What About Neanderthals?
 
“Damien keep in mind that prior to 10,000 years ago, neanderthals were extant, and evidence illustrates that not only did homosapiens cohabitate with them, but the general nature before then was scavenging and rationing food. Interestingly enough the domestication of certain animals is also indicative of the advancements of society.” Challenger
 
My response, well I am somewhat informed on pre0historic things may I put forth that as far as I know Neanderthals died off and disappeared between around 40,000-30,000 years ago, so modern humans, as well as three other hominin species were likely around: the Neanderthals in Europe and western Asia (but not for much longer as possibly Neanderthals were displaced very soon after modern humans encroached on their habitat about 40,000 to 30,000 years ago), the Denisovans in Asia (well 30,000 to 80,000 years ago), and the “hobbits” from the Indonesian island of Flores (but the hobbits could have survived until as recently as 18,000 years ago). And yes, I know genetic evidence shows that “modern” humans—or Homo sapiens “US” evolved in Africa, about 200,000 years ago now worldwide. Anatomically, modern humans can generally be characterized by the lighter build of their skeletons compared to earlier humans. But we ended up replacing them even though by the time we got to Europe, just over 40,000 years ago, Neanderthals had been successfully living there for over 200,000 years and we interbred with their Neanderthal neighbors yet another time like the may time before who then mysteriously died out by about 30,000 to 40,000 years ago and interestingly to me may have taught us their religious or ritualistic burial practices (possibly a precursor to animism or even animism itself existing pre-human) like 120,000 years ago. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Did Neanderthals teach us “Primal Religion” 120,000 Years Ago?

Neanderthals may have transmitted “Primal Religion” or at least burial and thoughts of an afterlife.

143,000 – 120,000 Years Ago – Tabun Cave (Israel), found evidence of a Neanderthal-type burial of an archaic type of human female. There is some evidence of burial in Skhul Cave 130,000 – 100,000 which may be Neanderthal humans hybrids, thought early modern humans started engaging in burial around 100,000 years ago. So one should wonder did Neanderthals teach humans religion or at least ritual burial around 120,000 – 100,000 years ago? I think maybe it seems to possibly be the case by 100,000 years ago, but this is just my speculation of somewhat loose but interesting evidence. Burial seems to have been and is now certainly evidence of some concern about what happened when someone died perhaps even proof of a belief that would be one of the key tenets of most religions of the world today, which is life after this one.

100,000 Years Ago – Qafzeh cave (Israel), found burial site of 15 early modern humans stained with red ochre and grave goods, 71 pieces of red ocher, and red ocher-stained stone tools near the bones suggest ritual or symbolic use, as well as sea shells with traces of being strung, and a few also had ochre stains which may also suggest ritual or symbolic use. Likewise, a wild boar jaw found placed in the arms of one of the skeletons.

Only after 100,000 years ago modern human burials become more frequent. Could this seemingly new practice of barrel among early modern humans with the use of red ochre be in some way connected or influenced by the meeting, interbreeding and possible idea sharing with the Neanderthal ancestors of the Neanderthals from the Altai Mountains of Central Asia around 100,000 years ago possibly in the Near East, maybe even in Israel or some other part of the with the levant? Well to me it sounds like a real possibility that Neanderthals may have directly taught or indirectly been observed thus in a way are responsible candidates for possibly teaching humans the beginnings of religion, or at least superstitionism/supernaturalism seen in the act of doing burial and the ritual and seemingly sacralized use of red ocher around 100,000 years ago. This thinking Neanderthals Primal Religion could have come first is supported in how 250,000 years ago Neanderthals used red ochre and 230,000 years ago shows evidence of Neanderthal burial with grave goods and possibly a belief in the afterlife. 12345678


Rock crystal stone tools made by Neanderthals?

75,000 Years Ago – (Spain), found evidence rock crystal stone tools made by Neanderthals in Navalmaíllo rock-shelter Pinilla del Valle, Madrid, Spain. Rock crystal, or quartz, is, surprisingly, not so good for tools as flint and other similar stone minerals. The scarcity or quality of raw materials is not the reason for this behavior. The most characteristic feature of the stone tools at Navalmaíllo artifacts which are mostly made of quartz (commonly called “milky quartz”). Chert (a low-grade flint) and other good raw materials, such as quartzites—found in river terraces—are relatively abundant in the central Iberian Peninsula, where Navalmaíllo rock-shelter is located. Quartz cobbles are also common locally, but this material was usually avoided during the Middle Paleolithic period between 100,000 and 40,000 years ago. The few exceptions are always in rock shelters or caves. The best known are Jarama VI cave and Peña Capón rock-shelter central Spain. This use of rock crystal or quartz also is seen Europe such as southwestern France such as at the Les Merveilles rock shelter. At prehistoric sites in the Austrian alps, quartz or quartzite was generally used very frequently as raw material for stone tools, about 68 % of the stone tool artifacts from Repolusthöhle (Repolust), Austria were made of quartzite. More than 99 % of the lithic artifacts from the Drachenhöhle (Dragon’s Cave), Austria were made of quartz or quartzite and about 90 % of the artifacts from the Tunnelsteinhöhle, Austria were made of quartz. This is evidence of the collection by Neanderthals of highly crafted objects of no great use, except for their beauty or specialness possibly ritual as seems odd it was only seen as a standard tool. A functional analysis of quartz artifacts is especially important since characteristic tool types occur more rarely among quartz artifacts than among flint artifacts. Thus, use wear analysis was done to prove that quartz artifacts really were regarded as tools which it seems they may not have been. This further highlights a possible ritualism because there seems to be a low frequency of mechanical damage on the quartz artifacts. However, evidence of quartz tools goes back 500,000 years ago as numerous pieces of quartz crystal found with remains of ‘Peking Man’ some fragments of white quartz in tabus, a mineral not native to the area raises the importance of this find. In fact, more than 10,000 stone tools have been recovered coming from 44 different raw materials used by the ancient inhabitants of the cave, and 89% of this raw material is quartz and the remainder of the raw materials used includes 5% rock crystal. 123456