AO Magazine - September 2019
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In ancient times, the typical response to crime was revenge, and blood feuds between families, communities, and even nations could endure for centuries. Nearly 5,000 years ago, King Hammurabi of Babylon made the first known steps in history towards establishing a code of laws that would reduce crime and put a stop to the endless blood feuds, and in those days, “an eye for an eye” was the way to go. It was felt the punishment for a crime should equal the severity of the crime itself – no more, no less.
In crime-ridden civilizations of the past, it was not just ancient people behaving badly, but the gods and demi-gods of legend who took the dark path too, and for angering them, the punishment was much more severe. Think eternal damnation and eons of pain and punishment!
Since then, humanity has attempted to grapple with crime and establish law and order, sometimes succeeding, and at other times failing miserably. But we must look on the bright side; nowadays women are no longer forced to wear metal mule masks for gossiping, men are not required to prove their ‘equipment’ works in divorce courts, thieves don’t get their noses sliced off before being sent to a city of noseless criminals, execution is no longer at the pointy end of a kangaroo bone, and a person’s guilt does not hinge on the way they chew their rice!
In humanity’s defense, in an unfair world, we’ve always tried to bring balance, and so we cannot forget some of our glorious achievements, such as the amazing wonders of the ancient world, and the marvelous golden ratio, or ‘divine proportion’ that helped make them so.
The dead get a final say, as we try to crack the ancient cold cases of bog body murders, where criminals and kings faced the same fate.
Dr. Roberto Volterri takes us through the strange experiments on the eyes of murdered corpses – will we one day be able to view the last, terrifying image – perhaps the killer itself – captured in a victim’s last moments? The implications are immense!
Finally, we visit with Richard Beeby & Sarah Smart who are helping bring back ancient burial traditions with their Mid-England Barrow; within which both the dead and the living can find peace.