Archaeologist Mike Pitts, the editor of British Archaeology, told Discovery News, "The discovery of something so apparently bizarre, indicating a clear belief in witchcraft and forces that have nothing at all to do with conventional, approved religion, remind us that early modern England did not belong to the same world we now inhabit."And yet this is a huge source of modern American common law. It makes one shudder.
05 June 2009
"Early modern England did not belong to the same world we now inhabit"
An intact "witch bottle" has been excavated from a site in Greenwich, England. It was buried sometime in the 1600s to ward off witchcraft, and contained iron nails, sulfur, brass pins, "a piece of heart-shaped leather pierced by a bent nail," and human urine, hair, nail clippings, and possibly bellybutton lint. It was sealed with a cork and buried upside-down. Unlike previous witch bottles that have been found, though, the seal on this one held, providing a rare insight to the mindset of Anglo-Saxons about the time of the Salem witch trials: