Susan's Blog

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Left Out in the Cold?

You’ll have to excuse the digression, but following the discovery that Peking Man was older and survived colder weather than any other human ever found, I find myself wondering a lot about what life was like for Mr. and Mrs. Old and Cold, and their developing offspring.

The article mentions that there could have been physiological differences from us, namely that that guy’s body allowed more blood to flow to his extremities. So that would make him less prone to frostbite, I guess. And so then I thought, “All extremities?” which made me remember a conversation I had had with Ned one night at bedtime, about caveman sex. “What do you think it was like for them,” I asked Ned.
“I don’t know,” he answered.
I never accept this answer, from anyone anywhere. In fact, I hate, “I don’t know.” Make something up, do something, think! What was cave sex like? “But, do you think there was rape? Would the females have felt raped, if that had occurred? Was there monogamy, jealousy? Was there a such thing as taboos, such as incest, pedophilia?

This line of questioning led me nowhere. I could not remember a thing I had learned from my Anthropology class at Penn, taught by — no joke — Professor Mann. For the last decade, all Anthropology has meant to me is a fabulous line of clothing and home furnishings. But now, I want to know. What did they think like? How did they understand each other? This, of course, led me to wonder about Peking Man’s society in general. Would there have been autistics? Did the cave people with disabilities necessarily die earlier than others, or did someone take care of them? Did cave mothers feel love the way we do? Did they feel guilt, over not being able to teach their autistic cave children the proper, Peking-typical way to grunt? Ah, but maybe the autistic cave people had prominent roles in their societies. Maybe they were automatically loved for their differences, during a time when every new change to a person was probably hailed as important. “Look, Gork! That guy there can flap like there’s no tomorrow. Think of how well he can scare the Mammoths out of the shrubbery!”

I truly wonder if there has been any research done on the psychology of the cave people. Maybe SNL had it right, where the most misunderstood person in a cave man’s society is the lawyer, rather than those we may misunderstand in our allegedly civilized world.

2 comments

I have a friend who told me of a book about people who painted Cave paintings in France a very long time ago (maybe Cave people) and the book deals with the imagning of the minds of these people. Maybe you’d be interested? I think it’s called The Mind in the Cave. It may be more about art than mind, but I’m not sure. I think the whole thing is that this is the first Art by Humans tat we know of and Why did they do that?

— added by Sarai on Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 11:31 pm

Thanks, Sarai, I will look it up! xxox

— added by Susan Senator on Friday, March 13, 2009 at 7:04 am

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