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Experts Try to Solve Mystery of Thousands of Ancient Clay Body Parts Strewn Across Italy

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 15:06
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Experts Try to Solve Mystery of Thousands of Ancient Clay Body Parts Strewn Across Italy

Not quite two centuries after researchers and healers started making huge strides in medicine, some diseases stubbornly elude cures. In these cases, many people resort to imploring God to heal patients. However, about 2,000 years ago, in the ancient world of Italy and Greece, there was “temple medicine”—a type of medical practice that relied more on gods, oracles and divine intervention than on professional healers.

This is one explanation for the multitudes of ancient bronze, clay, wood and terracotta figurines and body parts found in various places, including discarded in pits, around Italy and Greece—as votive offerings to the gods for healing, fertility or relief from pain. They also may have been placed in temples as thanks to the gods for healing.

Some of the figurines lend further mystery to the question of the votives’ purpose: Why was this thumb made, though anyone who’s had a horribly painful sprained thumb may know the answer well.

Some of the figurines lend further mystery to the question of the votives’ purpose: Why was this thumb made, though anyone who’s had a horribly painful sprained thumb may know the answer well. (Wikimedia Commons photo/Wellcome Images)

www.Ancient-Origins.net – Reconstructing the story of humanity’s past

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