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06 Sep Cambridge Ideas – Seven Ages of the Body



Dr John Robb is an archaeologist and has been studying how people have understood the human body over the last 10,000 years.

“It may seem surprising to think the human body has a history. We take it for granted it’s a material thing, it’s just there”

Over time his research shows the body has been seen and portrayed in different ways: the body as an animal, the body politicised, God’s body, the body as a machine and as a simultaneous mixture of the above.

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MOST RECENT COMMENTS
10 Comments
  • Justin Munce
    Posted at 10:39h, 06 September

    I don't buy this at all. It's a little overtheoretical.

  • Fahad
    Posted at 10:39h, 06 September

    it is quite interesting video. God's body part grasped my attention. It's really pathetic how did they draw the God, and how simple they thought he was

  • MrZorthax
    Posted at 10:39h, 06 September

    Hahaha, one of the brain response scan buttons was labeled "James Bond".
    Aside from that, this is an excellent video that really gets you thinking….

  • tom el
    Posted at 10:39h, 06 September

    @Ontologistics It isn't really that unusual that people believe to acquire properties of an animal by eating parts of it you would normally not consider as a delicacy or by dressing up as that animal in question. One could argue that such reasoning presupposes that a human body isn't fundamentally different from an animal body. I'd also venture to say that if wearing such a mask to demonstrate supremacy, it's probably not about supremacy over animals but rather supremacy over other people.

  • tepkhep
    Posted at 10:39h, 06 September

    Dammit. He never explained what that disc-like figure had to do with the human body. ???

  • Janette Miller
    Posted at 10:39h, 06 September

    Beautifully edited. Very skillful. Should reach larger audience. Very ineresting into the bargain>

  • Benedict Heal
    Posted at 10:39h, 06 September

    Why do we have to have such intrusive background music? Are we thought unable to listen to mere speech without getting bored? I find it reduces a potentially interesting presentation to the level of the worst of superficial TV documentaries.

  • Altaranalt
    Posted at 10:39h, 06 September

    Fun topic 🙂

  • naanda
    Posted at 10:39h, 06 September

    @Ontologistics or they could be trophies to show dominance in tribes/ groups- that's just a guess…

  • Ontologistics
    Posted at 10:39h, 06 September

    This hypothesis is far to speculative and is impossible to verify or falsify – it is therefore unscientific.

    For example, the deer skull modified to a mask does NOT imply that 'people thought human and animal bodies were much less sharply distinguished'. That is an interpretation of equal validity to its opposite: that wearing animals showed humans' supremacy over animals and thus distinguished them more.

    Both interpretations are equally valid, so this theory from Dr John Robb is arbitrary.

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