Monday, October 25, 2010

The History of Nice - Compassion in Human Fossils

We've been nice for a really, really long time.  It's basically the reason we're still around.  How else could we have survived ice ages, famine, skirmishes, hunted together, colonized every corner of the globe and communally created technology.  Take a moment to marvel at just a small sampling of the archeological findings that teach us the long history of human empathy, compassion, caring, affection, loyalty, commitment, and generosity.  We are the loving ape.

Where: Dmanisi, Georgia
Who: Homo erectus
When: 1.75 million years before present
What: toothless skull
Importance: this human lived many years without teeth and was most likely extremely decrepit.  He was being cared for; maybe even having his food chewed for him.

Where: Java, Indonesia
Who: Homo erectus
When: 800,000 years before present
What: severely broken femur
Importance: What happens to an animal if it brakes its leg?  It dies.  It lays there are slowly dies of thirst or starvation.  This human was cared for, feed, carried for months on end.

Where: Atapuerca, northern Spain
Who: Homo heidelbergensis
When: 500,000 years before present
What: hobbled spine.
Importance: he probably could barely walk.  Undoubtedly couldn't hunt.  Someone must have shared with him for years.

Where: Atapuerca, Spain
Who: Homo heidelbergensis
When: 530,000 years before present
What: deformed skull of child estimated at 8-12 years old
Importance: differences were accepted.  This deformed child was cared for for years until he passed on.

Where: northern Iraq
Who: Homo neanderthalensis
When: 60-80,000 years before present
What: crushed left orbit blinding that eye, withered and long since healed right arm most likely causing some paralysis, deformed right lower leg and foot.
Importance: couldn't see well, couldn't handle object well, could barely walk and yet he survived for many, many years with the help of a most likely loving community.

Works Sighted [sic]:

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