By Greg Jenner
Who invented beds? while did we commence cleansing our tooth? How outdated are wine and beer? Which got here first: the bathroom seat or bathroom paper? What used to be the 1st clock?
Every day, from the instant our alarm clock wakes us within the morning until eventually our head hits our pillow at evening, all of us participate in rituals which are millennia outdated. based round one usual day, A Million Years in an afternoon reveals the brilliant origins and improvement of the day-by-day practices we take with no consideration. during this gloriously unique romp via human background, Greg Jenner explores the gradual―and usually unexpected―evolution of our day-by-day routines.
This isn't really a narrative of wars, politics, or nice occasions. in its place, Jenner has scoured Roman garbage packing containers, Egyptian tombs, and Victorian sewers to carry us the main fascinating, striking, and infrequently downright foolish ancient nuggets from our past.
Drawn from the world over, spanning 1000000 years of humanity, this publication is a smorgasbord of old delights. it's a heritage of all these belongings you regularly puzzled about―and many you may have by no means thought of. it's the tale of your lifestyles, 1000000 years within the making.
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Extra resources for A Million Years in a Day: A Curious History of Everyday Life from the Stone Age to the Phone Age
When it came to daylight hours, sundials were the preferred technology, and we’ll get to those shortly, but it’s the night hours that were much harder to track, which is what makes the Egyptian solution so ingenious. WRITTEN IN THE STARS Have you ever gazed at the stars just before the dawn? As romantic 18-year-olds, my friends and I thought we’d do it on the first morning of the new Millennium. We’d quite literally partied like it was 1999 and then we drunkenly clambered up a hill to watch the sun rise on this glorious new epoch.
By the beginning of the third century BCE, Berosus of Chaldea had redesigned the sundial as the hemi-cycle which, though it may sound like a weird kind of ancient bike, was actually a block of stone scalloped into a curved, concave basin – a bit like an unfinished bathroom sink – and key to its functionality was the gnomon, the pointy shadow-casting indicator positioned at the centre. Greek clever-clogs with lustrous beards were known as the creative geniuses of their day, but the ancient technology market was about to become a lot more brutal with the emergence of some Italian upstarts looking to muscle their way in.
With his credibility in ruins, Willett’s parliamentary application was rejected six years on the trot. Finally – and typically for a man who liked to get things done earlier than everyone else – he dropped dead aged just 58. It was 1915, the First World War was raging, Britain’s King George V was desperately trying to shed his alarmingly Germanic surname, and there was no way in hell Britain would ever embrace Daylight Saving Time. And then, out of the blue in April 1916, Germany adopted it instead.