Check out these ancient objects and how they were used! This top 10 list has some amazing and shocking objects you won’t believe were actually used!
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When a sword wasn’t dangerous enough, history went and created the Urumi, a sword-whip that can be flung around and deeply cut those it attacks. Unfortunately, it can also easily cause injury to the users themselves and it is considered one of the most difficult to master. Even stopping or changing direction of the blade-whips is considered advanced, and users must become masters of momentum. It is made up of a covered sword handle and whip-like tendrils that are covered in flexible and insanely sharp steel. First invented in Kerala, one of the states of South India, it is an essential part of their ancient martial art Kalaripayattu, one of the oldest recorded martial arts at over 2000 years old. Due to the danger of trying to use a sword-whip as a standard, its use is usually taught last within the martial art program. When not in use, the blade is often wrapped around the user like a belt, making it fashionable. Despite the martial art nearly dying out, a twentieth century revival brought back interest to the Urumi and many ceremonial displays are still performed around the world. In fact, other countries such as Sri Lanka have their own versions. This version however takes it one step further and introduces more blades and even dual-wielding! A badass and historical, the Urumi would be the last thing you would want to see on the battlefield.
A famous device from the early twentieth century, the icebox was used before the invention of the modern refrigerator. It was basically a box, usually made of wood and lined with things such as cork or straw, in order to keep the cold in. A large block of ice was then put in the top compartment, which would cool the air in the lower compartment where food and drinks were stored. They served the same purpose as modern fridges but the melted ice would have to be emptied out and replaced with fresh ice. The iceman was the person who was paid to deliver fresh ice to those with iceboxes and would come by every so often to replace your ice. Back before we used chemicals to keep things cool, ice had to be harvested from cold locations and delivered to the hotter places that needed it. The icebox made home food storage and temperature control much easier in a time when it was still uncommon. In fact, the icebox has been credited with helping lower heat related deaths in large cities of the time. Many children looked forward to seeing the iceman arrive on the ice wagon and would eat the ice chips that fell off as a early slushie treat in the summer. Similar however to the milkman, the iceman profession off when more modern processes came about, in this case, electrical refrigeration. With it, also died the popularity of the icebox, though many vintage iceboxes still exist around the world.
The ancient santur or santoor is an old instrument with origins in Iran and much history in India. It is a stringed instrument that is played with little mallets in each hand. It has been used by many countries since the Middle Ages and is featured in many artworks of the time. Variations of its name mean ´100 strings´ but only the Indian version is known to have this many. It’s a hollow instrument and the strings are divided into 25 bridges of 4 strings each. Though widely used in its time, its popularity would eventually decline until a revival in the mid-twentieth century. Its distinctive sound is now considered an important part of many works of classical Indian music and many of its players are respected around the world.
4: Dental Key
Many people still consider the field of dentistry to be pretty harsh but we’ve come along way from it´s horrible beginnings. Meet the Dental key. Before the wonderful discovery of antibiotics, teeth were pulled. Extracting teeth at the time was a painful affair. The claw end of the dental key would be placed around the tooth in question. Then the whole device would be rotated to try and wedge the tooth loose. Without any painkillers to speak of, this would very often tear the skin of the mouth and crack the tooth into tiny pieces. Sometimes the force could even break the jaw. Then the teeth fragments would be pulled out, with the nerve of the tooth still exposed. This method of tooth extraction was used for close to a hundred years and was considered standard practice for unfortunate victims. For all it’s flaws though it was still the prefered method as it was the fastest way to get a tooth out and wouldn’t excessively prolong suffering.