The Flower Children Of Shanidar:
A 60-80,000 Year Old Love Story
In a cave in Shanidar located in the Zagros Mountains of Kurdistan, Iraq, there had been an excavation from 1957-1961 by a team from Columbia University, headed by Professor Ralph Solecki which the yielded the first adult Neanderthal skeletons in Iraq, which were buried some 60-80,000 years ago. Altogether, from various levels 10 skeletons were found buried in the cave.
The most interesting thing about the grave for those who believe in the existence of God is the manner in which the evidence points concerning the death of at least one Neanderthal body which was apparently killed in the fall of Stalactite in the cave (stalactites hang from the ceiling, stalagmites grow up from the ground).
This skeleton was found at Shanidar IV within the cave. It displays evidence of a Ritual burial. The rather romantic version of the burial story is this:
The figure of what might have been considered an elderly man, 35-55 years of age, equivalent to a man in the 21st Century, of 65-80 years of age.
The man appeared to have suffered a severe trauma to his face. He was one of four complete skeletons, which displayed trauma-related abnormalities, which in his case would have been painfully debilitating for him. At some point long before his death he had endured a violent blow to the left side of his face, creating a crushing, fracture of his left orbit, which would have left him at least partially blind in that eye.
In addition, he somehow sustained a withered right arm, which had been fractured in several places and healed, but caused the loss of his lower arm and hand. (This could have been congenital, from a childhood disease, however, could also have been caused by trauma and/or an amputation late in life. If there was an amputation, which because of the condition seems more likely, surgery of that sort requires a tying off the artery, picking our of shattered bones and perhaps reattaching some muscle insertions, a rather delicate procedure, especially for a surgeon of 80.000 years ago. Other complex surgical things, including stitching and preparations to avoid massive infection and/or bleeding to death, were incumbent upon the surgeon.
The arm healed, but the injury could have caused paralysis on his right side, resulting in deformities in the lower legs and at least one foot, causing him to walk with a pronounced and painful hitch or limp.
Because these injuries were well healed before his death, there is an inference that Neanderthals cared for their sick and aged, evidence of civic/social concern for at least some Neanderthal communities. Shanidar IV (His Site designation) is only one of several Neanderthals at the cave at Shanidar, or in the entire archaeological record, which displays both trauma and healing.
However, there are other signs of even more significance to those who wonder when man first began to understand the true nature of Being. Shanidar IV was found in the fetal position, lying on hid left side facing East over the fireplace/fire pit within the cave. He was also covered with Red Ochre. According to some, he was also feted by a feast, in what appeared to be a Ritual Burial. That a send-off meal was prepared and his share of the meal was buried with him, and that the feasters had strewn the bones of that feast around the body, is sign of something more than mere human respect of a good man having passed, but we will get to that soon.
Moreover, either the body appears to have been strewn with flowers, or the flowers were carefully arranged to encircle him. This can be deduced by the large deposits of pollen clumps but also of evidence that entire plants and bulbs, or tops of flowering plants were carefully placed around him. True, earth movement might have caused some movement, but the organization of the entire burial contains far too many anomalies to bet heavily against what I suggested long years ago. As usual, soil samples were gathered for pollen analysis in an attempt to reconstruct the palaeo-climate and vegetation history of the site from around the body about eight years after its discovery.
Interestingly enough it seems that the flowers might have been selected for specific medicinal properties. Yarrow, Cornflower, Bachelor’s Button, St. Barnaby’s Thistle, Ragwort or Groundsel, Grape Hyacinth, Joint Pine or Woody Horsetail and Hollyhock were found in the pollen samples. These are all known, in even in primitive societies, to contain certain curative powers, such as: diuretics, stimulants, astringents as well as anti-inflammatory properties.
The man appears to have been revered in life as well as death. For one in his condition to be allowed to work in the cave with women and children because of his inability to hunt or keep livestock, exhibits a stature and a socialization not usually addressed by ancient man. Perhaps he was once a great hunter injured badly and successfully operated upon, and perhaps more than once. He may also earned respect for having been their Shaman/Medicine Man, and/or the ancient equivalent of a physician and spell, or Wonder-Worker. Of the several thousand plants in the area of the cave, only a small percentage, 5%-10& are medicinal, making a strong case for their having been placed there symbolically by human hands rather that the deposit’s of Jirds, gerbil-like Burrowing creatures which stores seeds for winter consumption.
Looking at the primitive symbolism attributed to the Red Ochre, the Fetal position of the burial, facing east, the appearance of reverence for the deceased, the feasting and the flowers, whereas some of the other buried therein were buried sans celebratory signs, is most interesting and strongly suggest religious overtones.
Red Ochre, in ancient rites represents warmth and blood, both signs of life. Facing the fire is seen as an effort to re-heat the body (my own interpretation and theory when first I studied the burial observations and photos in 1972-1973 during my Ford Foundation Fellowship in that Discipline.)
The interpretation of facing east is an easy one. East is the direction in which the Sun Rises. It is also the symbol of life and most especially of Resurrection/and/or afterlife.
The tenderness of his surgery and his later burial, the allowing of him to work in the cave, rather than trying to follow the hunters, is a sign of compassion not before attributed to Pre-historic man. Previously the dead were pitched into a ravine or off a cliff or in some cases eaten, and the living injured were left to their own devices. In some cultures, as in early Eskimo cultures, the sick and elderly placed themselves or were placed upon Ice Floes and set out to the Arctic Sea to freeze to death, a passive form of suicide, or to be drowned or eaten by wild beasts, which is not quite so passive, or enjoyable.
All of these ideas were assimilated into my undergraduate and graduate papers 35 years ago. They were expounded in two books, one called, “The Flower Children of Shanidar,” the other called, Shanidar, the First Flower People, both now long out of print, the latter written by the Archeologist, Professor Ralph Solecki and his Columbia University Team.
The tenderness and the signs are unmistakable and these were my major theme in later papers and in articles and radio appearances following my Fellowship.
It would appear then, that a belief long held, precedes that of Christianity by some 58-78 thousand years-the belief/idea, of life after death-Resurrection. Was there Enlightenment, through a Prophet, or an angel, or Jesus, or just the common, good sense of men, deducing the existence of something not visible to all men? We cannot see the quantum, Tachyons, atoms by eye, sub-atomic particles, nor any of the, at least, eight other dimensions (Most people can only see, or experience four if one includes time).
If I am correct about this, it well serves the enlightenment of many of those who espouse the Liberal, Progressive, line. It also serves to vindicate those among us who believe, as did our Founding Fathers, that Organized Religion should have neither establishment as endorsed, nor vilified by Political or governmental life.
Organized Religions should be seldom seen and never heard in the political process, trying to gain legislation, executive orders, or favoritism, or in deciding who, what people, of what religion they'd like to blast to smithereens. Organized Religions, have, over the centuries, caused the suffering, torture and termination of Hundreds of Millions of human beings, as evidenced in the Inquisitions, Wars of Reformation, Crusades and Muslims attempting to wipe out Christians and Christians who preach Jesus’ words, “Do unto others as thou wouldst have others do unto thee,” but practice “Preemptive" warfare, wherein the, “ do unto others before they can do unto you,” wherein they, inspired by the arms dealers, oil companies and Right Wing, Crack heads, prefer killing and torturing above any other form of worship. Their imaginary god appears follow be a Satanic form of Sadism, while among the rest of us, those who accept the existence of a Supreme Being of some sort, are more apt to worship Him and act with complete tolerance toward any religion which does not advertise, or imply its Infallible and Unique Correctness on all matters.
I include in that group of Organized Religions the following groups: Women’s groups which vilify men, and men’s groups which vilify women and groups which vilify some, non-Christian religions, like the Republican Party has done these few decades. There is big money in hatred and it is pointed specifically within the Republican Right Wing Parties Realm, at the Middle Class, the working poor and the incapacitated poor. That is Not a Christian idea, a Jewish Idea, or a Muslim Idea, it is an idea born of avarice, envy and love of Satanic, Machiavellian, works.
Groups who wish to push onto others their insipid stupidity such as in those who Hate drinkers, are not endorsed by God. You see it is now a medical fact that those who become drunk and do so regularly follow the same addictive cycle as those who do other drugs. Recent studies indicate they lack a certain enzyme, which processes alcohol, thus they enter a cycle of trying to fill their need, but the mechanism that indicates “Full” is missing and thus they follow an addictive, allergenic. They are being punished for being ill. Their future is dimmed by life itself, so the vicious one’s try to make it worse by sanctimonious, intolerance and hypocrisy. Tolerance is a word foreign not only to the Right but also to many on the left. There is a Culture of Life, a Culture of Death, and some one or two of the things the left endorses and loves, are to many sensitive people, foul and evil, such as Abortion.
We know the inconsistencies of the Right, they are against Abortion and I agree with them on that, that is well and good, but what they favor, otherwise, is why I continue to vote left. They have a hidden agenda which some, like those who can see other dimensions and 100 mph fastball scan see and others pooh-poohing, as a Conspiracy Theory. The reality is that everything that has ever happened was/is the result of men conspiring to rob, slander, or destroy other men.
The published agenda of the Right, are annihilation of the entire race of those who oppose them, torture, genocide, assassination, preemptive war, the advertisement of Drugs on TV, in every source of Media in a desperate attempt to get everyone addicted to a drug (or drugs) from cradle to coffin. The Fascists use assassination as a political tool, a thing Democrats have not yet understood. Once again, as I did almost a year ago at OEN, I believe that the bastards will continue to attempt to assassinate President Elect Obama just as they did JFK, RFK, MLK, Senator Wellstone and his family and many others.
There is $2 Trillion missing from the FED and they refuse to say who has it. Bloomberg is hard at work trying to get the Fascists to release the information in law suits-Yes, that Bloomberg-a Republican!
There was a bank robbery in Iraq before the recession, about which I wrote sometime back at OEN, in which there just happened to be $280 Million in USA Cash in the bank the day of the robbery by apparently American and British military or mercenaries. No bank keeps that much cash on hand when it can be invested. It was a set up, why? Because Bush/Cheney are inured to making everyone who agrees with them incredibly rich so they can raise a private army of mercenaries to assassinate every left leaning man woman and child in America who gets in their Nazi quest for world domination and that is why I vote Left, not because I agree with all they support, but because I do believe that the Living God is of the Culture of Life as evidenced by the massiveness of life on this planet, which the Right is exploiting by illicit profit and destroying, because despite their anti-abortion stand, they ARE the Culture of Death-that is how I measure their Evil. I am much aggrieved that the pope has not access to the grace, which warns those near to God of the nature of the fascists, but then he was one from youth, and perhaps that is why he cannot see what we see.
Like Denny Crain, and Alan Shore, I happen to worship the ground upon which I walk. However, not for the reasons morons would exploit to libel/slander me, but because I also worship the ground on which all men and women of peace and love of life, walk, as well as the ground which was hallowed by the God Who made us all and Whose relationship within any Organized Religions is never-to-seldom, with their administrator’s, but occasionally is with one or another Prophet within those Organized Religions. More often, however, such prophets are outside of any one Commercially Organized Religion.
The words of the Now Living prophets (36 the Jews believe in every generation) are easily heard and understood by those with no Culture of Death Agenda. The true Prophets endorses no Organized Religion because s/he knows that the Other Which made us, sides in with not religion and is detached and focused on truth, at least according to our Founding Fathers who wisely required Separation of Church and State, but never separated God from man, the Other, or God, is you wish, favors no single religion, tolerates them all and has no stake in any organizations of any kind because Dogma is the mark of Satan and the enemy of the Living God.