More Homo erectus religion and other things

Glenn Morton (
Tue, 11 Nov 1997 10:26:13 -0600

I normally don't read National Geographic, but a friend told me I had to
read a couple of articles. The article by Rick Gore, "The First Europeans,"
July 1997, pp 96-112 is an excellent summary of the new data discovered this
decade for quite advanced abilities among the fossil men. As I am finishing
my new manuscript, I am struck by how rapidly this pace of discovery has
become. The article shed light on several sites I have mentioned over the
past 2 years.
The most amazing revelation from the article is what I will discuss last,
the apparent discovery of a ritual site with religious implications.

First there is a new discovery of a possibly 900,000 year old man from
Ceprano, Italy who has affinities with North African men of that time
period. It has raised questions of how he got to Italy without leaving a
trace along the route. Gore writes:

"The Italian scientists see more resemblance between Ceprano man
and erectus fossils of about the same age that were found in the
1950s across the Mediterranean Sea in Algeria.
"'That suggests that the origin of the people of Ceprano
might be North Africa,' says Segre. If so, scientists must figure
out how those early humans reached Italy without leaving traces
in Turkey, Greece, or other points en route. Segre wonders if in
the past western Europe and Africa were connected by land.
Although other scientists doubt that idea, Segre cites the
discovery of early stone tools in Sicily."~Rick Gore, "The First
Europeans," National Geographic, July, 1997, p. 101
"'Large question marks' are what British paleontologist Alan
Turner sees on potential passages from Africa through Gibraltar
and Sicily. Even with a glacial sea-level drop such travel would
have required a sea crossing. (Coastlines today and about 700,000
years ago are shown.) Evidence for the first routes into Europe
remains scanty. Did early Homo find a way to cross deep water?
Turner also suggests that large carnivores, like the saber-
toothed cat and hyena above, probably created obstacles to
sustained hominid settlement north of the Mediterranean until
about 500,000 years ago."~Rick Gore, "The First Europeans,"
National Geographic, July, 1997, p. 102

obviously, they may have walked and not left a trace of their journey, but
since Homo erectus did cross the ocean to Flores, Indonesia just slightly
later than this time, it is not out of the question that they crossed the
ocean to Europe.

At Boxgrove England, about 500,000 years ago, the behaviors seen would imply
quite a high cultural level.

"'Horses may have moved up and down the coast in herds,'
says Roberts. 'Almost certainly humans would have been hunting
them cooperatively, rather than scavenging them. We believe that
because we never find butchery marks on top of the tooth marks of
scavenging animals. It's always the other way around.' roberts
thinks that the scavengers would arrive after the humans had
already left with the best cuts from their kills.
"'Before, we doubted that humans had speech this early,'
says Roberts. 'But for this kind of group hunting, which would
require strategies such as ambush, speech would have been
critical."~Rick Gore, "The First Europeans," National Geographic,
July, 1997, p. 109

But I think the most significant find concerns the paved ritual area at
Bilzingsleben that I have mentioned several times before. Gore cites the
excavator, Detrich Mania,

"But Mania's most intriguing find lies under a protective
shed. As he opens the door sunlight illuminates a cluster of
smooth stones and pieces of bone that he believes were arranged
by humans to pave a 27-foot-wide circle.
"'They intentionally paved this area for cultural
activities,' says Mania. 'We found here a large anvil of
quartzite set between the horns of a huge bison, near it were
fractured human skulls.'"~Rick Gore, "The First Europeans,"
National Geographic, July, 1997, p. 110

Quite frankly, with all the evidence for cannibalism I posted earlier, this
sounds very much like a religious altar. Could these men have been
practicing that well-known form of religion--human sacrifice? If so, the
Christian view of how fossil men fit into a Scriptural framework needs
serious revision.


Foundation, Fall and Flood