JF Ptak Science Books Post 1251
The Dreamworks of Human Beings over the last 10,000 years have generally not directly survived, unless they were painted on a cave wall, or saved in the spoken tradition, or recorded in a painting, or written down as literature or poetry or religious tracts (as "visions", say). The work of human brains while asleep is almost entirely lost, especially so before the year 1900, when disposable writing instruments and more easily found paper supply came into being, making it possible to record personal ephemera like dreams and wishes and posie notions. A vast amount of subconscious thinking and overall brain activity is just simply disappeared.
An off-the-cuff guessitmate is that humans have had the capacity to have dreamt 10x10^25 dreams over the last 10,000 years, and before the year 1900 I'd say that .00000000000000001% of them have ever been recorded, have ever found a stable platform to be carried into the future. (It would be easier to pass a monumental camel through the eye of a nanoneedle than it would be to try and reconstruct these dreams, paraphrasing Luke 10:25 as long as we'ev got 1^25 in our sights.) Even though the human brain spent probably 20% of its time over human history dreaming, there is almost nothing to show for it.
Here's a surviving dream, a manuscript--or rather a copy of a manuscript--called "A Remarkable Dream--Dreamed by B.C. in England 10 Month 30 1762". It is four pages of pretty densely packed recollection of a long dream, 4,000 words strong, recalling fire and brimstone visions of the Bad Land, some sights of Heaven, remarkable animals, strange happenings, and general Ecclesiastical undertones. One unusual thing--there is mention of color, which seems not to be common in dreams in general.
I've found several examples of this dream/story, copied by different hands over the decades--it seems to have been a somewhat popular account, transcribed by (young?) folks as a part of a lesson, perhaps with a Quaker-related bearing (?).
This manuscript copy (available for purchase from our blog bookstore) was made in the very early 19th century, 1800-1820 or thereabouts, and my guess is that it is American.
I've scanned all four pages for the eager reader. It is a little bit of a tough go, but your eyes get used to the writing style after a while.