This was the period when all the science and reason which we take for granted now was displacing the superstition of the Dark Ages, but there was a wonderful period when the two overlapped, and it was quite understandable if Issac Newton was an alchemist and astrologer as well as a modern astronomer, because philosophy was also one of the sciences under revision.
My favourite antiquary of them all was John Aubrey - he of Brief Lives. In his book, he mentions that one of my ancestors was personal secretary to Sir Frances Bacon, who died as a result of an experiment into the refrigeration of food as an alternative to drying or salting as a preservative. Bacon buried an uncooked chicken in snow for a few days before eating it, but died of what must have been salmonella poisoning as a result. He was on the right track, though.
During the late medieval period, the Christian villagers who lived in the centre of Avebury decided that the stones were a pagan abomination, and began to try to lever them out of the ground to destroy the whole circle. Those stones are BIG. The very first stone they dislodged fell over and crushed a barber-surgeon (yes, the people that cut your hair in those days also performed crude operations and blood-letting) and his simple bronze tools and skeleton can be seen in the museum today. The 'Age of Reason' had yet to arrive.