One of the many reasons we should care about the inhumane and unethical torture of human and animal populations in medical research can be found in the facts of the discovery of Homo Naledi, a common ancestor of Homo Sapiens from the Stone Age. Chiefly, among these facts, is the evidence of the ritualistic burial of their dead, albeit controversial. However, shallow graves made at the site suggest ritualistic burial. A discovery made in the Rising Star Cave System of South Africa in 2013 which shed light on the common and unique differences we share between two Homo species in a mosaic of common traits.
Another common trait is that of their hands. Homo Naledi’s hands do not look like ordinary ape hands but rather are suspiciously human-like. They couldn’t swing fluidly in the trees but could efficiently climb trees. Their dentation suggests their molars erupt similarly at the same time of human dentation. This trait is only shared with two, or three, other species related to modern humans.
The fact that animals and humans share similar emotions, specifically that of mourning dead relatives and loved ones, is a powerful reminder of the common earthly condition we share — the ability to LOVE one another in the earthly human state of death and decay known as mortality and the capacity to feel profound sadness upon receiving the knowledge of the death of a loved one. Yet, modern day humans are killing our common ancestors for “utilitarian purpose”, brutally torturing and treating these animals like objects of medical fodder for scientific and corporate research.
Animals have the capacity to communicate to us in diverse ways; eye contact, gesturing, posturing, and body movement and stance. The fact there is evidence Elon’s monkeys banged their heads against the floor at the sight of implant and pounded their heads against their heads and clawed at the implant site is disturbing. What were the monkeys communicating to the researchers? Why wasn’t anybody listening to their unarticulated language? I’m far from any scientific professional but I have read enough psychoanalytic literature to understand how to read silence. Why should this concern us? Corporate greed and unequal distributions of power.
In their Stone Age state of living, there was one tool discovered IN THE HAND of a buried Naledi. It is believed to be a tool used for writing. Although, it’s understood, they didn’t have a written language, there were pictographs and linear cross-line scratching found on large stone columns in the cave system suggesting a form of art in the culture of Homo Naledi. Yes, they had culture!
They had feet designed for long distance walking rather than running, and their diets consisted primarily of root vegetation and tubers, nuts, seeds, fruits, with very little meat. The wear on their teeth suggests they may have pulled the vegetation from the ground and ate it with dirt and rock. Perhaps, they cracked open nuts and seeds with their teeth too. Analysis of the bones from the cave system suggests they suffered little from diseases. Although there exists a wide range of different aged skeletons, only very few infants/children exist at the burial site suggesting a possible low rate of infant mortality.
NETFLIX. “Unknown Cave of Bones: The Homo Naledi species and Lee Berger’s discovery about early humans explained”. Released July 17, 2023.