Thursday, May 12, 2011

What Does History Smell Like

This was a random comment that was in one of my pods and it has stuck in my mind. So what does history smell like? We see so many visual representations (real or imagined) of various moments, and in some cases we can even touch items but I must admit I have never considered what things smelled like.

My first thought went to the street of Dickensian London. With the prevalence of raw sewage (for a start) I can't imagine it smelt very pleasant. And what of the original forests of England, or Germany, or the Americas, or anywhere else? Or any pre-mankind, untouched landscape for that matter.What would the Temple of Dionysus have been like - I assume there was incense (for example) but what kind I wonder?

And then my mind goes to the fabric that made up the robes that Roman leaders were meant to have worn - were they a soft, luxurious cotton fabric, or was it more coarse? I know it perhaps a little silly but I am getting a whole new perspective on life in previous times - and a greater sensory appreciation of my own

Image: Unsure of the painting's name but I sourced it from here

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