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Water’s Edge Ancestors

Discussion in 'The Cave' started by Michael, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Michael

    Michael Super Moderator

    This is a good round-up of work at Pinnacle point and elsewhere by Science News.


    Isn't it interesting to know that ourang-outangs will do this?

    It's kind of embarrassing that Cordain can be found saying from time to time that he works closely with archaeologists and anthropologists. Clearly he doesn't really
    pay that much attention to what's going on in that world or paleo would know what these people are doing and saying. He wouldn't still be pushing the ninety-year-old savannah hypothesis. When did you last see a mention of Pinnacle Point on a paleo site? If it ever has popped up on a major paleo site it's done so very quietly and briefly.
  2. nonchalant

    nonchalant Silver

    Very interesting article. NIce find, Michael.
  3. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    Michael I have been saying that for a while.......Guys that protect the paleo franchise are the ones who want me to be silent.......but the science makes my words bolder.
  4. Michael

    Michael Super Moderator

    I don't mean to grumble about people in the movement. There's a bit too much of that already on many paleo sites. Just to mention what they seem to be missing (and perhaps imply some people shouldn't make quite such large claims and take quite such a confident tone). It's difficult not to point at online resources like that and not see the incongruity of what they're saying.

    It's not just Cordain. Robb's the same. Again, I don't want to make personal criticism. As a person, he seems a nice bloke. But how many times has he metaphorically speaking "dined out" on the story of hitting an elk with a spear-thrower dart on "I, Caveman"? I don't get U.S. TV but as I understand it, they took him and some others to a high plateau and ... well, lets's stop there. He obviously didn't say to them: "A more realistic scenario would be to set us down near a well-stocked river. Or on a seacoast with plenty of shellfish and regularly visited by marine mammals." He wouldn't have said that, because he wouldn't have known.

    I don't think "cavemen" would set up camp somewhere away from resources. Why would they do that? The picture of throwing missile weapons at a venture even seems problematic to me. Doubtless it was a way of procuring food at times, but I'm sure hunting must much of the time have been much more conceptually developed and far more organized. There's a classic tale of travel in 18th century Canada. Ray Mears has discussed it on TV before - Samuel Hearne's journey. At one point they stop to hunt and spend some days in the forest filling gaps with brushwood and felling trees in other places. They then drive the deer into this arrangement which funnels them into a killing zone. And that's just a few men on a journey.

    Throwing a missile at a venture at a four-footed animal is probably what the average person pictures "cavemen" doing.

    This gets even more questionable when we start thinking about, say, Homo erectus, let alone Australopithecines.

    Strangely, J. R. R. Tolkien seems to have intuited the answer to how you feed yourself without much infrastructure.

    Gollum, of course, is a solitary creature. (His real name, Smeagol, is cognate with an Anglo-Saxion word meaning selfishness, which is a linguistic game on Tolkien's part.) He's fallen out of society. He's got no shops to go to; he's not connected with a social network in which people are growing, trading, preparing, cooking, selling, and serving foodstuffs. He's got no tools. He hasn't even got a tinderbox. What can he do? He can catch fish with his bare hands and devour them raw.


    A small hominid with, at this point, limited strength and intellectual abilities and little or no speech would be in much the same position.

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