Truly these were the first hackers.
Interesting perspective either way.
...and become artists. After consuming some wild mushrooms they decided to create pictures nobody would be able to see in full. A true innovative art project that has been visited since then by different tribes. It finally become a local event spot for the full moon "let's fuck with the guys in the future" party.
But either way, I doubt they were just chasing antelopes across flat land and one dude said "Eureka! I've got it!"
But when I first saw the title, I thought it was going to be about these particular arrows scattered across the US landscape... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-303823...
Mastering Fire, Steel were already what I would call advanced technologies. We should not belittle what people were capable of with the means that they had. And the knowledge even back in antiquity was abundant - look at the work done by the Greek scientists, it's amazing what they knew with the limited observation tools they had.
Fire, on the other hand, is about learning to control, and eventually propagate, a natural phenomenon. Human ancestors have done so a very long time ago - by some estimates, more than a million years ago (thus significantly predating anatomically and behaviorally modern humans).
I've thought about this long an hard for a while after spending time in an Aboriginal community in Northern Australia. A friend of mine explained to me that these people weren't primitives (as considered by some) but rather a highly advanced civilization in which we in the west only slightly understands. He was right.
The lessons I learned there have been burned into my mind and I'm grateful for my experience. This has made me wonder if "modern civilization" took a wrong turn at some point. Clearly we need to back track a little in order to survive.
Australian Aboriginals amongst other great things were:
- Masters of using fire to manage the land (fire stick farming)
- Discovered the hydrofoil (boomerangs).
- Astronomers (the night sky in outback Australia beats any television show)
- Built throwing tools that were highly efficient (woomera)
- Lived sustainably (something we're only just realising needs to be done)
- Made sure everyone in society had a place (totems).
- Implemented important laws to govern the size of the population.
- They lived in peace and harmony with the land.
Sure they didn't have any cannons and guns, atomic bombs or rocket ships, but they didn't have much of the transmittable diseases and mass scale wars and climate change we have now, nor did they initiate the collapse of the eco-system.
Unfortunately certain people thought it was a good idea to try destroy these incredible people and their culture. Thank god they didn't succeed in entirely, because we still have much to learn from them.
"Anthropologists formerly idealized band and tribal societies as gentle and nonviolent, because visiting anthropologists observed no murder in a band of 25 people in the course of a three-year study. Of course they didn’t: it’s easy to calculate that a band of a dozen adults and a dozen children, subject to the inevitable deaths occurring anyway for the usual reasons other than murder, could not perpetuate itself if in addition one of its dozen adults murdered another adult every three years. Much more extensive long-term information about band and tribal societies reveals that murder is a leading cause of death. For example, I happened to be visiting New Guinea’s Iyau people at a time when a woman anthropologist was interviewing Iyau women about their life histories. Woman after woman, when asked to name her husband, named several sequential husbands who had died violent deaths. A typical answer went like this: “My first husband was killed by Elopi raiders. My second husband was killed by a man who wanted me, and who became my third husband. That husband was killed by the brother of my second husband, seeking to avenge his murder.”" (GG&S)
What I'm trying to convey here is they're likely not comparable to the atrocities committed today in places like Syria.
They just didn't have the means to destroy the environment even more.
So is this really a valid argument?
In terms of brain size, IIRC our brains were largest ~90k years ago, remained that size for ~60k years, incurred a slight shrinkage over ~20k years, then shrinkage quickened markedly since ~10k years ago (Ruff CB, et al. Body mass and encephalization in Pleistocene Homo, Nature 1997; 387: 173-176).
Of course, brain size /= intelligence or even brain efficiency. Hard to define intelligence anyway. Still a remarkable change to ponder.
The brain might be temperature limited in some cases?
Some buffalo jumps were used for thousands of years and had CRUSHED BONES from millions of animals falling over compressed into walls tens of feet high.