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Who Are Our Ancestors?

Representation of cave paintingWe are programmed to live like our ancestors going back millions of years. Everyone in Paleo and Primal agrees to that. But who are those ancestors? Who are our direct ancestors? And in what environment did they live. You hear a lot about the few remaining hunter/gatherer tribes and ones that we have records of but few of us count them as our ancestors.

I am most interested in our common ancestors, the ones who lived before the human migration out of Africa starting around 70,000 years ago. (But this date has been questioned. Early humans were in Asia as long as 100,000 years ago. But there is also the Toba volcano super-eruption hypothesis, that Toba volcano caused a volcanic winter that wiped out nearly all humans, leaving only a few thousand in Africa.)

But important new information about human origins seems to appear weekly.

Those of us who have non-African ancestors have Neanderthal genes (about 4% of our genes). ScienceDaily (July 18, 2011)

The ancestors of aboriginal Australians got to that continent soon after the out of Africa migration started, around 50,000 years ago. ScienceDaily (Sep. 22 and 23, 2011) MORE and MORE.

The San people, aka the Bushmen, split off from other humans 130,000 years agoScienceDaily (Sep. 21, 2011) Darn it. I wanted them as ancestors. But we can still learn about African hunters and gatherers from them.

In Asia, humans interbred with the recently identified Denisovans. ScienceDaily (Sep. 26, 2011)

It would be arrogant to assume that we won’t discover that we have interbred with other closely related species.

Image © Thainongsuk Halakunno | Dreamstime.com

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Oysters

Moved to ancestralhealth.info/oysters.htm

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Humans started migrating from Africa about 40,000 years ago. We are all Africans. In The Old Way: A Story of the First People Elizabeth Marshall Thomas tells the story of what the Bushmen were like in the 1950s, when they had had little contact with the “modern” world. In other words, they were living very much like our ancestors 40,000 years ago. That’s about as close to “Grok” as we are going to get. For anyone following Paleo, Primal or other lifestyles based on paleolithic life, this book is a must read.

The Old Way shatters our stereotypes of “cavemen,” aside from the fact that they didn’t live in caves. From B movies and cartoons, we have this image of hulking Neanderthal types with huge clubs, bows and arrows, and spears hunting saber-toothed tigers, getting their woman by knocking them over the head with the club and dragging them home. The women going out gathering nuts and juicy berries every day. Constant warfare. The men heavy metal proto-Vikings in loin cloths. Pfft! Never happened in our African homeland.

The reality as seen in the Bushmen: Equality between men and women. Everyone caring for children. Men armed with crude spears and small bows for shooting poison darts. People eating a wide variety of foods. Only men hunting but everyone gathering. Peaceful relations within and between tribes. Also peaceful relations with lions. Thin, graceful men and women with great endurance not hulking, freaky-muscled Neanderthals. Get the picture? These are your ancestors.

More to come.

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Moved to ancestralhealth.info/tribal-celebrations.htm

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