Throughout history, it is the spectacular and the extraordinary that make the headlines. The most fantastical of discoveries are remembered throughout the years, introducing us to various parts of human culture we might have forgotten otherwise. What, though, about the banal? It is the everyday items that can teach us the most about how societies before us used to live. Some of the oldest everyday items to have been discovered are still in circulation and by looking at them closer, we can discover more than we ever thought about human culture. These items might not look like much from the outside but, understand them a little more intricately, and you can unearth a whole other side of history.
Thought that socks were an invention of the modern era? Think again. For centuries, cultures have been turning to the clothing items as a way of staying hygienic and while their look might have changed over time, socks were always used to the same purpose. Take these Egyptian pair, for example. Designed to be worn with sandals, these ancient socks date back as far as 300 A.D., having been discovered in the 19th century. While their look is somewhat different from that of what we’re used to, they’re still remarkably modern, giving us an insight into the kind of clothes worn by the people at the time.
While the sun’s rays might be more powerful than ever now, ancient cultures still worked to protect their eyes from the damaging light. These ancient sunglasses might look a little different from their modern counterparts, but they were designed to fulfill the same purpose. While UV fighting technology wasn’t around at the time, designers created smaller eye holes to minimize the effect of the sun’s rays on the eyes. Used primarily in the snow, these glasses reduced the glare from the sun on the bright surface, helping people in the arctic climate of Canada to go about their business even on the brightest of days.
Mankind has been fashioning clothing items for millennia. While styles have come and gone, basic purposes have remained the same and by looking back, we can spot remarkable similarities between our clothing today and what came before. This mocassin is the oldest to ever have been discovered, dating back a whopping 5,500 years. Found in a cave in America, the item was preserved by a mixture of grass and dry sheep’s dung, standing the test of time.
First Flush Toilets
Our bathroom technology might be the best in history, but it dates back a whole lot longer than you might have thought. While flushing systems as we know them are relatively new, their mechanisms have ancient origins. These “flushing” toilets are the first of their kind to have been discovered and date back 2,000. The mechanism works by a running water system below the construction, which carried waste away into a nearby river.
People have been losing their limbs for thousands of years and therefore, the prosthetic has a deep and rich history. While there are countless examples of the tools over the world, the oldest dates back a whopping 3,000 years. Believed to have belonged to an ancient Egyptian inhabitant, the ancient prosthetic was designed to help its owner walk again. Kitted out with a set of carved toes, the prosthetic is both practical and aesthetically pleasing, serving an important service.