By Kirkpatrick Sale

While did the human species flip opposed to the planet that we rely on for survival? Human and intake of assets have altered the weather, polluted the water and soil, destroyed ecosystems, and rendered many species extinct, significantly expanding the chance of an ecological disaster. How did humankind come to rule nature to such an quantity? to treat the planet’s assets and creatures as ours for the taking? to discover ourselves on a doubtless relentless direction towards ecocide?

In After Eden, Kirkpatrick Sale solutions those questions in a greatly new method. Integrating learn in paleontology, archaeology, and anthropology, he issues to the start of big-game searching because the foundation of Homo sapiens’ estrangement from the flora and fauna. Sale contends new, recognizably smooth human tradition in accordance with the searching of huge animals constructed in Africa a few 70,000 years in the past in keeping with a fierce plunge in all over the world temperature prompted by way of a big volcanic explosion in Asia. Tracing the migration of populations and the improvement of searching millions of years ahead in time, he indicates that searching grew to become more and more hostile relating to the surroundings as humans fought over scarce prey in the course of Europe’s glacial interval among 35,000 and 10,000 years in the past. via the top of that period, humans’ concept that they have been some of the best species on the earth, unfastened to use different species towards their very own ends, used to be good established.

After Eden is a sobering story, yet now not one with out wish. Sale asserts that Homo erectus, the difference of the hominid species that preceded Homo sapiens and survived for almost million years, didn't try and dominate the surroundings. He contends that vestiges of this extra ecologically sound lifestyle exist today—in a few tribal societies, within the principal teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism, and within the middle rules of the global environmental movement—offering redemptive chances for ourselves and for the planet.

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As to the Neandertals themselves, the evidence before 50,000 years ago is sketchy. At Lehringen, in northern Germany, a nearly eight-foot wooden stake, again a jabbing rather than a throwing weapon, was found in the ribs of an elephant dating to about 125,000 years ago, and Corte St. Brelade on the isle of Jersey appears to have been a butchering site around 180,000 years ago, where mammoths and woolly rhinoceroses were dismembered after they were presumably stampeded in what is generally called a "cliff drive," not neces­ sarily by humans, over a nearby headland.

We know we are dealing with people like us. " If these engraved pieces are evidence of symbolic thinking, and communi­ cation, and not just idle doodling, they represent a very significant milestone for the human species. I think it probable that earlier Erectus peoples had an elementary knowledge of symbols - a certain footprint would indicate, THE DAWN OF MODERN CULTURE 25 3. I ncised ocher, Blomhos Cave, c. 70, 000 years ago. Cou rtesy of University of Bergen. and stand for, a certain animal - but what paleontologists mean by symbolic thinking is a more complex reordering of nature in the mind to include a regular division and classifi c ation of its elements, with a sense of the world beyond the individual and the group, and a sense of time and place beyond the here and now.

Several sites in the Levant have likely spearpoints-as at Umm el Tiel, Syria, where Neandertals occasionally used triangular stone points in the period of 60-45,000 years ago - but it seems probable that they learned the techniques from the nearby Sapiens in the region, who may well have learned it from people farther south in Africa if they did not develop 22 THE DAWN OP MODERN CULTURE it independently. There are unquestioned residues from substances used for fastening stone to wood found at several Neandertal places in southwestern France (55-44,000 years ago) , at Buran Kaya III in Ukraine (37- 32,000), and at Kon igsaue in Germany (around 40,000).

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