Sacred Trust of Caring for the Dead in Africa Two Million Years Ago

Majid Ali, M.D.

Dignity of the Dead in Early Prehistoric Africa

Ritualized Treatment of the Dead Two Million Years Ago

Besides introducing a new member of the prehuman family, the discovery suggests that some early hominins intentionally deposited bodies of their dead in a remote and largely inaccessible cave chamber, a behavior previously considered limited to modern humans. Some of the scientists referred to the practice as a ritualized treatment of their dead, but by “ritual” they said they meant a deliberate and repeated practice, not necessarily a kind of religious rite. Excerpts from The New York Times of September 11, 2015:

“… a large, dark chamber for the dead of a previously unidentified species of the early human lineage — Homo naledi. (found in South Africa).

Our Shared African Grandmothers Series

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