Scaphism, or "The Boats", was an ancient method of execution designed by the Persians to causes as much suffering as possible before death.
The only descriptions of the practice that we have are from the Greeks, the mortal enemies of the Persians, so we can't be entirely sure how common the practice actually was, or whether the Greeks used a bit of artistic license.
One thing we can be sure of, however, is that it would be a terrible way to die.
The victim would be trapped inside two boats, or hollowed out tree trunks, with just their head, hands and feet protruding. The would be force-fed milk and honey (some kind of Persian irony there) to the point at which they developed horrendous diarrhea. At this point more milk and honey would be poured all over them, particularly the eyes, mouth and genitals, in order to attract insects.
The idea was that, as the boats filled with milk, honey and faeces, biting and burrowing insects would colonise it, inflicting horrible torture on the victim. There is debate as to whether the insects would actually burrow into the skin, or simply drive the victim mad as they swarmed, but this combined with whatever injuries were inflicted (because you can be sure they were), would cause the body to become horrendously gangrenous.
The torture was dragged out for as long as possible, but death would eventually come as a result of dehydration, starvation, exhaustion and septic shock.
You don't need to be a scientist to figure out that that's a nasty way to go.
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