17th-century Witch Bottle

A bottle has been unearthed in Greenwich, England that contains urine and objects believed to have been put there to combat witchcraft. It was completely corked, so the contents were available for analysis, unlike other bottles found from the period.
An Old Bailey court record from 1682 documents that a husband, believing his wife to be afflicted by witchcraft, was advised by a Spitalfields apothecary to "take a quart of your Wive's urine, the paring of her Nails, some of her Hair, and such like, and boyl them well in a Pipkin."

The excavated bottle appears to have been made according to those, or similar, instructions.

CT scans and chemical analysis, along with gas chromatography conducted by Richard Cole of the Leicester Royal Infirmary, reveal the contents of the bottle to include human urine, brimstone, 12 iron nails, eight brass pins, hair, possible navel fluff, a piece of heart-shaped leather pierced by a bent nail, and 10 fingernail clippings.

So far, they've found the urine was from someone who smoked, and the fingernails were in good shape, indicating a person of high status. Link -via Unique Daily

(image credit: Mike Pitts/British Archaeology)

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