Detected Evidence Of The World’S Oldest Mass Meal Poisoning


This poisoning, according to the study of the international team of scientists, belongs to the Bronze Age.Detected Evidence Of The World’S Oldest Mass Meal Poisoning
Cynanar from ancient mines / © Getty Images

Mercury is considered one of the most toxic substances for the human body and, according to WHO, is among the top ten most dangerous to health. Scientists from Universities of North Carolina (USA), Coimbra, Algarve, Lisbon (Portugal), Alcala and Seville (Spain) presented the results of a major study of samples of human bones of 23 archaeological monuments located in Portugal and Spain. The remains of 370 people from 50 graves dating from antiquity, copper and bronze eyelids were studied. Article Published in International Journal of OsteoARCHAEOLOGY.

As a result of the analysis, scientists found out that the highest impact of mercury on the human body was observed in the Bronze Age, between 2900 and 2600 BC. During this period, the operation and use of the cynosor increased significantly on social and cultural reasons.

Cynanar, as you know, is a mercury sulphide mineral, which when grinding turns into a red powder. It has long been used as a pigment for paint. They, in turn, could have not only decorative, but also a ritual meaning.

Such paints covered the objects of the cult (for example, figurines), as well as the bodies of the dead. Scientists found out that some people whose remains were analyzed, the share of mercury in the hair reached 400 parts per million. Exceeding normal concentration was huge, since today’s standards this number should not exceed 1-2.

Scientists believe that people probably deliberately inhabited mercury couples or even swallowed a cinname of ritual goals. In addition, these couples could inhale those who caused a cinnaker for figurines or stained her funeral cameras.

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