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What if you travelled back in time? Pt. 1

What if you travelled back in time? Pt. 1

I’m famished

Woohoo…you found the fabled pink and brown time-travelling-toilet in your bathroom. It was known to the ancient Greeks as a gift from Chronos - the god of time. You know what to do! You need to stick your head in it and think of the time you’d like to travel to! Et voila…when you take your head out, you’re there. You’re in the past. And you’re hungry because you just went to the bathroom *wink*. There’s just one problem. The ancient world was a hungry place. Not unhealthily hungry, unless you were living in times AFTER farming when people became less self-reliant and stood waiting for a cabbage in a field to grow. No, in nomadic times, as you know, people gathered food. When their bones were dug up, they found by analysing their DNA that they possessed few of the modern diseases that afflict and ELIMINATE us modern humans. Cancer was less of a problem. Heart disease didn’t really exist. People were pictures of healthy living and eating.

You stink

Oh, but everyone stank, so get used to that now. You may think it is abhorrent to be foetid and disgustingly smelly, but the ancients didn’t care. Why would they? They never really stayed inside sealed rooms and spent a lot of time outside or in huts with huge windy draughts. Thus, smells weren’t a big deal. Everyone smelled and if a smell lingers in the air for a long time, your brain stops recognising it as a new sensation and it just vanishes from your olfactory receptors. Of course, this smelliness, if we use a bit of Sherlock Holmes induction, means that…

You’re filthy

Everyone was disgustingly, terribly, wonderfully foul and grimy and grungy. Nobody washed because…like above…who cared? Nobody understood the benefits of washing as we do and this idea permeated centuries and millennia. Almost everyone in history was mucky. Cologne and perfume was invented because of this very fact. Everyone stank, so why not cover it up with the floral scent of a rose? When the ancients see you in your clean, floral smelling clothes, tidy fingernails, and un-matted and non-disgusting hair, they will not know what to do with you.

I’m thirsty…I’m dead

On this idea of using water, what are you going to drink? In mediaeval Britain, the water was so polluted and foul that kids had to drink beer. Beer was the only clean, drinkable liquid. The rivers were awash with poop and dead animals and…terrifyingly…invisible bacteria. You see, the crux of living in the ancient world is that most people barely lived beyond 40. No hygiene meant bacteria and viruses could spread easily - a cut finger with dirt in it could lead to a hazardous infection. No drinkable water meant that people lacked a reliable source of drinking water, and sometimes, the water they thought was pristine was full of deadly pathogens! Dangggggit. Even in the wise days of the ancient, educated nations in Arabia, Greece, and Byzantium, the populace knew a lot about space and ideas and fancy-pants subjects, but nobody knew that you needed to wash your hands a lot until Louis Pasteur in the 19th century!

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