Monday, February 25, 2008

Predictions and dreams

Before amniocentesis - the scientific analysis of fluid from a pregnant woman's uterus - was developed in the 1930s, superstitions offered the sole means of predicting the sex of an unborn child. Around 4000BC in Egypt, two types of wheat were watered with the woman's urine. The child's sex was determined by which sprouted first.

The Egyptians devised guidelines for interpreting the images seen in dreams around 2000BC. A papyrus states: 'If a man sees himself in a dream looking at a snake - good, it signifies [many] provisions,' and 'If a man sees in a dream his bed on fire - bad, it signifies the rape of his wife.'

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