Food Frenzy

15 Jul

 

During a day trip to the National Museum of Ireland, I stumbled upon two artifacts that captured my attention. The first artifact was a giant bronze bowl that was at least four feet in diameter and weighed at least forty pounds. If I really wanted to, I could use it as a baby pool on a hot summer’s day. However, the inhabitants of ancient Ireland around 900 BC, a time period during the Bronze Age, constructed this colossal cauldron with several sheets of bronze metal and used to it cook enormous amounts of food (which is why it is called the Bronze Age, for the Neolithic people used bronze to construct many tools such as the cooking supplies, farming equipment, weapons, and jewelry). The way the Neolithic people heated the contents of the cauldron also showed their creativity, for they not only suspended the bowl over a burning flame but added heated stones as well, capable to bring a large broth to a boil. Contrasting it to other cooking instruments in the Iron Age presented at the museum, the cauldrons and cooking instruments were much larger in the Bronze Age. The bowls produced were smaller and thicker, as seen in image two. I figured that if the Neolithic people were able to construct cauldrons of this size, they must really appreciate their food. And the Neolithic people did. Enough that they made human sacrifices in the hope to please their earth goddess to ensure fertile farms.

 

A preserved, sacrificed body is the second artifact that captivated my attention and illustrates the aforementioned fact. The preserved body, as seen in the third image, was found in a bog where the Neolithic people settled during the Bronze Age (I appreciated how the museum placed these two artifacts in close vicinity to each other, for they compliment each other to show their lifestyle and cultural beliefs). Wounds on the skeleton of the body show that the death was caused by another human and further analysis of the hair reveals that the diet of the body was entirely plant based. This shows that the lands were not fertile enough to herd a sufficient amount of cattle for the entire civilization, so a human sacrifice was performed in order to please the earth goddess in hope of better weather to form more fertile lands. I was not shocked to stumble upon a sacrificed human, for many other civilizations like the Incas and Mayans had the same customs in hope of having plentiful food for the upcoming years. However, it did capture my attention for I was unaware that the ancient Irish people also shared the same customs as well as the fact that I never knew what a 3000 year-old preserved body looked like. I was amused to learn that the Neolithic people also offered other feasting tools, plough parts, sickles, and even butter in bogs to please the earth goddess. I think that sacrificing humans would be enough to please an earth goddess; unless the earth goddess wanted to have some spiritual condiments with her meals, spare the butter. (515)ImageImage

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