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Caveman Facts Versus Archaeological Folly

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Article Title: Caveman Facts Versus Archaeological Folly
Author: A.O. Kime
Category: ancient history
Word Count: 2,184
Format: 65 characters per line
Website Source: http://www.matrixbookstore.biz
Article URL: http://www.matrixbookstore.biz/caveman.htm
Author’s Email Address: [email protected]
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Caveman Facts Versus Archaeological Folly
by A.O. Kime

New revelations on Stone Age intelligence?

Ever since the 19th century when archaeologists first began
uncovering evidence of our most ancient ancestors, which
archaeologists dubbed ”˜cavemen’, and since they appeared to have
been extremely primitive… the caveman was considered to have
been slovenly and dimwitted. This has been the opinion held by
academia which has never changed. It has been the picture given
us in every classroom. This article will demonstrate otherwise,
that cavemen weren’t so ignorant after all. Considering the
caveman overcame his primitive circumstances, a situation which
was cast upon him, is actually proof he was intelligent”¦ perhaps
highly intelligent. After all, the first humans had no guidance,
no books, from scratch they had to assess absolutely everything
for themselves. With that said, let’s start an analysis thusly”¦ 

Since apparently the caveman could neither read nor write, it
would be interesting to know how intellectually limiting this
might have been”¦ if at all. We might even wonder to what degree
his limited mathematical skills might have affected his ability
to function effectively. His lack of knowledge in chemistry,
biology and the other sciences comes to mind as well. It is
commonly agreed however than his language skills quickly
developed. It is believed languages have been around for perhaps
a million years or more.

Even though it is commonly believed cavemen couldn’t read nor
write, not at all, that isn’t enough reason to summarily assume
they had absolutely no knowledge of the sciences”¦ nor assume they
had no knowledge of physics. We can only safely say the caveman’s
knowledge was limited”¦ albeit limited only from a scientific
point-of-view. For example, he did not know at what temperature
water boils, yet he could still boil water. Just because he
didn’t substantiate his knowledge using modern scientific
methods, that is, as a result he probably attributed a particular
cause for something in error occasionally, or perhaps frequently,
that doesn’t equate to zero knowledge either. We should
understand trial and error produces knowledge as well.

Stone Age hieroglyphs

Yet to some extent he could read and write. I think it would be
safe to assume the caveman would have developed a few marks or
signs which others in his clan could recognize the meaning of”¦
like say, what a pile of rocks meant, “x” marks on a tree or
arrows scratched in the dirt. But no matter how crude these
”˜signs’ were, it was something which could be ”˜written’ and
”˜read’. Towards the beginning, dozens of recognizable signs and
marks would have been utilized, and as time passed, it grew into
hundreds. This could have quickly developed into long distance
messaging using smoke fires as well. Drums and horns could have
been used. Easily, this could have been possible in the very
beginning”¦ and developed as quickly as languages did. So, I think
symbolic messaging occurred almost everywhere initially and
naturally evolved over time. The Egyptian hieroglyphs demonstrate
just how complex and sophisticated these message systems became.
No, hieroglyphs were not as good as a pronounceable alphabet but
they could still convey messages.   

In order to determine the caveman’s rudimentary mathematical
skills, but those prior to the Egyptian pyramids which
demonstrated man’s level of knowledge at that point in time, we
should first establish whether the caveman could count. I’d say
he could because counting up to ten could easily be accomplished
by ”˜finger-counting’. To expand on this”¦ by giving each finger a
temporary name, as any innovative caveman surely did, would
enable them to state verbally in their particular language any
number up to ten. Beyond ten, for some individuals double-digit
accounting may not have been a problem at all ”¦ for those not
content in settling for answers such as “many” or “much”.
Anything to represent the units in question, the use of beans or
pebbles could serve as a substitute for a written number. For
example, the number of beans in a bag could represent the number
of days in a year, or how many cavemen there were in a clan. One
need only look at the contents to get a visual idea… and visual
estimations, that is, without a precise number attached, is
something we still do today. From these methods, albeit
cumbersome at first, we can easily see how mathematics began. 

The ability to express a number up to ten could have quickly
developed including the ability to add and subtract even double
digit numbers. For example, by flashing all ten fingers twice
(representing 20) could have been given a name and from that
simple process mathematics grew in complexity. So, how limiting
would that have been at first? Well, even today we don’t bother
counting the number of animals in a herd for example. We would
commonly use the terms “herd”, “several”, “many” and so forth. By
not expressing the exact number of animals in a herd does not
diminish the message we are trying to convey. In this case, it
often doesn’t matter whether there are 54 animals or 72”¦ only
that it was a herd. The necessity to know the precise number of
something isn’t always critical, not even today. Our usage of the
terms such as “many”, “much”, “a lot” and “several” is actually
identical to prehistoric thinking”¦ ancient forms of expression
modern man still utilizes. Yes, it is lingo from the Stone Age”¦
and often quite sufficient.

Ancient discoveries

Leverage of course would have been discovered during the Stone
Age as well”¦ although the various ways in which leverage could be
utilized was discovered exclusively by experimentation and by
accident. During the course of a single lifetime many things
would have been discovered by accident however and that would
include things related to biology and even chemistry. In fact,
almost every single law of physics would have been recognized by
any caveman in the very beginning”¦ gravity and centrifugal force
just to name two. Modern science only determined their properties
more precisely and gave them names. But even without a scientific
explanation, the caveman was still able to utilize these forces.
It wasn’t Isaac Newton who ‘discovered’ gravity, but the first
humans. Cavemen were also the first astronomers, the first
navigators, the first mathematicians and first to discover
countless other things”¦ the rest of mankind was left only to fill
in the blanks. Most all discoveries therefore were made during
the Stone Age. 

Consider this… only by observation could it be known initially
that leverage, gravity and centrifugal force exist. These would
have never been discovered in a purely scientific fashion. One
must know such things exist first. For example, if leverage
hadn’t been discovered accidentally, it would still remain
unknown to this day”¦ unless someone like Einstein was to
conclude, in theory, that leverage existed. Cavemen would have
been absolute experts in the use of leverage too… in fact, all
men before the 20 century were experts compared to modern man.
Powered machinery made us no longer experts. From this accidental
Stone Age discovery, only later would science determine its
qualities in precise detail. The point is”¦ these forces were
effectively utilized by man long before science came along.
Ancient man may not have utilized 100% of what modern science and
a greater understanding would later demonstrate”¦ but the caveman
knew enough to serve his needs. And as his needs grew, so did his
knowledge in how to apply these forces. It was as if ancient man
was siphoning from apperception only the information he needed.

The caveman’s dependence on health

Gaining medical knowledge would have been a long drawn-out
process however. The recognition of body organs would have began
from butchering animals but in order to acquire just a rough idea
the function of each organ took tens of thousands of years. This
lack of medical knowledge would not greatly impede a healthy
caveman however”¦ if he was fortunate enough to avoid serious
injury and illness. Nonetheless the caveman knew many things
still. Experience would have told him the importance of a
balanced diet for example. Bowel movements and stomach aches
would have dictated to him what he should and shouldn’t eat. And
thousands upon thousands of biological remedies were discovered
within a wide range of plants. 

Besides lacking advanced medical knowledge, the caveman knew all
he really needed to know for a man of his circumstantial
environment. One’s circumstantial environment is the stage of
development (in the surroundings) one must contend with. In the
caveman’s case, it is to live in a world which had not yet
collectively advanced beyond mere survival. Yet he could utilize
almost every law of physics, he could communicate with others
and, because he wasn’t yet a builder, he had enough mathematical
skills for the tasks at hand. In order to survive, he had enough
chemical knowledge as well”¦ like how water reacts with and
affects other elements. He knew, for example, how certain soils
would react with water in order to make durable mud pots. He
learned a multitude of these things by trial and error however,
not scientifically. But compared to an outdoorsman today, the
caveman had more useful knowledge because he dealt with nature
in-the-raw everyday..

Back to the Stone Age

If, for example, a highly educated outdoorsman could propel
himself back in time, his advanced knowledge wouldn’t do him much
good at all. Not unless he could live a dozen lifetimes or more”¦
long enough to set the stage in order to utilize his knowledge.
After all, he would first need to find, dig and smelt ore in
order to make himself the tools he wanted. In that he would also
need to make shoes, clothes and cooking utensils would be just a
few of the hundred other things he would need to do. Being low on
the priority list, paper and pencils would have to wait and
generating electricity would remain a pipe dream for millennia.
No, not even a Rhodes Scholar could live better than the average
caveman”¦ that’s because progress requires the collective effort
of hundreds just to begin. And one field is often dependent on
another. After all, there couldn’t be dentists without dental
tools or typewriters without paper. The best a scholar could do
is to try living like the Swiss Family Robinsons… and we can’t
rule out that some ‘cavemen’ did exactly that. That evidence
would be long gone however… just as evidence has already
disappeared as to how the American Indians once lived.

Yet with only wooden and stone tools, and without any ”˜how-to”
books or a formal education, the caveman flourished. Under these
circumstances, one must recognize just how resourceful a caveman
needed to be”¦ and resourcefulness equates to intelligence. In a
sense, if not entirely, resourcefulness IS intelligence.
   
Delving into the mind of a caveman

So, it’s not individual knowledge but collective knowledge and
inventions upon which living standards depend. Besides cultural
wars and language barriers which greatly impeded progress, an
idea or invention had to be ripe for the times as well. Premature
ideas are almost always useless. What good is a chariot if
harnesses had not yet been devised? Or if it was still unknown
whether horses could be tamed. 

What good would it be to know powered flight was possible in the
Stone Age without engines, tools, gears, plywood, belts and wire?
And cavemen surely thought of flight. Even wire, the simplest of
these, would take millennia to ultimately produce. Food and
shelter must come first however, and for just one individual,
building and then maintaining a shelter plus obtaining food would
be a full-time job”¦ leaving little time to concoct amenities. 

In summary, I’m merely trying to point out that the caveman,
while just as intelligent as modern man, his circumstantial
lifestyle was not one which could convey that fact to future
generations. Like the American Indians, the caveman didn’t have
iron or other such durable materials in which to creatively
fashion an object, something to serve as lasting testimony. Their
wooden structures, tools and devices would have long since turned
to dust. Those items which did survive, their stone tools, were
merely ‘heavy construction’ equipment, like a sledge hammer would
be considered today. This is what archaeologists and
anthropologists have failed to recognize and point out”¦ leaving
us with the mistaken notion that cavemen were ignorant. I suggest
instead this demonstrates the shallow mentality of archaeology…
often incapable, it seems, of accurately deciphering what their
finds represent. 

If anthropology were to approach the questions concerning the
life of a typical caveman by first trying to establish what the
caveman should have known, or could have known, and with that
information project his capabilities, then schools would be
teaching something entirely different. Such a study should only
be done by those scholars who are also dedicated outdoorsmen
however”¦ who can also fathom the juxtapositional logic within the
sphere of primitiveness. I’ve tried to do just that. Strangely,
as a result, I feel as if I’ve been appointed spokesman for the
caveman… commissioned to wrest away from the clutches of
academia the fate of their legacy.

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Resource Box: © A.O. Kime (2003) A.O. Kime is an author of two
books plus some 70 articles on ancient history, spiritual
phenomena, political issues, social issues and agriculture which
can be seen at http://www.matrixbookstore.biz
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