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Moonsmith

When is/was the golden age

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Moonsmith

From - "Is there a point":-

 
On 10/4/2018 at 11:42 AM, Earthdragon said:

I would propose the challenge in looking to history is partly in discerning the agendas which have degraded human freedoms and health.

 

On 10/3/2018 at 7:00 PM, Capricorn said:

The nature of the yugas and the decline through the ages is said to be seen by sages, respectively anybody who is acutely attuned to observation.

Both these statements puzzle me.  Presupposing that we are on the leading edge of the time curve so that the future is not available to us; which era would you prefer to live in to the current one  from a spiritual/any  viewpoint 🙂  [New thread?]✔️

Edited 21 hours ago by Moonsmith
to control time!
 
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Jon

as the question was- when was the golden age-

being a boring anthroarchaeologist-this is usually descended from classical greek antiquity saying, the golden age in this case being a reference to bronze which gave a golden light, but i suppose that isnt the answer looked for.

golden age, all ahve disease war poverty and robbing barstewards, oppression and nastiness, it depends on who and where you are.

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wandering_raven

***long post alert*** (you can get yourself a cup of tea and put your feet up first) 😄 

Personally I think the upper palaeolithic era is probably the golden age of humanity.  Thing is, as much as agriculture and everything that came after it solved certain problems, it all created others and we haven't yet reached a stage where our solutions to problems aren't causing additional major problems, and there are some problems (like inequality and poverty) that aren't even that high on many people's list of priorities in the first place.  

In the upper palaeolithic era, everyone lived as hunter-gatherers, but technological innovations meant that hunting was a lot safer than it was in the middle palaeolithic era (projectile hunting weapons such as a spear and atlatl versus thrusting spears for close range hunting of large animals) and easier to survive in harsh environments (stitched clothing became a thing).  Upper palaeolithic humans had a good chance of living into their 80s provided they survived early childhood (albeit with a slight spike in death rate around adolescence when young men learned to hunt... but less so than in the middle palaeolithic era, on account of hunting being generally safer).  So there were a number of ways why upper palaeolithic life was a bit more cushy than middle palaeolithic.  Though middle palaeolithic life was nowhere near as harsh as people tend to think it must have been.  Civilised people have a tendency to put themselves in that position and imagine it must've been a living hell.  But when you grow up learning a palaeolithic culture you learn not only how to survive but how to thrive.

Compared to modern life and everything from the neolithic era (i.e. start of agriculture) onwards, hunter-gatherers live in the lifestyle that humans evolved for.  Humans first evolved between 2 and 3 million years ago and the first Homo sapiens evolved around 150,000 years ago, with our subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens evolving maybe 100,000-70,000 years ago (it's hard to say exactly when a new subspecies emerges because there's no cut off point, every generation is only a tiny bit different and you only notice big changes if you compare them with people from a great many generations ago).  All this evolution was for a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, living within a natural ecosystem and knowing how to survive by getting everything you need from that ecosystem, so that's what we're adapted for.  Agriculture only started 10,000 years ago at the very earliest.  In many parts of the world it started much later.  About 5,000 years ago in the British Isles (if I recall correctly) and globally there are a few populations here and there that still live as hunter-gatherers.  Evolution happens faster than people realise and there are examples of ways that populations that have been doing agriculture for a few millennia have adapted to it a little, but we are still in the main adapted for a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. 

The hunter-gatherer lifestyle is sustainable, with modern hunter-gatherer populations having survived that way in their environment for tens of thousands of years.  From that standpoint, hunter-gatherer cultures are vastly superior to industrial cultures that plunder and pollute and are at present in danger of making the planet uninhabitable to humans.  These are the biggest advantages of hunter-gatherer cultures.  Another massive one is the lack of inequality.  A hunter-gatherer culture's wealth is in its knowledge, not its possessions.  From birth you learn a way of life that's enabled generation upon generation to survive in that environment.  It's not just survival though, it's art, culture, stories, their relationship with the world they live in (which would include stuff that westerners call "religion").  The lack of emphasis on possessions, and the fact that what possessions you need (such as hunting weapons, tools, clothes, art objects) you know how to make for yourself from what's around you, means that there's no division between rich and poor, haves and have-nots.  Higher status comes from higher knowledge and more life experience - elders are generally the most respected.  Hunter-gatherers are also much better at equality between genders.  Even in hunter-gatherer tribes where there's division of labour (men hunt, women gather) which is not the case for all tribes, the role of gatherer is seen as just as important as the role of hunter and men and women are both respected.  Gathered food and hunted food are both necessary for everyone to get a balanced diet so each gender relies on the contribution of the other gender.  It's a myth that "caveman" went out hunting while "cavewoman" stayed in the cave with the babies waiting for "caveman" to come back with the food and that he was needed to protect her, etc.  Bands of men went hunting and bands of women went gathering (or they all did both together if the hunting methods allowed it).  There's at least one modern hunter-gatherer tribe where the men and women hunt and gather together and there's no difference in role between men and women.  And men spend as much time as women caring for the children, and the only difference there is that women lactate so babies have to go back to their mother to be fed.   The sharing of food is a very important aspect of hunter-gatherer life - they often have strict rules about how this is done to ensure everyone gets a fair share.

The data we have on hunter-gatherer ways of life comes from modern hunter-gatherer tribes, but there are many things that are consistent, and so likely to have been also the case for palaeolithic hunter-gatherers, who had all those benefits and none of the difficulties modern hunter-gatherers face (like being pushed off their lands by "civilised" people).  Contrary to popular belief, palaeolithic life wasn't that harsh and palaeolithic people weren't brutal or nasty.  Some of the earliest archaeological evidence shows cases of elderly people surviving with no teeth or with severe osteoarthritis.  There's even one Neandertal man (Shanidar 1) who survived for many years after the side of his head was smashed in, leaving him blind in one eye and paralysed down one side of his body - he later lost part of his arm on the paralysed side (or it may have been amputated - it would be the earliest known surgery if it was) yet he survived because his tribe looked after him.  The earliest known such case was the skull of a toothless old woman among the Dmanisi people in Georgia, Europe, dated to 1.8 million years ago and with brains not that much bigger than chimpanzee brains, usually classified as Homo ergaster - one of the earliest human species.  She survived for at least a couple of years with no teeth.  Someone not only looked after her, but would've pre-chewed her food for her to soften it (similar to how mothers have to for their babies in hunter-gatherer societies as they don't have jars of baby food or blenders).  Going back to the dangerous nature of middle palaeolithic hunting - most male Neandertal skeletons show signs of healing from broken bones.  Their injury patterns have been shown to be similar to rodeo riders (i.e. caused by large mammals).  They healed from many of these injuries, showing that someone was looking after them, feeding them, keeping them warm, while their injuries healed up.  Shanidar 1 mentioned above is the most extreme example.  They possibly knew some basic herbal medicine as well - in one grave there's evidence of burial with flowers, however in another interpretation of that evidence it's noted that the flowers in question are all ones with medicinal properties, including yarrow (can't remember the others) which can be used to treat wounds.  it's possible that the flowers weren't part of the burial but were used as herbal medicine while the person was still alive.  

It's also not the case that palaeolithic people would've had to deal with constant food shortages.  Famine is more a feature of neolithic life and later, when people were dependent on crops to survive.  If your hunt fails you go hungry for a day or so.  If your crop fails then your whole population may face a famine.  It takes some very extreme climatic conditions for hunter-gatherers to suffer food shortages (modern hunter-gatherers face them if they get forced off their lands, but that's different).  If one food source is scarce one year there are many others.  A very severe winter in Europe might make all the food scarce and push a tribe towards starvation.  The Toba super volcano nearly caused the extinction of humans and our species of human went down to a couple of thousand breeding pairs, but for the most part, palaeolithic people got plenty to eat.  There were numerous other problems caused by the start of agriculture - the start of property ownership (and inequality/haves/have nots), a narrower diet (nutritional deficiency), emergence of sexism (men end up in control of ownership because they can be warriors and defend lands - women's ability to be warriors was limited by childbearing), strict/superstitious religion (trying to keep the gods happy so the crops don't fail), disease (most diseases need a certain population density to spread - neolithic populations became dense enough but hunter-gatherer populations weren't dense enough - plus many of the diseases spread from domesticated animals in the first place).  And war - the need to defend land/crops leads to warfare.  Three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse are agricultural - famine, war, pestilence.  I can go into more detail about how these things are the result of agriculture if anyone wants me to but this post is long enough already... also note that later agricultural eras were less precarious in terms of survival as people got better at agriculture, but inequalities (and class/caste systems, male dominance, etc) became more entrenched and religion became a lot more organised and controlling, and they got better and better at being warriors/soldiers.

The downsides of palaeolithic life include the lack of medicine - perinatal mortality in modern hunter-gatherers who are well nourished but have no access to modern medicine is about 10%, infant mortality about 10% and surviving early childhood is hit and miss.  But if you live to 5 you have a good chance of living to 85.  Palaeolithic hunter gatherers would've had similar statistics.  Hunting accidents are a common way to die (albeit safer hunting methods in the upper palaeolithic reduced the risks of injury and death from hunting).  There wasn't the technology to do anything much about people getting sick and dying back then.  As mentioned they may have known a little herbal medicine.  There may have been some very very basic surgery - it's plausible Neandertals may have figured out how to splint broken bones for lower limb injuries and it's possible that Shanidar 1's paralysed hand may have been deliberately amputated, but not a lot they would've been able to do about most wounds.  Shanidar 1 survived with others looking after him but only because it just so happened that the brain injury didn't kill him.  They obviously couldn't do neurosurgery (trepanning was a thing in the late upper palaeolithic though, and thought to be effective against brain bleeding following a head injury).   The lack of other technologies that make day to day life easier is another downside.  But you could argue that those things create as many problems as they cause (such as the use of cars leading to people becoming unfit and the health consequences of that).  Still, you don't see me leaving my heated flat with its comfy bed and sofa to go live in a cave or a reconstructed upper palaeolithic dwelling.  

Oh yeah and another downside of palaeolithic life was post-morturary cannibalism.  'Cause your dead relative's an important source of protein.  I think pretty much all middle palaeolithic populations did that.  Not sure on the data for upper palaeolithic.  This was part of funerary rites so likely they believed it was a way to honour their dead tribe members.  Cannibalism for basic survival (hunting other humans as a food source) only appears to have happened at times of extreme food stress, which as mentioned earlier, wasn't that often.  But I think this qualifies as a downside of palaeolithic life.

I also think that we currently live in a sort of golden age.  Our medical abilities are amazining.  And from the point of view of our ability to share knowledge and technology, and increasing attempts to address inequality and some degree of attempts to address poverty.  We're getting there.  To be fair on civilised people (when compared to hunter-gatherers) - hunter-gatherer populations are small, maybe just around 80 or so adults, and everyone knows everyone else so it's much easier to ensure that everyone's fed and looked after.  But in population sizes of millions and billions, that's a hell of a lot harder.  Many of the problems of the neolithic and onwards are problems caused by large populations and high population density.  We evolved as hunter-gatherers and our brains are adapted for life in small, hunter-gatherer sized populations.  But to the credit of many civilised people, at least we try to look after everyone.  The biggest problem is that our way of life is not sustainable.  We're teetering on the brink of environmental catastrophe.  The optimist in me likes to think that we'll find a way to deal with this and make our way of life sustainable.  I mean, if we switch from fossil fuels to fully renewable energy like solar and wind and make a few economic changes so the wealth isn't constantly in the hands of a few and there's enough services worldwide to ensure everyone has access to important services like education and healthcare, we stand a chance.  I do like to think that in the future we'll be able to combine what's good about our way of life with the sustainability, closeness with nature, equality and everything else that's good about the palaeolithic way of life. 

This is why I'd say if I had to choose a "golden age" for humanity it would be the upper palaeolithic, but I'm not really one for "golden ages" because I wouldn't go back and live in the upper palaeolithic era, on account of the lack of modern medicine and if I'm honest, the lack of sofas.  And I'd miss my smart phone.  And the ability to buy food in shops is just so convenient, even though it would be better from a health point of view if people weren't able to order pizza by smartphone to be delivered through your living room window without you needing to  leave your sofa.  Okay part of me is a bit attracted to the idea of spending a few months living an entirely upper palaeolithic lifestyle just for the experience and the health benefits.  As long as I can still go to the doctors if I get ill.  Best of both worlds and that.  I do hope that we can find a true best of both worlds in the future though.

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Ellinas

Pardon my cynicism.

The "golden age" is always some time in the past.  For some it is their childhood or youth - after all, the older generation seems to have a tendency to hearken back to how things were so much better "back then".  For others it is some historically or mythologically identified time which they never knew.

It is almost invariably a time when the mean lifespan was less than it is now (speaking from a distinctly Western European standpoint), when laws were non existent or, if they existed, were brutal and enforced only by those who had the means to enforce them for themselves, and when the comforts from which we view the past were non existent.

I have an emotional connection to the period from Minoan to late classical Greek - a long enough period in itself.  I am probably around twice the age to which I would have lived were I born back then.  I suffer less pain, have better healthcare, and my family is more secure from the rape and pillage of neighbouring tribes/states than would have been the position in those days.  My life is easy enough for me to have the leisure and education to be able to form such a connection.

Had I lived two to three millennia ago, breast cancer would still have existed, and my wife would have died of it - save for the consideration that something else would likely have killed her first.  As it is, she is now healthy and running around like the proverbial mad thing.

So, whilst I can admire ancient society, wish to understand it and to capture elements of it to bring to this far from perfect day, even to be able in my wildest dreams to visit it, I will be content to live in the only time I can live.  Because the golden age never existed, never will, and now, for all its' faults, is better than then.

Edited by Ellinas
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Veggie dancer
22 hours ago, wandering_raven said:

I do hope that we can find a true best of both worlds in the future though.

I enjoyed your post wandering raven 😊 You totally sold upper palaeolithic life to me: book me a seat on the time machine.

seriously though I agree it would be fantastic if we could find the best of both worlds. With current population size we could never go back to that lifestyle. It would not be any more sustainable than our current way. Probably less. And as you say modern medicine is increadible and I myself would likely be dead without it. I also hope that our modern technology could help the world in the event of one of those natural disasters you mentioned or something worse like a meteor strike. Concern for the environment does seem to be increasing so I think there is at least a growing will to make our life more sustainable. So I think that if we can get there before it is too late and we cause environmental collapse then the golden age is still to come when we take up the role of a kind of guardian species caring for the earth and her inhabitants (human animal or vegetable) whilst living in harmony with the eco system. 

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Earthdragon
On 10/6/2018 at 8:26 AM, wandering_raven said:

Agriculture only started 10,000 years ago at the very earliest.  In many parts of the world it started much later.  About 5,000 years ago in the British Isles (if I recall correctly)

I think the official version is that farming first occured in Kent and Orkney at around the same time (about 6000 years ago). The sites at Orkney are  complex and show huge planning and would have entailed huge collaborative effort to achieve.

I love it that there are synchronous events that can happen in different aspects of life. After reading this post of yours I went to my weekly class in Scots Gaelic and learned that the word for farmer is tuathanach which can be broken down as "person of the north". The tutor and I ended up positing the idea that this word may as old as the Mesolithic era as reference to the influx of crop growing ideas from the north as well as possible migration from there too. 

On 10/6/2018 at 8:26 AM, wandering_raven said:

Thing is, as much as agriculture and everything that came after it solved certain problems, it all created others and we haven't yet reached a stage where our solutions to problems aren't causing additional major problems

I could say here that there have been many projects that show brilliant solutions for sustainable agriculture but it is social and monetary structures that perpetuate the status quo as regards agriculture. 

On 10/6/2018 at 8:26 AM, wandering_raven said:

From that standpoint, hunter-gatherer cultures are vastly superior to industrial cultures that plunder and pollute and are at present in danger of making the planet uninhabitable to humans

I concur.:)

On 10/6/2018 at 8:26 AM, wandering_raven said:

Three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse are agricultural - famine, war, pestilence.  I can go into more detail about how these things are the result of agriculture if anyone wants me to but this post is long enough already..

I look forward to this as a possible future thread...

 

On 10/6/2018 at 8:26 AM, wandering_raven said:

A hunter-gatherer culture's wealth is in its knowledge, not its possessions.  From birth you learn a way of life that's enabled generation upon generation to survive in that environment.  It's not just survival though, it's art, culture, stories, their relationship with the world they live in 

This is interesting to me. Do you think there was of a blend of science (practical skills and technology included) and the spiritual/artistic?

Certain examples come to mind. The adopting of an animal  attitude and "spirit" whilst hunting, the heat from a hearth fire being linked to the warmth of the sun, the use of stories to convey important lessons for safe hunting...Another synchronous event from this week provided another example- yesterday my OH and I went to a flint knapping talk and workshop. We ended up doing some knapping. The leader is doing a research degree on the sounds that are produced when the flint is hit well ( there is a particular wave-like shape to  the surface of a flake that is produced by the shock of the strike when a high quality flake is created ) and the subsequent jingle/jangle of such flakes falling to the floor which sounds like a wind chime. His idea is that this was a precursor to ensemble music making where the music had part of its effect attributable to the associated thrill of creating a good tool. Feel good music indeed 🙂

On 10/6/2018 at 8:26 AM, wandering_raven said:

They possibly knew some basic herbal medicine as well - in one grave there's evidence of burial with flowers, however in another interpretation of that evidence it's noted that the flowers in question are all ones with medicinal properties, including yarrow (can't remember the others) which can be used to treat wounds. 

My intuition on this is that they would have known herbal medicine in depth. Am pretty sure existing hunter gatherer tribes have this knowledge.

On 10/6/2018 at 8:26 AM, wandering_raven said:

The lack of other technologies that make day to day life easier is another downside. 

I'm not sure that their solutions for daily comfort and convenience would have been disappointing across the board. While technology was  vastly inferior to that of modern  times I think the effectiveness to what  they did day to day lay in  their design capabilities. If we look at the recreations of the design and materials used in Ötze's attire it's clear that they were very effective. By the upper Palaeolithic humans already had tens of thousands of years to develop such designs...wattle and dawb is as draught proofing as any modern building methods. A well designed wooden frame stuffed with heather and wool and covered with luch animal skins would probably be a match for DFS anyday hehe.

On 10/6/2018 at 8:26 AM, wandering_raven said:

Cause your dead relative's an important source of protein

Is there evidence that this was actually cannabilism as opposed ritualistic defleshing before arriving the bones?

 

On 10/6/2018 at 8:26 AM, wandering_raven said:

do like to think that in the future we'll be able to combine what's good about our way of life with the sustainability, closeness with nature, equality and everything else that's good about the palaeolithic way of life. 

Possible and necessary. To borrow a phrase - It's just ourselves that get in the way...

Edited by Earthdragon
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wandering_raven

Thanks for the replies 🙂 I'll respond bit by bit due to time restrictions lol... 

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wandering_raven
22 hours ago, Veggie dancer said:

I enjoyed your post wandering raven 😊 You totally sold upper palaeolithic life to me: book me a seat on the time machine.

seriously though I agree it would be fantastic if we could find the best of both worlds. With current population size we could never go back to that lifestyle. It would not be any more sustainable than our current way. Probably less. And as you say modern medicine is increadible and I myself would likely be dead without it. I also hope that our modern technology could help the world in the event of one of those natural disasters you mentioned or something worse like a meteor strike. Concern for the environment does seem to be increasing so I think there is at least a growing will to make our life more sustainable. So I think that if we can get there before it is too late and we cause environmental collapse then the golden age is still to come when we take up the role of a kind of guardian species caring for the earth and her inhabitants (human animal or vegetable) whilst living in harmony with the eco system. 

thanks 🙂  yeah it is tempting to go back there 🙂  hunter-gatherer lifestyle can only support a low population density so the only way humans could return to that on a worldwide scale is if the population goes back to what it was before agriculture was a thing.  But yeah... look to the future to find ways to make our way of life long-term sustainable, and address other problems such as inequality.  It's doable.  I'd also be dead without modern medicine.  

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wandering_raven
18 hours ago, Earthdragon said:

I think the official version is that farming first occured in Kent and Orkney at around the same time (about 6000 years ago). The sites at Orkney are  complex and show huge planning and would have entailed huge collaborative effort to achieve.

I love it that there are synchronous events that can happen in different aspects of life. After reading this post of yours I went to my weekly class in Scots Gaelic and learned that the word for farmer is tuathanach which can be broken down as "person of the north". The tutor and I ended up positing the idea that this word may as old as the Mesolithic era as reference to the influx of crop growing ideas from the north as well as possible migration from there too. 

I could say here that there have been many projects that show brilliant solutions for sustainable agriculture but it is social and monetary structures that perpetuate the status quo as regards agriculture. 

 

Thanks for the info 🙂  i'm not that clued up on early agricultural societies in the UK.  Probably should read more about it when I get a chance.  Fascinating about the "person of the north" thing - reminds me of how "westerner" is used to refer to our industrialised culture as opposed to cultures that are less industrialised - except that the amount of tech coming from East Asia renders the term inaccurate... typing on my Japanese laptop which is next to my Korean smartphone...  

I agree there have been plenty of ways that agriculture is and can be done sustainably - and has to be, because we can't support the world's population through hunting and gathering.  My comments were more about the socio-economic changes that follow the start of agriculture in previously hunter-gatherer populations.  Even back then it caused a lot of serious problems that didn't exist before.

Permaculture is a good one for sustainable agriculture - it's a set of principles for making agriculture more like an ecosystem that supports itself, where the waste products of one part of the system is a necessary thing that another part of it needs.  A permaculture farm also requires much less labour, because a lot of it looks after itself.  I definitely think sustainable agriculture is doable, just I fear that the people in power aren't going to realise that until it's too late.  But we'd need to do permaculture and other sustainable agricultural methods on a large scale.  There are so many innovative ideas out there - even just simple things like in one country (I think it's in South America) they are growing plants on the side of large buildings to get carbon dioxide out of the local air (it's particularly good at reducing traffic fumes) and it also looks so much nicer than concrete.  If town planners/councils etc all around the world do little things like that it can make a huge difference 🙂  Converting cars from running on petrol or other fossil fuels to running on bio diesel.  Electric cars that are powered by renewables - solar panels in the roof of cars.  A lot of these things are only a little bit of innovation and forward thinking away... 

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wandering_raven
On 10/7/2018 at 12:24 PM, Earthdragon said:

IThis is interesting to me. Do you think there was of a blend of science (practical skills and technology included) and the spiritual/artistic?

Certain examples come to mind. The adopting of an animal  attitude and "spirit" whilst hunting, the heat from a hearth fire being linked to the warmth of the sun, the use of stories to convey important lessons for safe hunting...Another synchronous event from this week provided another example- yesterday my OH and I went to a flint knapping talk and workshop. We ended up doing some knapping. The leader is doing a research degree on the sounds that are produced when the flint is hit well ( there is a particular wave-like shape to  the surface of a flake that is produced by the shock of the strike when a high quality flake is created ) and the subsequent jingle/jangle of such flakes falling to the floor which sounds like a wind chime. His idea is that this was a precursor to ensemble music making where the music had part of its effect attributable to the associated thrill of creating a good tool. Feel good music indeed 🙂

My intuition on this is that they would have known herbal medicine in depth. Am pretty sure existing hunter gatherer tribes have this knowledge.

Existing hunter-gatherer tribes certainly do - they have a PhD level (in terms of depth) knowledge of local plants, both medicinal and culinary uses - but a much broader level of knowledge than a PhD would cover.  So yeah, massively knowledgeable.  That's how one of the palaeoanthropology lecturers at my uni put it, so it's not just a personal opinion.  

The thing to remember though is that all cultures evolve and learn new stuff as they go along, just they don't all develop their knowledge etc in the same direction.  So while you can assume that there was a lot of similarity between ancient and modern hunter-gatherers, it's not necessarily the case that ancient hunter-gatherers knew as much as modern ones, BUT knowledge can be lost as well as gained (in fact the start of agriculture would've led to the loss of loads of knowledge of their hunter-gatherer ancestors) so you could equally argue that they did have similar levels of knowledge.  Humans have been highly intelligent for far longer than people previously believed.  It used to be thought that the modern human mind developed around 35,000 years ago.  New evidence showed that the fully modern human mind evolved somewhere between 100,000 and 70,000 years ago (coinciding with the start of the upper palaeolithic) in Homo sapiens, and that the minds of peoples who lived in the latter part of the middle palaeolithic era were as intelligent as modern humans, with complex speech, but seemed to have less creativity/innovation.  And those that preceded them wouldn't have been stupid.  So that's a hell of a long time for humans to be gathering knowledge.  Evolving and adapting their knowledge to their environment (upper palaeolithic people were better at adapting their culture to new environments).

Re the question about blend of science, art and spiritual - that is what you find in modern hunter-gatherers.  They won't necessarily divide it up into those categories as their entire culture and way of looking at the world is different to ours (each culture has their own way of describing stuff and often words don't translate directly from one language to another).  For the purposes of worldbuilding in my prehistoric fiction, I don't make any distinction between science and religion because I can't see any basis upon which they'd make such distinctions.  They have beliefs about how the world works that includes what we'd call science and what we'd call religion and they just consider it all to be truth.  And art is a way of expressing truth.  It's quite difficult to put my mind back to a culture that predated many things that we have today (like organised religion and an education system (as opposed to just learning what you need to know from your parents/tribe) not to mention all kinds of technology) and try to imagine how they might have viewed the world.  

Regards the sound of flintknapping - I think that one of the reasons why Candy Crush is so addictive is that when you crush the candies it sounds like flint being flaked off.  I think humans are hardwired to find this sound satisfying.  Certainly from my paltry attempts at flintknapping (I can make early lower palaeolithic style tools!  Go me!  **hears the spirits of the Australopiths laughing at me**) I find the whole process of flintknapping - the sound and feel of the flakes coming off the stone the right way - very satisfying and absorbing.  It's quite addictive.  I'm sure this must be hardwired on account of how our earliest lower palaeolithic ancestors, the ones with chimp sized brains, hadn't yet evolved the prefrontal cortex to plan that far in the future but the ones that found chipping up bits of rocks fun learned how to knap flint the best and survived and bred more.  Later, I'm sure the same hardwiring helped people to stay with it when they were struggling to get more complex tools right.  I also think the call of the stonechat (bird) evolved because other animals learned to stay away from the sound of flint being knapped, and the stonechat's call sounds just like that, so it probably kept the predators away.  "don't come near me, I'm not a small bird, I'm a human" yay lol.

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Veggie dancer
1 hour ago, wandering_raven said:

 For thepurposes of worldbuilding in my prehistoric fiction, I don't make any distinction between science and religion because I can't see any basis upon which they'd make suchdistinctions. 

Sounds interesting do you have anything published yet? My OH is in the process of trying to get an agent and get published- its such a tough world to break into. Have you read Michelle paver's kids books 'wolf brother'? Sounds like you might like it - it's also prehistoric fiction with a bit of a fantasy element to it.

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wandering_raven
1 minute ago, Veggie dancer said:

Sounds interesting do you have anything published yet? My OH is in the process of trying to get an agent and get published- its such a tough world to break into. Have you read Michelle paver's kids books 'wolf brother'? Sounds like you might like it - it's also prehistoric fiction with a bit of a fantasy element to it.

Not yet, I have two novels that I'm writing but they're not finished yet. One of them I'm about 90% of the way through, the other one I'm rewriting so will take a while longer.  I do intend to try to get them published when they're finished.  

I've heard of the "wolf brother" series but not had the chance to read it yet.  I have quite a lot of books on my "want to read" pile but between working, being a single parent and writing novels in my spare time I don't get to read as many books as I'd like.

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Veggie dancer

We listen to books on audible quite a bit these days: really worth it! You can listen whilst driving or walking or feeding the baby etc. If you have kids wolf brother is a nice book for them to read or to read to them or listen to. Definitely one making time for. 😊 Good luck with the writing and publishing. I know how long the process is. I've been editing for my OH he re-wrote sooo many times. Would love to read your book when it's done! 

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Earthdragon
3 hours ago, wandering_raven said:

I also think the call of the stonechat (bird) evolved because other animals learned to stay away from the sound of flint being knapped, and the stonechat's call sounds just like that, so it probably kept the predators away.  "don't come near me, I'm not a small bird, I'm a human" yay lol.

Woohoo here we go again! Lots of synchronic happenings-we collected tree seed from an island on a loch last Saturday and guess which bird was animatedly protecting its little island that we had the temerity to paddle across to and alight upon? Yes a plump ( it had taken most of the Rowan berries!) Stonechat. A lovely species of bird and yes very vibrant in its knapping-like call 🙂

i enjoyed your further thoughts on this topic greatly. Thanks.

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