Monday, June 5, 2023

Ritual Burial Among Archaic Humans


Some H. naledi hands had curative but are unlike ape hands.

Carvings found near Homo naledi graves in the Rising Star cave system are the first evidence of ritual burials (c.250,000 YBP). Homo naledi was human.

250,000 years ago, humans were living and dying in communities, caring for one another, grieving with one another, and burying their dead with respect.

For at least 100,000 years humans buried their dead in red ocher, a symbolic blood covering.

Much was happening with humans before 250,000 years ago.

Evidence of butchering at 3 million YBP

2.5-3.4 million YBP 

Humans were using butchering flints. These were found in Dikika, Ethiopia. This bone shows evidence of butchering.

1.5 million YBP

Stone tools found in Saudi Arabia near the Red Sea from a time when the region was much wetter.

700,000 YBP

Lower Paleolithic Age butchering tools found in Greece.

500,000 YBP

A large assemblage of hand axes excavated at Stratum 4a and 4b at the Kathu complex in South Africa. Large mammal remains have been identified at both strata.

A trove of hand axes found in central Israel at Jaljulya.

Flint tools discovered in the Tunel Wielki Cave in Poland.

Engraved shell found in Java.

Material evidence of Humans as early as 4 million years ago.

When Jeremy DeSilva, a British anthropologist, compared the ankle joint, the tibia and the talus fossils of human ancestors ("hominins") between 4.12 million to 1.53 million years old, he discovered that all of the ankle joints resembled those of modern humans rather than those of apes. Chimpanzees flex their ankles 45 degrees from normal resting position. This makes it possible for apes to climb trees with great ease. While walking, humans flex their ankles a maximum of 20 degrees. The human ankle bones are quite distinct from those of apes.

The discovery of a complete fourth metatarsal of A. afarensis at Hadar that shows the deep, flat base and tarsal facets that "imply that its midfoot had no ape-like midtarsal break. These features show that the A. afarensis foot was functionally like that of modern humans." (Carol Ward, William H. Kimbel, Donald C. Johanson, Feb. 2011

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