There have been new studies on Archaeological sites, from which some scientists are spelling out new theories as to the apparent sudden demise,  (historically speaking), of the early man lineage, known as the Neanderthal. Some have theorized for years that it was a cataclysmic event similar to an asteroid strike, that according to them, wiped out the big dinosaurs. Some think it was the emergence and ultimate domination of the Cro-Magnon  state of our human development, who having developed mentally beyond their counterparts,  wiped out the Neanderthals in an aggressive and violent manner.

This fresh theory, derived at the scene of this recent dig site, is based on one family, or tribe, of Neanderthal bones, thought to be the last of the living Neanderthals,  found in Africa, and follows a premise as to their lives and lifestyle, as well as  their inevitable end, based on their geographical and social proximities. This thought process dictates that, it was perhaps something less violent, and more viral that wiped out these lesser numbered, and developed members of man’s genealogy. A simple virus obtained through contact with Cro-Magnons, unfamiliar to the Neanderthal system, and beyond their ability to treat, is touted in this study, as a possible cause to the end of the Neanderthals time on this planet.

I have a different theory!  ( As if you didn’t see this coming). In my possibility,  this tribe is typical in many ways to most Neanderthal tribes that came before. They have a tribal leader, usually decided by some physical challenge or even fight to the death, his close group of supporters, and all of the others following his lead. These others go about their daily business, minding their own, and fending for their individual families. They hunted, gather firewood and defended tribal territory. The women picked berries and fruit, some fished and others cared for the young of the tribe, teaching them all they need to know to be successful. They went on like this for generations, developing art, their own language, tools and a society.

One of the problems was, that their “leaders” were usually selfish, greedy and prone to favor his friends in adjudication of tribal customs and laws. These leaders though forged in battle, were seemingly always derived from one or two primary sub-groups within the tribe,  fighting amongst themselves for the chance to be leaders and creating their alliances to prevent future challenges from emerging.

This system kept the tribe going for a long time, there were occasional bad leadership decisions, choosing land that did not bear fruit, thereby hurting the overall tribal economy. Or the time meat was in shortage because the hunting in one chosen area proved unsustainable and lines formed to get even the smallest quantity of meat. These leaders were challenged and defeated effectively, and overall life within the tribe was a usual daily occurrence of relative tranquility.

Eventually, leadership changed again. This new leader, a product of the rival group, was unhappy with the current manner in which the tribe was living  and along with his supporters, decided to make a few changes. They moved to a new area and were forced into following new guidelines or regulations from the leader. His logic was that they were running out of places to go, and he used this “crisis” to justify the new changes to the tribe, that he was initiating to benefit all “equally”.

They were still free to be Neanderthals, basically!,  but there were a few distinct differences now. All men were not engaged in hunting for meat to feed the tribe any longer, some were merely part of his entourage and did nothing but pick cave lint from their navels and frolic with the other men’s women, while they were out hunting. A few members who supported his rule also didn’t hunt, they would just sit back and wait for the others to bring the meat. Soon less men were hunting and more were waiting for their portions, and the meat supply was deemed inadequate. Something had to be done. Another crisis was upon the tribe and as leader had to do something.

Now, he could have ordered all of the men to back to work to find the necessary meat to feed their families, but he might lose their support and fall prey to a vigorous challenge. So he and his group decided that they would go out and hunt the necessary meat to stimulate the tribe. Knowing that this group could not logically find enough meat to satisfy the need of the tribe, he decided to go to a nearby Cro-Magnon encampment and borrow some meat. They traded in furs and bones and left the door open for further loans of meat if needed. Two things happened here. Firstly, they received enough meat to feed the tribe for some time, unfortunately they also ate a large portion, gave even more to their supporters and stashed some away for themselves later, leaving only a small amount  to go around. Secondly they promised to pay the Cro-Magnons back with a high interest rate,  so many fur pelts that even their children’s children would have to  hunt and give up their furs to make this huge payback possible.

The tribe was angered. They were hungry, dissatisfied and began to voice their discontent.  The cave painters began to draw stories of the small amount of meat that the hunting party had traded for and how the people were hungry while standing around fat leaders. In an attempt to silence the free expression of thought, this painter had one hand broken and was silenced and cooperative for good. The grumblings from the men in the tribe were growing, so the leader sent his party out to take away all of their spears and knife tools to prevent them from ever going against the leader and his party. Some fought this move and faced almost daily kicking and spittings in punishment for trying to hold on to their only means of defense. Hidden away, some members kept their spears.

One important fact about this tribe’s history; they were perhaps the youngest overall of all the tribes. A compilation of members, who were descendants of a group of various tribes that had come together  a long time ago. A mix of various cultures and traditions, melded together to form a new tribal society. They all hunted and fished. The women who weren’t caring for the young were also busy gathering vegetation to supplement their existence on meat, which is all important to their survival, but ultimately too often, short in supply. They took care of their families, minded their own business and lived their lives. They would however, come together for the common defense of the tribe against all predators and rivals.

Yes there had always been ”leaders” of the tribe, as discussed earlier, and portions of meat were offered to the leaders as support to their existence and necessity, but for the most part, the tribe’s members were allowed to go about their day to day. painting on cave walls, trading between each other, (under the watchful eye of the leaders in case some problem arose), and making babies. The leaders, of course, taking a small portion of each transaction of fur or meat for themselves , and attaining  periodic trysts with the young females of the tribe while others were laboring. In spite of that, this Tribe flourished and became the strongest tribe around.

This new leader and his party of supporters, were not going to stop here though, they had sensed a willingness from the common tribe member to be subjugated and dependent to the leaders for survival. This brought on even more sweeping changes to typical tribal life. Meat was in ever increasingly  short supply, due to the limited amount of men out there laboring to attain it, and the fact that the leaders had decided that only certain areas could be hunted. This never ending  hunt for meat, left the average tribesmen open to even more compromise.

A common practice amongst family members was the proper and socially gratifying performance of grooming each other. Parasites were a health risk, and this health care given to each other was invaluable to the overall well being and longevity of each family individually. The leader and his supporters also needed grooming, but feeling no self requirement to labor in  kind for the favor to any who would groom them, they quickly realized that any family member, grooming one another, would still have at least one hand available to groom the party of supporters, and with that, they were all ordered to use their second hand to groom outside of their area responsibility. This action of  had the adverse effect whereas it tired the hunters, and since their strength would be needed to get more meat, they received extra meat, which the leader and his supporters took from the tribesman who still had a little meat left. These tribe members were angered by this action, they had hunted, they had portioned their meat to last until the next hunt!  Why should they pay meat to the ones who are giving this health care to the leader and his supporters.

The leader and his supporters were now on a role. They had seen the tribe accept with only limited rebuttal, the many changes they were incorporating, and now were poised to do even more to ensure, that they could continue to do even less. They saw another chance to get meat for themselves.

There was another small group of Tribe members who did not hunt or gather, they were the firewood collectors. Firewood was an important energy source as it was the tool by which they could cook their meat and avoid the dangers of raw foods. The wood collectors would gather wood and trade it amongst other members in return for meat. This became an issue to the leader and his supporters as they did not particularly care for the wood collectors to search in areas that they protected or kept as their personal sites. They ordered that the wood collector, just as the hunters, could only collect wood in certain areas. This made the collectors work harder for their wood and in return charge more meat for their efforts. Considering they would also have to offer more meat to the leading party, they raised their meat charge substantially.

The situation was finally going along as the leader and his party willed it. They were doing very little to add to the tribe’s overall well being, and had the common tribe members dependent on them in one way or another for the meat, fur, firewood and protection that they were controlling in one way or another. Those who opposed these ideals were rendered impotent having no spears or knife-tools with which to force any change.

And then it happened, The Cro-Magnons who were unsure of this tribes ability to repay the furs promised in return for meat, came in search of payment. They traditionally might have thought twice about attacking this tribe. They were in the past a strong, virile and independent group of individuals, who liked their way of life and would defend it with vivid ferocity.  This time instead, they found a weakened tribe, it’s leadership fat from meat and lethargy, his followers so busy taxing the meat supply to feed themselves they didn’t even see the Cro-Magnons coming, and common tribe members overworked, underfed and unarmed. Mostly.

It was an easy victory. The leader and his supporters were the first to go, having the tendency to congress together in small groups made them easy targets for speedy elimination. The hunters, fought a while, limited to the spears they were allowed to keep or had hid away behind rocks in defiance of the leader’s mandates. They were however, overwhelmed by the healthy, fur-clad and fully fed interlopers. The rest had become so accustomed to following orders that when told to walk into the sea, they did so and drowned in their own apathy. It was the end of a once  mighty Tribe, defeated not by simple force alone, but  in falling prey to having been weakened to a state where they could no longer amass any real defense against the ever growing threats to their existence.

That’s it!  They were the strongest tribe around and now they were gone!  That’s how MY story goes. Thank God this is just a story that I made up, about a bunch of Neanderthal bones, and not something that could ever happen to us.

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