his wife, Grace Lynd (looks like someone was after some brownie points!) and in true 18th century style decided to plant over 150 Beech trees lining the road leading to it purely to impress visitors, of which around 90 are still standing. Now over 200 years old, the Dark Hedges...

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The last Sin-eater.

Posted by Tamsin Wilde on

The last Sin-eater.

This unassuming grave, tucked away in St. Margaret's Church in Rattlinghope, England is the final resting place of Richard Munslow, a local farmer and the last sin-eater, who died in 1906. The practice of sin-eating was generally undertaken by beggars, the poor and other social outcasts. These individuals would "pawn their souls", meaning they would be paid to eat and drink over a corpse, to take the sins of the suddenly deceased who had not been able to confess their sins and/or receive last orders before death. In some areas, it was believed that this ritual would ensure the deceased...

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Newgrange burial tomb

Posted by Tamsin Wilde on

Newgrange burial tomb

During my adventure to Ireland, I was fortunate enough to be able visit one of, if not the most important Neolithic site in Europe – Newgrange burial chamber, the most famous structure within the Brú na Bóinne complex. Having stood for over 5200 years and containing the highest concentration of Neolithic art in Europe this ancient wonder actually predates Stonehenge in England, in its original form by 200 years, but its present form by a massive 500 years and predates the Great Pyramid of Giza by roughly 700 years. Needless to say…. It’s old. The structure itself is massive, with...

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Our Lord, The Flayed One

Posted by Tamsin Wilde on

Aztec mythology in general is a fascinating subject, but today I’m going to focus on one badass god – Xipe Totec, otherwise known as “Our Lord the Flayed One” – Already we’re off to a good start. Xipe Totec was seen as a life-death-rebirth deity, who was also the god of agriculture & vegetation, the east, spring, liberation and the patron of gold and silversmiths, a pretty all-round guy. While his origins are uncertain, with most historians being reliant on post-conquest Spanish texts for information, in 2018 an excavation in Puebla revealed a temple dedicated to his worship. In Aztec...

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