Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Did we (modern man) or Neanderthals create the first religion (myths) trying to answer life's big questions?

Could this be what the dawn of man looked like? On my research trip this year, I took this photograph of a sunrise over the remote Mursi tribal village of Belle in Ethiopia's Omo region. During my stay in this village, I imagined that our modern man ancestors lived like this before a few walked out of Africa to populate our planet.

In 1856, in a cave in Germany's Neander Valley, Neanderthals were the first hominid ancestor to be discovered.

Comparison of the DNA of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens suggests that they diverged from a common ancestor, probably Homo heidelbergensis, who originated between 800,000 and 1,300,000 years ago. This evolutionary ancestor continued living in Africa, Europe and Western Asia until they vanished about 200,000 years ago.

Then, for some unexplained reason, between 350,000 and 400,000 years ago the African branch is thought to have started evolving towards modern humans and the Eurasian branch towards Neanderthals.

About 50,000 to 60,000 years ago modern man walked out of Africa to eventually populate our planet, according to Mitochondrial DNA. DNA also tells us that modern man and Neanderthals mixed.

In all of this evolutionary history, which of our ancestral storytellers tried to answer our mysterious big questions of life on earth?  Who created the first myth?

Was it Neanderthals or us modern Homo sapiens who first began asking about the creation of earth, and the creation of man? 

And what about archetypal dreams?

No comments: