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Thread: Loin cloths

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Viehoff View Post
    What evidence is there for this, ie, lack of self-awareness in other species? Whilst this was a commonly held view in the past, I think it was founded in prejudice rather than evidence. The more we study other species, the more the once-claimed uniquenesses of humanity evaporate into difference of degree rather than of nature. I suspect, actually, that without communication we have no way of knowing whether other species are self-aware. I don't particularly like dogs or have one, but what I see of them seems to suggest that they have humour, guilt, deceitfulness, awareness of being deceived, etc. So why not self-awareness?
    Actually a very good point. One of the tests done by animal behaviorists is to put a spot of paint on an animal, where they can only see it in a mirror, and show them a mirror. The question is do they recognize the animal in the mirror as themselves, or as another animal. IIRC, serveral species, including chimps and elephants, recognize the mirror image as themselves (by checking out the newly discovered paint spot on their own bodies)
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Actually a very good point. One of the tests done by animal behaviorists is to put a spot of paint on an animal, where they can only see it in a mirror, and show them a mirror. The question is do they recognize the animal in the mirror as themselves, or as another animal. IIRC, serveral species, including chimps and elephants, recognize the mirror image as themselves (by checking out the newly discovered paint spot on their own bodies)
    That does reflect upon their cognitive abilities.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    One of the tests done by animal behaviorists is to put a spot of paint on an animal, where they can only see it in a mirror, and show them a mirror. The question is do they recognize the animal in the mirror as themselves, or as another animal. IIRC, serveral species, including chimps and elephants, recognize the mirror image as themselves (by checking out the newly discovered paint spot on their own bodies)
    Thank you Swift. That's good.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlhredshift View Post
    A preponderance of archaeological sites are next to or near water sources. This could be a result of preservation bias due to flooding providing the means of burial so that we can dig it up later, or because that is where people would settle. Drinking water is an obvious reason for being there, but there are many examples of animal use of water for essentially bathing purposes. For example, cattle will enter a pond or lake to gain relief from both heat and/or biting flies.
    Though, of course, as societies developed, being on water helped with things like transportation of goods. But, yes, there are a lot more uses for freshwater than just drinking it.
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    It has been determined by that the loincloth was invented by an early example of Neanderthal, probably named Blorg the Tender. Blorg was tired of Flarg the Sophmoric constantly hitting him in the area of the Tender swinging Thingies. After some trial and error (thistle leaves did not work well), Blorg found that animal pelts covered the area under assault well and was also happy to find that the pelt also made for warmth in the same area when the white stuff fell on the ground. Of course, Blorg may not have been his real name, but Flarg has been handed down to us in the modern name of "Jackass".

    tbm

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    Perhaps we should mention that severe UV rays have always been with us . Tender places are very bad places to sun burn.....
    and they will, too !!!!
    And hats protect your foggy old head....... after a fashion .

  7. #37
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    Wd40:

    After some thought I think that I would like to recommend a book by John F. Hoffecker:

    A Prehistory of the North: Human Settlement of the Higher Latitudes

    Written in 2004, it will bring you up to date on our current state of knowledge about the origin and spread of the various Hominids up to us.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    Perhaps we should mention that severe UV rays have always been with us . Tender places are very bad places to sun burn.....
    and they will, too !!!!
    And hats protect your foggy old head....... after a fashion .
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Melanin.
    There is something that does not preserve well in the archaeological record.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlhredshift View Post
    There is something that does not preserve well in the archaeological record.
    True. But I think it's fairly safe to conclude that the peoples inhabiting places where clothing was not needed to prevent death by freezing were not albinos.
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    And if your concept of hygiene is that you can only wear so much dirt until it falls off by itself, that'll add a couple of factors of sunblock as well.
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  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    True. But I think it's fairly safe to conclude that the peoples inhabiting places where clothing was not needed to prevent death by freezing were not albinos.
    It seems likely that red ochre was in vogue.

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    Outside of climates where the weather is harsh enough to require covering up, I think it's just plain old body adornment, which is itself a cultural universal. That means the existence of clothes, period, is at least partly tied up with one of the basic aspects of being human, with a wholly unknown emergence date.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Romanus View Post
    Outside of climates where the weather is harsh enough to require covering up, I think it's just plain old body adornment, which is itself a cultural universal. That means the existence of clothes, period, is at least partly tied up with one of the basic aspects of being human, with a wholly unknown emergence date.
    Hide preparation, tanning, is a technology. It requires, at a minimum, something capable of cutting the hide, sharp rocks (lithics), salt, and the knowledge to clean (scraping, sharp rocks again), and dry (not laying on the ground). Warm temperatures, say above fifty degrees F, or warmer promote dermestes or bacon beetle and will leave the hide riddled with holes;(Farnham, 1951). Therefore, under primitive conditions hides do better in cooler climates that coincidentally also require hides.

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    wd40: human breasts “so large and pendulous, more so than any other mammal?” More than cows? More than sows? The famous Roman statue of the Capitoline wolf, with Romulus and Remus feeding may not be a true event, but the size of the mammaries of a female wolf must have been well known to the Etruscans. The wide use of oral contraception tends to increase breast size – not surprizing since it mimics pregnancy. And in the USA, twice as many girls reach puberty at 7 years old as ten years ago, so that large breasts may have other causes as well. http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...act/126/3/e583 But in pre-history, a woman who was fertile would be pregnant most of the time, unless she was breast feeding, which enlarges the breasts. Only in societies that delay a woman’s first pregnancy will there be a tendency to small breasts.

    To return to the OP. Any modern athlete will wear a scrotal support – at least I always did in my athletic day and every other athlete I knew did so. We didn’t wear ‘boxers’. Surely as soon as clothing was invented, the athletic-by-necessity men would have sought some form of support. What is remarkable is that women didn’t invent a bra until the early twentieth century, ancient Greek women using merely a bandage to bind the breasts. The discomfort of lactating or just large breasts in activity must surely be greater than that of a running or jumping man.

    John

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  17. #47
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    The bra might have been invented earlier were it not for the corset.
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  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    The bra might have been invented earlier were it not for the corset.
    To bind or not to bind, that is the question.

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    In the Museum of London is a perfectly preserved leather Bikini bottom (abt. size 2, IIRC) from the roman era. It may be the earliest example of feminine underwear.

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  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD View Post
    And in the USA, twice as many girls reach puberty at 7 years old as ten years ago, so that large breasts may have other causes as well.
    Onset of puberty is strongly influenced by bodyfat so that part can be easily explained by lack of hunger/increased obesity.
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  22. #52
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    In general, menarche is earlier now than it was in my parents' generation, and considerably earlier than it was in, say, the 15th Century. This may be due solely to greater amounts of body fat, but there may be other reasons.

    Wandering over to the issue of breast size, I suspect that women with excessively large breasts would find it more difficult to do the traditional woman's work of pre-industrial cultures: food preparation, agricultural work, gathering, etc, and become less valued as potential wives. This may tend to place limits on very large breasts.

    Running, screaming, from that issue to external male genitalia, do remember that in, at least some ancient cultures, such as Egypt, children did not wear clothes. In other words, boys would have done most of the typical boyhood play activities (running through the woods, climbing trees, wrestling, swimming, etc) with nothing resembling a jock strap.

    I suspect that clothing-as-a-necessity evolved from humanity moving out of the tropics, and the idea of clothing for modesty resulted from the need to cover up to prevent excessive heat loss an to prevent useful bits1 from freezing off. That idea spread back to some of the tropical peoples by cultural diffusion.


    1 Fingers, noses, toes, genitalia, etc. I'm also rather fond of my external ears.
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    Is it possible to run 10km without scrotal support, without brusing the testicles or suffering testicular torsion (which can be fatal)?

    Is it possible to run even 100m naked at full pelt, without soon regretting it?

    Presumably ancient man was better endowed than ourselves.

    The fact that the Genesis account had God give Adam and Eve fig leaves and leather tunics, showed that , myth or not, this subject occupied the mind of some ancient author.

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    Is it possible to run even 100m naked at full pelt, without soon regretting it?
    Traditionally the answer would seem to be yes, seeing that the original Olympic games were done naked.


    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    The fact that the Genesis account had God give Adam and Eve fig leaves and leather tunics, showed that , myth or not, this subject occupied the mind of some ancient author.
    An ancient author from a country that gets freezing autumn nights. And close enough time-wise that evolution has done nothing whatsoever to change our body proportions in the meanwhile (which is true of all history).
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    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    Is it possible to run 10km without scrotal support, without brusing the testicles or suffering testicular torsion (which can be fatal)?

    Is it possible to run even 100m naked at full pelt, without soon regretting it?
    I'm not sure what a "full pelt" is, but the athletes at the ancient Olympics competed naked and there were several running events.


    Presumably ancient man was better endowed than ourselves.
    I'm not sure how you would come to that conclusion.

    The fact that the Genesis account had God give Adam and Eve fig leaves and leather tunics, showed that , myth or not, this subject occupied the mind of some ancient author.
    ISTM the author was attempting to explain human modesty.

    Nick

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    The fact that the Genesis account had God give Adam and Eve fig leaves and leather tunics, showed that , myth or not, this subject occupied the mind of some ancient author.
    You are on very thin ice with comments like this. Please do not get into religious references, either pro or con, humorous or not.
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  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Though, of course, as societies developed, being on water helped with things like transportation of goods. But, yes, there are a lot more uses for freshwater than just drinking it.
    before humans settled down and started building cities, rivers and streams would also make for nice convenient paths thru the wilderness that just happened to have a never ending food source- either by catching the fish in the water or by killing and eating the animals that came to drink the water.

  28. #58
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    Ancient Greek athletes' nakedness. Good question, was that because it wasn't a practical problem, or because of a strong social or religious reason?
    That lead me to this, about the "kynodesme" or penis restraint: http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/1986021

    And to this quote, "A direct blow to the scrotum is a painful and not infrequent sports injury." from an online textbook, section on sports injuries. http://www.worldortho.com/dev/index....rticle&id=2228 The text doesn't say if it is referring to athletics or to team games, football or rugby. Any sports medics, who can tell us?

    Also, "Thucydides says that athletes stopped wearing such garments only shortly before his time" is found in an BBC webpage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient...mpics_01.shtml but the very word 'gymnasium' comes from the Greek 'gymnos', naked.

    The practice of competing naked is said to have started with Orsippos, who won the stadion race in 720BC, after losing his cloak at the start. To lose the weight, drag and awkwardness of a cloak must have been an advantage that outweighed any practical disadvantage or risk. For an advantage, modern athletes run high risks , for instance using illegal and dangerous drugs, that make running less than 200 metres with no scrotal support seem like a (clothed) walk in the park.

    Finally, I cannot do better than to refer you to the twenty-page article, on "The Origin of Nudity in Greek Athletics", by Prof.John Mouratidis of the University of Thrace. Journal of Sport History, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Winter, 1985) and at http://ebookmentors.com/elib/ebooks/..._Athletics.pdf
    You can read it for yourself, but it seems that nude athletics was a temporary custom, for maybe only 200 years, and that before and after loincloths (aka scrotal supports?) were worn, for reasons of modesty as well as practicality. Male nakedness was a potent magical and psychological signal in many ancient societies, but only used for those purposes, which again may have outweighed practical disadvantges.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD View Post
    Finally, I cannot do better than to refer you to the twenty-page article, on "The Origin of Nudity in Greek Athletics", by Prof.John Mouratidis of the University of Thrace. Journal of Sport History, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Winter, 1985) and at http://ebookmentors.com/elib/ebooks/..._Athletics.pdf
    You can read it for yourself, but it seems that nude athletics was a temporary custom, for maybe only 200 years, and that before and after loincloths (aka scrotal supports?) were worn, for reasons of modesty as well as practicality. Male nakedness was a potent magical and psychological signal in many ancient societies, but only used for those purposes, which again may have outweighed practical disadvantges.

    John
    An interesting article, and I agree that there are far too many issues of tradition and symbolism to draw any general conclusions from nudity in Greek athletics.

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    Except to note that it shows that it's definitely possible to run naked without hurting your scrotum. Which was the point it was brought up to make.
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