A Little Happier: What I Have in Common with a Bronze Age Parent

I write about happiness, good habits, the five senses…but really, my subject is human nature. That is the subject that fascinates me.

So one question I often ask myself is, “What in human nature seems immutable? What doesn’t change, even as culture changes?” The answer is, not as much as you’d think.

But sometimes I see little examples of how some quirk of human nature shows up over and over again.

And here’s an example that charms me.

When my daughter Eleanor was little, she had a special sippy cup that she loved. It was purple, with a yellow lid, and persuading her to relinquish that sippy cup was one of the major triumphs of my time as the parent of young children. She really loved that sippy cup.

Recently I learned that researchers have figured out that all the way back to the Bronze age, and maybe even longer ago than that, parents used clay “sippy cups” to help feed their babies and young children.

The thing that really charmed me is that some of these pottery vessels were in the shapes of animals. I saw one cup that stood on two little feet and had a head with big ears sticking out from it.

I love to think of these parents, three thousand years ago, delighted their children with the kind of animal shapes that we use with our children today.

If you’d like to read more about the Bronze Age sippy cups, and if you’d like to see their design for yourself, read on here.

Many things change, but some things don’t change.




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