The winters about 44,000 years ago in the Eastern Ukraine near the Dneiper River would have been about just as inhospitable as they are now. Cold. Windy. Not an easy place to live and fill your days certainly at that time of the year. Though the rest of the year certainly would be a more welcoming time. And yet about 44,000 years ago an unknown number of Neanderthals came together and built a home that probably stood for more than a thousand years.
The Pyramids are 6000 years old.
Stonehenge is about 8000 years old
Göbekli Tepe in Turkey is 12,000 years old.
Each remarkable and worthy in their own way and will likely stand for quite some time.
We don’t know very much about the culture of the Neanderthal but we do know that a group of Neanderthals collected dozens of vertebrae of mammoths and stacked them as the base of house and rimmed them with the tusks of the very same mammoths. We know that there were twenty five separate hearths in the bone house. They are of varying ages that span more than a thousand years based on carbon dating. We know that these bones are hundreds of pounds and would have needed group cooperation and planning to make so that tells us something about Neanderthals.
Neanderthal is a term that is thrown around meaning brutish and stupid. But the oldest piece of standing architecture in the world made by hand still stands 44,000 years later. 44,000 years. That is long and strong, straight up testifying amen to knowing something worthwhile. They must have known. They must have known that their lives were underwritten and only made possible by the animals they lived among. They must have known how to skin these animals to cover the gaps in between the bones to stop the wind. They must have known how to cook the animals they killed. And therefore they must have had an inkling on how to manipulate fire.
And those very same Neanderthal mated with humans and people from that part of the world – Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, and Poland can have up to 5% Neanderthal DNA in their blood.
So these incredible hands are still with us in a way.
Here at Primal Derma we know that our lives are underwritten by our living relationship with animals. The Neanderthal knew it and maybe you know it too.
Thanks for wondering about bone houses and culture and old ways with us.
And if you need some Primal Derma to take care of your skin and keep that old thread spinning…you know where to find us.