norseman

Who first buried their dead?

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Posted (edited)

Thank you, Norseman. I have been waiting for updates since the second discovery in the same area. I do wonder if they were the first to bury their dead though. I mean, is it a practice handed down to them or is more of a natural thing because of not wanting to be discovered by competitors or predators draw by the odor of death? So more of a safety/survival instinctual thing perhaps?

Edited by hiflier
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Doubtful.

 

Trying to drag your dead down through nooks and crannies of a tight cave? Versus carrying the body to the nearest Croc infested river or just some distance from camp? Doesn’t make sense to go through all that trouble to not attract predators when easier avenues were available.

 

Ive never subscribed to the hippie Sasquatch mentality. Forest shaman. But I may have to rethink the humanness of it. Homo Naledi is archaic enough people even question the title Homo given to it. It’s wrists are still adapted to swinging through trees..... Bigfoot could very well bury its dead. Or especially hide them in caves. 

 

 

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There is no doubt that Naledi is a strong argument for dialogue regarding ancient hominid burial practices. And like yourself, I am aware of the bone structure of the wrists and hands along with the more Human morphology of the feet. I don't know beyond imagining the combined function of each and can't help but wonder if Naledi turned out to be one of nature's failures (if there is such a thing) because there are no Naledi's around today. Gorillas yes. Chimps and their cousins yes, Humans yes. But little or nothing else.

 

So did Naledi survive for a time in a type of environment until competition overwhelmed their ability to sustain their numbers? Or did the environment change and the Naledis adaptations for both trees and ground make them vulnerable to grassland predators and so they became cave dwellers? Burying their dead in caves away from their main caves of habitation? Hard to say which came first: hands no longer useful or feet no longer useful. Need to study the climate turnover of the region to even have a guess.

 

One thought regarding the 'burial' aspect is that the two groups of individuals discovered may have been victims of surface wildfires. Seeking shelter in caves might have been only a temporary salvation if methane gas from the wildfires collected in the caves, or the oxygen was sucked out by the fires above? Dang it, Norseman! You always somehow present these puzzles that get my thoughts hyper-actively running around. It's irksome and I don't think I've ever voiced my proper thank you's. Thank you. This is a really good mystery. 

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Besides the question of "Who first buried their dead?", I also wonder who first practiced "mortuary cannibalism" as a means of mourning their dead and carrying forth the spirits of the dead?  When you consider that the practice persisted in humans up into the modern age, it's quite possible Sasquatch ritualistically consume their dead. 

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1 hour ago, Bluegrassfoot said:

Besides the question of "Who first buried their dead?", I also wonder who first practiced "mortuary cannibalism" as a means of mourning their dead and carrying forth the spirits of the dead?  When you consider that the practice persisted in humans up into the modern age, it's quite possible Sasquatch ritualistically consume their dead. 

 

What about the bones?

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On ‎4‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 0:23 PM, norseman said:

 

What about the bones?

At least with human endocannibalism, the bones are burned, buried, or kept as souvenirs. 

 

What makes endocannibalism a somewhat attractive hypothesis to me vis a vis Sasquatch, is that it would be a lot easier to bury a bare, disarticulated skeleton than it would be to bury a 9 foot, 700 pound body.  Imagine trying to bury a cow or a horse without hand tools, much less without a backhoe.  Of course, one can pile rocks or debris over a body and bury it, but that leaves quite a landmark to be discovered by humans.  And the problem I find with cave entombment of Sasquatch remains, is that practically every cavern that is big enough to drag a full size Sasquatch into has been well traveled by man with no Sasquatch remains to show for it.

 

In the end, it's all conjecture that tries to explain a lack of remains.  Burial, with or without endocannibalism, is a rational hypothesis.

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Except they said the same thing about the cave Hono Naledi was found in. Known for years and had been explored. Just one passage had been missed which opened into a whole new part of the cave. 

 

I think though their is sufficient evidence that archaic Homo species practiced cannibalism.

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In my reading about that cave it was very tight to get into and they had to use very petite female researchers to get into it, and it had to be accessed using ropes in order to be extracted from the pit the bones were found in. The cave sounds more like a death trap that claimed numerous victums, each one attempting to rescue the one prior.

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4 hours ago, southernyahoo said:

The cave sounds more like a death trap that claimed numerous victums, each one attempting to rescue the one prior.

 

Would that not be an even stronger testament to their humanity?

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15 hours ago, southernyahoo said:

In my reading about that cave it was very tight to get into and they had to use very petite female researchers to get into it, and it had to be accessed using ropes in order to be extracted from the pit the bones were found in. The cave sounds more like a death trap that claimed numerous victums, each one attempting to rescue the one prior.

dinaledi_cave4_FINAL.ngsversion.14401739

Homo Naledi males are assumed to have been around five feet tall and 100 pounds.  And the passage narrows at points to 7-8 inches wide.  I have to believe that if anyone was intentionally laid to rest there, they were taken in pieces.   

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Nice diagram!

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One also has to account for oxygen levels in such confined spaces. This poses another danger as you increase the number of individuals in those chambers. 

17 hours ago, Airdale said:

 

Would that not be an even stronger testament to their humanity?

Yes It very well could. The same thing happens to us today. Confined space training is required in my line of work, and we get to watch videos on this scenario, it is difficult to forsee the danger until it has claimed several victums.

6 hours ago, Bluegrassfoot said:

dinaledi_cave4_FINAL.ngsversion.14401739

Homo Naledi males are assumed to have been around five feet tall and 100 pounds.  And the passage narrows at points to 7-8 inches wide.  I have to believe that if anyone was intentionally laid to rest there, they were taken in pieces.   

I would agree that it would be extremely difficult to maneuver a lifeless body through the tight passages. This is what makes me think they crawled in there on their own , then expired. It surprises me that this possibility isn't discussed in this article.

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Posted (edited)

After watching this video on homo naledi and rising star cave, It appears the researchers didn't need forced air or oxygen to access the remains. So asphyxiation is one hypothesis out. The fact that these hominins didn't have lights (assuming no use of fire) would make navigation of the cave and finding their way out a likely cause for some of the remains and the question whether they might have still by accident, died in the cave in an attempt to find lost family members. It's certainly a tragic possibility, but a complex language would have been needed to convey the dangers. There were way more than just a couple specimens in the cave and they say they were deposited over centuries perhaps, so the process of deposition was ongoing and very unique.

 

 

Edited by southernyahoo
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Posted (edited)

On 4/28/2018 at 11:29 AM, norseman said:

Except they said the same thing about the cave Hono Naledi was found in. Known for years and had been explored. Just one passage had been missed which opened into a whole new part of the cave. 

 

I think though their is sufficient evidence that archaic Homo species practiced cannibalism.

 

In this vid, they said the connective tissues, membranes around joints/bones were intact on death if I read this correctly, 18,000 individuals, that is a lot of crawlers.

 

There was no mention of cannibalistic possibilities in this video such as bone cuts, etc. 

 

Sounds like many intact individuals were found, though I did not pick up on the number.  Out of 18,000fossils/thousands of individuals it couldn't have been many I wouldn't think. 

 

It sounds like there is no possibility those individuals were washed into that system but I know nothing of the geology of South African caves. 

 

The quarter million year vs. 1.5 million age was quite the surprise with elements of long legs, curved hands, long thumbs, human like small brained skull, etc.

 

It was on the ground wtih modern humans. 

Edited by bipedalist
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