By Greg Jenner

Who invented beds? while did we begin cleansing our the teeth? How previous are wine and beer? Which got here first: the bathroom seat or bathroom paper? What was once the 1st clock?

Every day, from the instant our alarm clock wakes us within the morning till our head hits our pillow at evening, all of us participate in rituals which are millennia outdated. established round one usual day, A Million Years in an afternoon reveals the amazing origins and improvement of the day-by-day practices we take with no consideration. during this gloriously unique romp via human historical past, Greg Jenner explores the gradual―and frequently unexpected―evolution of our day-by-day routines.

This isn't a narrative of wars, politics, or nice occasions. as a substitute, Jenner has scoured Roman garbage boxes, Egyptian tombs, and Victorian sewers to deliver us the main exciting, astonishing, and infrequently downright foolish ancient nuggets from our past.

Drawn from internationally, spanning 1000000 years of humanity, this e-book is a smorgasbord of historic delights. it's a heritage of all these belongings you continually puzzled about―and many you've gotten by no means thought of. it's the tale of your existence, a million years within the making.

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Unlike the Mesopotamians, they chose to cram their annual calendar with 36 weeks of ten days, leaving a spare five bonus days to be arbitrarily tacked on at the end. What’s more, having ten-day weeks also meant they preferred to recognise only three seasons of four months, instead of our four seasons of three months. This was mostly due to the River Nile’s capricious mood-swings that brought annual flooding during a large part of the year, and resulted in a calendar carved up into agricultural cycles of flooding, crop-sowing and harvesting, rather than our spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Tolkien’s furry-toed hobbits, but the mounds of grassy earth that shield the buildings from the fierce Scottish winds were not always so postcard pretty. Originally numbering probably fewer than one hundred people, the early occupants on the island had been typically lax in disposing of their waste, and massive midden piles had accumulated, but rather than getting as far away as possible from the stinking refuse, the villagers recycled their trash by utilising these heaps as organic cocoons to insulate their new homes.

Though it’s not impossible that this was made by a Neanderthal, many archaeologists suspect that this rival clan of Homo was ill-matched against our superior cognitive adaptability – they were the Judge Dredd to our Sherlock Holmes: stronger, more robust, better at punching a bear right in its stupid, ursine face … but more likely to scream in frustration if you’d asked them to adjust the clock on a microwave. Instead, it was probably a human like us – an inventive Homo sapiens brimming with natural curiosity – who conceivably peered at the moon in wonder and decided to chart its phases on a bit of a bone salvaged from last night’s dinner, taxing its refined brain in the pursuit of elemental understanding about how the cosmos functioned.

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