A few years ago, I read a fascinating book called Lost Civilizations Of The Stone Age. It does not follow the Atlantis/Pyramid/Sphinx line. Instead, it actually delves back much further in time into prehistory. I was very surprised by most of what I read. Here are some examples:
In Russia, some burials were found that are dated to be about 25,000 years old. Three of these skeletons were a man and two children. The man’s remains were covered with 2,936 ivory beads and he had 25 thin ivory bracelets on his arms. The children were similarly dressed – with 4,903 and 5,274 beads respectively. It has been estimated that each ivory bead would have taken 45 minutes to make. In other words, what the man alone was wearing when he died represented some 2000 hours of work, and 3,500 hours for each of the children.
Just imagine that. At a time, 25,000 years ago – literally five times further away from us than the beginnings of recorded history (!) – there once existed a culture we know nothing about! They had clear concepts of nobles/royalty, as is evident from these burials. They spoke a language of which there is absolutely no trace today. They had skill in Art, and they must have had beliefs about the after-world and more. I find this amazing. And we know nothing of them apart from this burial.
But there is even more to come. In Northern Iraq, the skeleton of a Neanderthal man was found. He died around the age of 40, about 46,000 years ago. It seems that his arm had been amputated above the elbow at some time in his life, and had then healed. He had also been blind in the left eye, and had suffered severe wounds to the face and skull. He also had suffered from Arthritis.
What is amazing about all this? First, that 46,000 years ago, the people possessed sufficient knowledge of amputation that this man could undergo this drastic surgery and survive. Second, that it is quite clear that Neanderthal Man (a species of Man now extinct, and often considered to epitomize ignorance and the primitive) possessed sufficient social responsibility to sustain this man throughout his life. He could not have managed by himself. In other words, it was NOT “Survival of the fittest”. Contrast this with the attitudes towards many of the weak and suffering in more recent times.
A figurine has been found in the Holy Land, clearly of the female form. It has been accepted by archaeologists as being genuine. Here’s the exciting part – it is between 233,000 to 800,000 years old! Think about it – Art began over a quarter of a million years ago, and perhaps much earlier.
There are many more revelations in this book.
I find this sort of thing utterly fascinating – every bit as interesting as the Atlantis/Lost Civilization theory which I also have a lot of sympathy for. This book is a MUST read for anyone interested in the origins of Man. I will put it up on the Bookshop section of the website soon.
I finished reading the book with a sort of poignant sadness. To think that these cultures existed complete with beliefs, languages, and cultures. Yet, today we know nothing about them at all. Our own origins are a mystery – shrouded in darkness with only the occasional light that these findings reveal.
Copyright Asoka Selvarajah. All Rights Reserved.