Origins:Music of the Ages

John Zimmer (
Wed, 23 Oct 96 12:54:57 CDT

A find discussion between Dick and Glenn. I weigh in with an
agreement with both. Like Dick, I don't think that I am a direct
descendant of Adam. The genealogies clearly point to Sumerian
prehistory. BUT I think that animal (and human) sacrifice was
practiced long before that - for example, B. Klima excavations in
Checkoslovakia unearthed a triple burial which may could have
involved human sacrifice.

For Glenn, I think that one may claim protohuman status for
Homo erectus and Neanderthal, but not fully human status. After
all, artistic objects are rare for these types. So far, no
earlier cultural transition has been found comparable in magnitude
to the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition. Is it coincidental
that this transition occurs during a demographic transition
that begins with Neanderthal as predominate and ends with the
dominance of anatomically modern humans?

To me, the protohuman status of H. erectus and Neanderthal resembles
the Genesis verse 26..."Then God said, "Let us make man..."
The physical appearance and the apparent behavior of individuals
of these species would give an impression of not quite human.
Along the same lines, verse 27 (the creation of humans) images
the rather undramatic appearance of anatomically modern humans.
Verse 28, God's blessing, images the sudden spurt of cultural
innovation and population expansion that began around 50,000
years ago. In Europe, that was the Upper Paleolithic. Verse 29
resembles the origin of agriculture in the Fertile Cresent.
Here, God gives plants to humans to eat. Finally, verse 30
images the coupling of agriculture and stockbreeding at the
start of the Developed Neotlithic. That new economy powered a
population expasion from the Fertile Cresent into Europe and
Asia and set the stage for the rise of civilization.

To me, this resemblance makes Fischer's point of view -
that Adam has something to do with Sumerian prehistory -
more aesthetic pleasing.