10 Things Ancient People Did That Would Be Totally Weird Today

Injoy News | Dec. 13, 2017

With the development ofu00a0technologies and new methods ofu00a0research, weu00a0can claim that weu00a0know everything about the ancients. However, the more weu00a0learn about their everyday life, the more this knowledge fascinatesu00a0us because some practices ofu00a0the ancients were too bizarre even for our modern standards.

Weu00a0atu00a0 Bright Side gathered 10u00a0facts about ancient people that will totally baffle and amaze you and make you say u201cWow!u201d

1. Women used lead and sulfur tou00a0dye their hair.

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People have been coloring their hair since ancient times, but the lack ofu00a0knowledge inu00a0chemistry and incorrect use ofu00a0the wrong substances sometimes ended badly for their health. The ancients also used plant materials tou00a0dye their hair, but the effect did not last long. The Greeks and Romans used au00a0 permanent hair dye that consisted ofu00a0different chemicals including sulfur.

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Inu00a0the 1700s, the Italians liked tou00a0soak their long hair inu00a0corrosive solutions ofu00a0lye tou00a0get au00a0golden color for their locks. Many European ladies used saffron and sulfur powder tou00a0achieve great looks. Afghans also believed that dyeing their hair different colors could cure au00a0headache.

2. Glass balls and ground rubber were used asu00a0breast implants.

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Since ancient times, women have used different means tou00a0improve their beauty. The breasts were nou00a0exception. Some women put tropical treatments oru00a0homemade u201cgrowth creamsu201d onu00a0their breasts tou00a0make them bigger. Others massaged coconut oil into their skin.

However, the first breast surgery was performed only inu00a01895 byu00a0Vincenz Czerny. The doctor needed tou00a0make the breasts ofu00a0his patient even after heu00a0cut out au00a0tumor. After that, doctors used different materials tou00a0enlarge womenu2019s breasts: ivory, glass balls, ground rubber, and other fillers.

3. Animal droppings were used inu00a0medical treatments.

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Itu00a0may sound gross, but itu2019s au00a0fact: ancient people used animal dung tou00a0cure and treat different diseases. For example, women inu00a0ancient Greece believed that crocodile dung could beu00a0used asu00a0au00a0powerful contraceptive and inserted itu00a0into their vagina. Inu00a0ancient Egypt, warriors applied animal dung tou00a0their wounds. Sheep droppings were used inu00a0Scottish folk medicine for treating smallpox, and fresh pig dung served tou00a0stop au00a0nosebleed. Simple advice: dou00a0not try any ofu00a0these atu00a0home.

4. Doctors drilled holes inu00a0peopleu2019s heads tou00a0release evil spirits.

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The man doesnu2019t look good, doesu00a0he? Doctors were always very curious about the human body and used several u201cprovedu201d methods tou00a0cure many diseases. Trepanation (drilling holes) was one ofu00a0them. Doctors believed they could cure illnesses such asu00a0convulsions, headaches, and infections. They thought that different diseases were caused byu00a0anu00a0evil spirit trapped inside au00a0humanu2019s head, and sou00a0they drilled holes tou00a0let the spirit out.

Luckily, this practice was almost completely abandoned byu00a0the end ofu00a0the Middle Ages. Thorough research ofu00a0some unearthed skulls showed that some patients even managed tou00a0survive after these extreme methods ofu00a0treatment.

5. Women were not allowed tou00a0cry atu00a0funerals.

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Au00a0regular funeral inu00a0ancient Rome started with au00a0procession that walked the departed down the street. The weeping and crying relatives followed the procession. The more people that attended the funeral, the more respected au00a0person was. Sometimes the family would hire special women who would weep tou00a0impress the crowd. Tou00a0make their sadness believable, women would scratch their cheeks tou00a0draw blood and rip their hair.

Lateru00a0on, this tradition was considered too extreme and negative. People were not allowed tou00a0hire professionals for weeping because u201cthese acts invoked strong emotions and were incompatible with the idea ofu00a0the quiet life ofu00a0the citizen.u201d

6. Fathers could legally kill their daughtersu2019 lovers.

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Fathers had au00a0very strong influence onu00a0their whole family and especially onu00a0their unmarried daughters. Inu00a0fact, they had the right tou00a0choose au00a0good husband for them. The rules were very strict, and au00a0daughter had nou00a0right tou00a0have anu00a0intimate affair with anyone before her marriage.

Au00a0father had the legal right tou00a0kill his daughteru2019s lover (and even her) ifu00a0heu00a0caught them committing adultery. Ifu00a0heu00a0killed only one ofu00a0the lovers, heu00a0could beu00a0charged with murder. Curious fact: au00a0Roman woman always belonged tou00a0her fatheru2019s family, even after marriage.

7. Inu00a0ancient Rome, fathers could sell their sons into slavery. But only 3u00a0times.

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You read that right! Nou00a0love lost inu00a0ancient Rome. The father was the head ofu00a0the family and possessed absolute power over his wife, children, and household. Fathers also had the right tou00a0decide whether tou00a0keep newborn babies inu00a0the family.

Fathers were given the right tou00a0sell their sons into slavery. Ifu00a0the person who bought the u201cslaveu201d nou00a0longer had need ofu00a0him, heu00a0went back into his fatheru2019s home. However, heu00a0could only dou00a0this 3u00a0times, otherwise, heu00a0was considered tou00a0beu00a0au00a0bad parent. Heu00a0could even have au00a0family member put tou00a0death. Fortunately, few fathers were that cruel.

8. Doctors used garlic tou00a0test for pregnancy.

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The lack ofu00a0detailed medical knowledge inu00a0anatomy didnu2019t allow doctors tou00a0say for sure why some women could get pregnant and others couldnu2019t. However, they used several natural methods tou00a0test for pregnancy.

Inu00a01350u00a0BC, au00a0woman was advised tou00a0moisten au00a0wheat seed with urine. Ifu00a0the seeds sprouted, she was pregnant. Another way tou00a0perform au00a0 pregnancy test involved placing au00a0clove ofu00a0garlic oru00a0anu00a0onion inu00a0her vagina. The following morning, au00a0doctor would smell the womanu2019s breath and claimed her pregnant ifu00a0heu00a0could sense au00a0garlic aroma onu00a0her breath. Thank goodness weu00a0have modern medicine today!

9. Inu00a0ancient Egypt, people shaved off their eyebrows tou00a0mourn their cats.

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People inu00a0ancient Egypt worshipped cats asu00a0their favorite animals and believed that cats brought good luck tou00a0the families they lived with. Bastet, the goddess ofu00a0the home, cats, and fertility, was depicted either asu00a0au00a0cat oru00a0asu00a0au00a0woman with the head ofu00a0au00a0cat. Cats were sacred, and anyone who harmed them was sentenced tou00a0death.

Ancient Egyptian families would mourn the death ofu00a0au00a0family cat byu00a0shaving off their eyebrows. The catu2019s body was embalmed with au00a0wooden sculpted mask, and au00a0tiny cat mummy was placed inu00a0au00a0family tomb oru00a0inu00a0au00a0cat cemetery.

Interesting fact: Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, and Hitler suffered from ailurophobia, au00a0fear ofu00a0cats.

10. There were public lavatories inu00a0ancient Rome.

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You already know that people inu00a0ancient Rome used all possible means tou00a0take care ofu00a0their personal hygiene. They regularly attended public baths and toilets and used exfoliating cleansers and toilet sponges.

However, only au00a0few wealthy people could afford tou00a0have au00a0private bathroom oru00a0toilet inu00a0their house. The otheru00a095% ofu00a0the population used public lavatories that were made out ofu00a0long rows ofu00a0massive stone oru00a0wood with au00a0hole cut every few feet. The constant running water from the baths flushed the waste tou00a0au00a0sewage system. Since privacy was anu00a0unusual life aspect for the Romans, why would itu00a0beu00a0different inu00a0this situation?

Over the centuries, people have changed au00a0lot. Now weu00a0canu2019t even imagine living like the ancients did. Which fact amazed you the most? Would you consider turning tou00a0any ofu00a0these things today, oru00a0would itu00a0beu00a0too bizarre for you? Share your ideas inu00a0the comments.

Preview photo credit Wikimedia Commons

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