Someone chuck it at Wacky Jacqui...
mine's the one with the spell book in the pocket
A raft of modern scientific tests has revealed the contents of the first "witch bottle" discovered with its cork intact - a late 17th-century vessel buried by the owner's front door and designed to thwart the evil intentions of ill-wishers. According to the Times, the salt-glazed stoneware bottle was unearthed in Greenwich. It …
We have reports of active attacks against WG witch bottles. They are being stolen by practitioners of Voodoo and the hair and fingernails contained therein are being used in directed Voodoo attacks.
There is currently no patch available for this issue. As a workaround, users are advised to bury their witch bottles as deeply as possible.
>> "It is possible that we could one day identify him from DNA analysis (...)”
...they should ask: "do we want to know?", the obvious answer being in this case: 'No, we don't want to know'.
I mean, yes I can see some geekish challenge in identifying some long dead anonymous toenail clippings donator or whatever. But really, for the sake of the pursuit of knowledge and the advancement of science can't we agree that if it was deemed necessary for us to know the True Identity of the person or persons involved that they should have clearly marked the bottle accordingly?
Why, I don't think we will loose much if the nail clippings get labeled '17th century Anonymous Coward' and filed somewhere deep down in the back of a remotely located museum archive or even better, a plain public landfill. Please, in the name of sanity, do not research this further.
But I bet they can tie this with Global Warming in some sense or the other, and get a government grand worthy to write home about.
Being of Pagan beliefs myself, it's nice to follow these little stories into how our country and it's history have been coloured by such interesting traditions.
But things change over time - nowadays we witches and the suchlike tend to cast off evil spirits and curses with a bloody large stick with a nail in it until said nastiness is very, very sorry indeed.
Personally, if I wanted to piss into a bottle and clog it up with nasal hair or whatever the hell it was, I'd join a Masonic lodge, they love that sort of thing.
From the tech. point of view, they should really leave the DNA alone. Nobody is going to be interested, it's not going to provide any further insight into why the bottle was made, and if some budding genealogist/geneticist traced the family line, that family might not appreciate having witchcraft woven into their family tree, TYVM. It's funny, some people can get a bit upset about that sort of thing.
So let me get this straight. Some poor sod hundreds of years ago trims his hair and clips his nails over a jar, so as to not make a mess of the floor before a night out. He happens to have previously put some miscellaneous fasteners into the jar for later use but doesn't bother to sort it out at the moment as he's in a bit of a hurry to get down to the business of getting down to business at the pub.
Later that night after stumbling home and collapsing in bed, he discovers his bladder is in dire need of relief. Still a bit lit, he grabs the nearest container handy and proceeds to produce a brimmer which he places back on the sill and promptly passes back out. In the morning, being a bleary eyed gent, he discovers the contents of the jar and figures it best to hide it from his missus who is arriving that afternoon with her mother for a visit. In haste, he buries it beside the door under an azalea bush figuring she will never find it and if she does, he concocts some wild story about it repelling witches, meaning of course his mother-in-law.
Fast forward a bit and some super jean-yus figures he has found the long fabled witch repellant which had previously been lost to time. Sad bit is it would have probably worked better if the original sod had kept a steady stupor the next day, left the jar, still full, on the sill where it was the next morning and let the old lady find it. Then she would have rushed her mother back out and probably ne'er be seen again. And that my friends would be known as a twofer, repelling two witches for the price of one.
Right here in Old-Timey America, us Injuns took instant pity on the po' new-arrived laboring-class folk in their chains and helped 'em out where we could. Some of the results live on to this day. http://www.luckymojo.com will set all visitors thereunto right straight per the Holye Historickal Hoodoo Explosion that ensued.
Poor ol' Whiteman has been fighting a Secret Terrorwar against an Invisible Enema Within ever since. But flail and moan and clench-up tho' he might, it still goes off with a rumblin' "BUMP!" here and there in the night. Po' ol' Massa' Bwana STILL cain't sleep so good no mo'.
Um, there's still some Afro/Celt folk on Earth, now ain't there? Sorted!
Mine's the one with the Grumpy Green-Face Bottle in the pocket. And the nice fat High John nut; yes, thanks that's it. :)