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Shigir Idol (wikipedia.org)
45 points by benbreen 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 14 comments

11,500 years is such a short time span. It is crazy how close to the dawn of man you find yourself living in.

There are still stories among the Klamath indians regarding the eruption of Mount Mazama some 7700 years ago: https://oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/mt_mazama

I was going to disagree with you until I broke 11,500 into generations. It’s only ~383 generations which isn’t as high as I thought it might be.

Non developed nation generations are usually closer to 20 years apart [1] and probably would be closer to that for much of human history. So it’s closer to 575 generations. Your point still stands though... it’s not a lot of time in the grand scheme of things.

BTW: The longest recorded family tree is that of Confucius which goes back 80 generations. [2]



Not bad, almost 20% of generations since dawn of man!

This object is clearly not a one-off. The people who made it made similar objects, perhaps many similar objects, and probably made other objects with similar skill requirements. This is the only one we have, however. What else did they make? What sorts of tools, clothing, weapons, houses, wagons, etc? We can only speculate. Still, I doubt they were what we would consider cavemen. These were civilized humans living in a fashion most humans today would recognize as human. We have to go back quite a bit further to find anything I'd call "the dawn of man".

Keep in mind, there are tribes living in "neolithic style", with little or no clothing, no tools besides rocks, etc. still today. The existence or even domination of such people doesn't determine the timing of the "dawn".

>11,500 years is such a short time span. It is crazy how close to the dawn of man you find yourself living in.

500 years later, a HN user from Mars (or may be even a Belter):

"12000 years is such a short time span. It is crazy how close to the dawn of man you find yourself living in."

They would be right also!

They might not be using HN, but maybe they'll be using Arc!

Have you read “Sapiens”? It’s fascinating.

Edit: just to provide a little more color, “Sapiens: A brief history of humankind” is a brilliant book on our evolution as a species. One of the striking things about it, IMO, is how vividly it presents the timeline.


Thanks for the recommendation. I just picked up the audiobook.

> Scholars have proposed various theories about the carvings' meaning. Svetlana Savchenko, a researcher at the Sverdlovsk Regional Museum, suggested that the decoration tells the creation myth those who carved it believed in. Other researchers at the museum have suggested that the markings could have served as a navigational aid or map. Professor Mikhail Zhilin, an archaeologist at the Institute of Archaeology in Moscow, guessed that the statue could depict mythological creatures such as forest spirits. Archeologist Peter Vang Peterson, of the National Museum of Denmark, speculated that the idol could serve as a warning not to enter a dangerous area.

So are they just literally making things up? This reminds me of Motel of the Mysteries. http://sultanaeducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Motel...

Educated guesses would likely be a better term

This reminds me of Göbekli Tepe and the fact that it predates agriculture.


Yuval Noah Harari in A Brief History of Humankind argues that it the need to feed so many workers could lead to deliberate domestication of wild grains and the agricultural revolution. (All in all, I do not recommend the book).

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