Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Those Amazing Ancients!

I'm a big fan of the show Ancient Aliens. It's fun. Now, not for a minute do I buy into the speculations of their so-called "ancient alien theorists." But I do enjoy the journey back to the age of myth. And I especially enjoy looking at the amazing feats of the ancients as displayed in the ruins of ancient civilizations.
For a long time I've entertained the idea that those folks living way back in the olden days were way more sophisticated than most folks give them credit for having been. Do you think that most people are aware that the earliest flushing toilets may date back some 4,000 years to ancient Crete? How about a battery that may date back two thousand or more years? There is still debate about when and how the pyramids in Egypt were built, but no one denies they represent an amazing feat of construction. (And it isn't odd that pyramids appear not just in Egypt but also in various places around the world, even the Americas?)  
Then this morning as I was scanning the news I found a BBC story that suggests the discovery of an ancient metacarpal bone allegedly
...provides evidence for the evolution of the modern human hand more than 600,000 years earlier than previously documented and probably in the times of the genus Homo erectussensu lato.
Interesting. And also suggestive that no matter how much we think we know about ancient history (or anything, really), there is so much we don't know.
Placing the origin of hand dexterity further back in history means humans had more time to develop the skills that left us so many amazing artifacts.

Sometimes I think we modern humans ought to get over ourselves!