God specifically mentions the world before the flood as being full of violence. This violence was the natural consequence of sin. Human nature during this time was motivated by evil and brutality. (Bible quotations from NKJV).
Genesis 6:5-7 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
Genesis 6:11-13 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”
During this time period man was dominated by evil. The world had become filled with brutality and had become corrupted. This pursuit of ungodly purposes, this violence and corruption, had consequences. These consequences would be manifested in the lifestyle and actions that would be part of everyday life. This would affect the food that was eaten, the marriages that would occur, and the relationships humanity would have with each other, to name but a few. Mankind’s intent and mind would be set on the pursuit of wrong values.
Unfortunately, the fossil record does not preserve the intentions and thoughts of the mind and heart. The fossil record does, however, preserve enough to show us that the Biblical record is correct and that men were violent and corrupt. This article will highlight some of the evidence in the fossil record that supports the Biblical contention that men were morally bankrupt.
There is much evidence that Neanderthal man (Homo neanderthalensis) practiced cannibalism. Evidence for this practice has been found in various fossil sites. One of the most important sites was the Krapina fossil site in Croatia. Some anthropologists felt that this site yielded evidence for cannibalism (see fig. 1).
Perhaps the most provocative of the conclusions that Gorjanovic drew from his excavations at Krapina was that the fragmentary state of the human fossils was due to the practice of cannibalism. This was not the first time that the notion of cannibalism had been raised in connection with Neanderthals (Tattersall I., The Last Neanderthal, Westview Press. New York NY. p. 88. 1996).
Other anthropologists looked at the evidence in a totally different light and came up with differing conclusions. They saw the fossil evidence supporting burial practices. In these burial practices, the body would be defleshed and then buried. In some supposed cases, where the braincases were shattered, the brains were supposedly extracted and separately buried. This evidence has been hotly debated in evolutionary circles.
The question of cannibalism and the dismemberment of the corpses of the Krapina People has been suggested on the grounds of fragmentation, cut marks, and bone splitting. This has been discounted by Trinkaus on the basis that there is no evidence of damage that cannot be explained in other way than cannibalism (Day, MH, Guide to Fossil Man, 4th ed., The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, pp. 85, 88. 1993).
The anthropological community is slowly realizing that the fossil evidence overwhelmingly supports the view that many Neanderthals were cannibalistic, and that the evidence does not support supposed mortuary practices.
After 30 years of research, Turner says it is a modern bias to insist that cannibalism isn’t part of human nature. Many other species eat their own, and our ancestors may have had their own “good” reasons—whether to terrorize subject peoples, limit their neighbors’ offspring, or for religious or medicinal purposes…Cannibalism could have been an adaptive strategy. It has to be entertained (Gibbons, A., “Archaeologist Rediscovers Cannibals,” Science, 277:635-637,1997).
Cannibalism at the Moula-Guercy Cave Site
Recently many new articles published in scientific literature are showing without a doubt that Neanderthals practiced cannibalism. A good example of this is a recent article published in the prestigious journal, Science, by Alban Defleur et. al., (Defleur, A., et al., “Neanderthal Cannibalism at Moula-Guercy,” Ardeche, France, Science, 286:128-131, 1999). The quotes in this section are all from the Defleur journal article.
Abstract—The cave site of Moula-Guercy, 80 meters above the modern Rhone River, was occupied by Neanderthals approximately 100,000 years ago. Excavations since 1991 have yielded rich paleontologyical, paleobotanical, and archaeological assemblages, including parts of six Neanderthals. The Neanderthals are contemporary with stone tools and faunal remains in the same tightly controlled stratigraphic and spatial contexts. The inference of Neanderthal cannibalism at Moula-Guercy is based on comparative analysis of hominid and ungulate bone spatial distribution, modifications by stone tools, and skeletal part representations.
A French and American team digging at this Neanderthal site in France has unearthed grisly evidence of cannibalism. The Neanderthals at this site were expert hunters. They expertly butchered carcasses of deer, goats, and possibly even woolly rhinoceros. Using stone implements they dismembered and defleshed their kills. After the kills were butchered they then used stone hammers and anvils to break open the long appendage bones to get at the marrow. Many of the skulls were bashed open to remove the brains. The bones were then thrown into a skeletal trash heap. Evidence now shows that they did the same to their fellow Neanderthals.
The assessment of cannibalism in a prehistoric context depends on the demonstration that faunal and hominid remains were subjected to similar treatment. In the case of Moula-Guercy, there is clear evidence to this effect….All crania and limb bones of both taxa are broken…Bone fracture is presumably related to processing for marrow and brains in both Homo and Cervus (deer). The patterns of bone modification observed on the hominid and deer assemblages are also in parallel.
The cervid and hominid remains at Moula-Guercy show parallel spatial distribution (discard history), element representation, and bone modifications. We interpret these data to indicate that the hominid and deer carcasses were butchered in a similar way, with the objective being the removal of soft tissues and marrow. An inference of cannibalism is therefore warranted for Moula-Guercy level XV. We find no evidence that modifications to the hominid or deer bones from Moula-Guercy represents any form of mortuary ritual for either species. Whether the cannibalism was motivated by resource stress or other social factors will require further investigation here and at other sites.
At this site two adults, two juveniles, and two children, possibly all belonging to the same family were butchered, eaten, and then discarded on a trash heap. All the human bones were broken open for the extraction of marrow. The only bones not smashed were the foot and hand bones, which are too small to contain marrow.
The 78 certain hominid fossils include cranial, dental, and postcranial remains that are attributable to a minimum number of six individuals. The only intact hominid bones are those of the hand and foot. Determining individual ages for such broken and isolated remains is difficult. At least one large and one smaller adult Neanderthal are represented by clavicles and calcaneal fragments. Two immature specimens are aged at 15 to 16 years, based on dental eruption. Two additional individuals aged 6 to 7 are also present.
The Neanderthal bodies were dismembered and then the arm and leg bones were defleshed. Marks on other bones clearly show that the tongue of one of the younger Neanderthals was filleted out. The heads of both of the younger Neanderthals had the chewing muscles sliced off with razor sharp flint knives (see fig. 2).
Anatomical assessment of the hominid bone modification leads to an understanding of the butchery practices used. For example, all three Neanderthals represented by the distal clavicle display cut marks on the lateral interior surface of this bone, indicating disarticulation at the shoulder. In at least one individual each, the Achilles’ tendon, pedal phalangeal flexor tendons, and tendon of brachialis were cut transversely at the ankle, metatarsophalangeal, and elbow joint, respectively. The temporalis muscle was removed from two of the immature cranial vaults. Cut marks on the lingual surface of the juvenile mandible show that the tongue was cut out. Cut marks on the femoral shafts show that the thigh musculature was removed. . . . These bone modifications indicate that the human individuals were defleshed and disarticulated. After this, the marrow cavity was exposed by a hammer-on-anvil technique.
Cannibalism has been found at many Neanderthal and Homo erectus sites. Cannibalism was one of the attributes of a fallen society. Bear in mind that even though there are few sites that have cannibalistic evidence the number of total sites excavated is not very large. This statistically shows that cannibalism was a widespread practice. Even though not all fossil men were cannibals, the fossil evidence indicates that many were cannibals.
Dietary Habits of Early Man
Another manner in which early man was corrupted was in his dietary intake. The Bible indicates that certain foods were not fit for human consumption. They are outlined in various places in the scriptures, including; Leviticus 11:1-30, Deuteronomy 14:3-21, Acts 10:11-14, Acts 11:5-8, Acts 15:29, and many others. The basic premise behind these scriptures is that land animals that do not chew the cud and do not have split hooves are not to be eaten. These animals were considered unclean. Animals that chew the cud and have split hooves were considered clean and they were allowed for human food. These dietary laws have existed since before the flood as evidenced when Noah was commanded to bring the clean animals into the ark by sevens, and unclean animal only by twos.
Genesis 7:1-2 Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of the birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth.”
Also the ingestion of blood in any form was not permitted, whether from a clean or unclean animal.
Genesis 9:4, “But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.”
The fossil record of early man indicates that not only was cannibalism common, but also that men were eating mainly unclean animals. This eating of unclean foods would affect the bone structure of some of the early specimens of fossil men that have been unearthed. This bone structure would be evident in the fossil record. Considering that the Biblical record indicates that early man lived for long periods of time, the effects of this diet would be compounded for hundreds of years.
Since society at this time was rebellious toward God and was rapidly sliding into depravity, the food laws of God would not have been observed. Below are a few examples of the improper foods that humanity was eating, and some of the physical effects this diet would have on human morphology.
The Eating of Blood
The eating of blood, human and animal, was a widespread practice. The fossil record from various Neanderthal, Homo erectus, and early Homo sapiens (Cro-Magnon man) fossil sites is very interesting. Many of the human and animal bones show signs of having been broken open. They would be broken open in order to extract the marrow. Marrow is a fatty high-energy substance rich in blood cells. The bones were broken open by being placed on a large anvil stone and then being hit with a smaller hand held stone called a hammer. This hammer and anvil method would leave telltale signs on the bones. Also the bones would fragment in certain predictable patterns. Both of these skeletal clues show that the opening of bones for the extraction of marrow was a common practice.
The bones from Krapina are numerous but badly fragmented…(features include) fragmentation, cut marks, and bone splitting (Day, MH, Guide to Fossil Man, 4th ed., The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, pp. 85, 88. 1993).
The bones — 78 pieces identified as belonging to at least six humans and almost 400 fragments attributed to other mammals — were scattered over 20 square meters. All the braincases and long bones of both deer and humans were smashed open, presumably to allow brains and marrow to be extracted. “In both taxa, marrow bones were systemically broken, and bones without marrow were not damaged,” say Defleur. Analysis of three pieces of a large thigh bone showed how, after its muscles were sliced away, it was set on an anvil stone and hit repeatedly with another stone. Telltale striations mark the bone’s outer surface on the anvil side directly opposite “percussion pits” made by the hammer stone (Culotta E., “Neanderthals Were Cannibals, Bones Show,” Science, 286:18, 1999).
The eating of human brains would have catastrophic effects on the morphology of humans. Human brains have a high percentage of endocrine chemicals and hormones. The human brain also houses the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is a hormonal power plant. Many of the hormones manufactured by the pituitary gland regulate the growth of the skeleton. A deficiency or overproduction of these hormones in modern man produces dwarfism of gigantism. These hormones would affect the physical growth of humans that ingested them. These abnormal growth patterns would include fetal malformations, malformed skeletal structure and bone growth, mental retardation, and a whole host of other degenerative conditions (Moore, KL., Persaud,TV, Before We are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects, W. B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia PA, 1998).
The Eating of Unclean Animals
In many of the early man sites various mammalian bones have been unearthed with the human fossils. Michael H. Day (Error! Bookmark not defined.) catalogues many of these instances. The majority of the animals uncovered with early man indicate that his diet consisted mainly of unclean animals. Many of these animals were predators and scavengers. Below is a listing of just a few of the sites and the associated mammals. The unclean animals have been underlined.
From the La Ferrassie, France, site where the Neanderthal La Ferrassie I Skull was excavated in 1909.
The first mammalian bones recovered from the same deposit include those of mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius), hyena (Crocuta crocuta), pig (Sus sp.), ox (Bos sp.), red deer (Cervus elaphus) and horse (Equus sp.).
From the Les Eyzies, France, site where the Cro-Magnon Remains were excavated in 1868.
With the skeleton were numerous flint tools of Aurignacian manufacture, and large numbers of sea shells, some of which were pierced. The fossil bones of mammals recovered from the site included reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), bison (Bison priscus), mammoth (Mammuthus primgenius) and horse (Equus sp.).
From the German site in Bilzingsleben where H. erectus specimens were found in the 1970s.
The bones of fossil mammals recovered from the site indicate an interglacial fauna and include straight tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus), rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus kirchebbergensis), wild horse (Equus sp.), wild ox (Bos), red deer (Cervus elaphas), pig (Sus scrofa), monkey (Macaca), bear (Ursus sp.), wild cat (Felis silvestris), beaver (Castor fiber) and giant beaver (Trogontherium cuvierii).
From Vertesszolloz near Budapest Hungary where various crania of H. erectus were found.
The faunal remains of both large and small vertebrates were recovered from the site and are of early Middle Pleistocene character. The large vertebrae included wolf (Canis lupus mosbachdnsis), lion (Panther leo), bears (Ursus stehlini and Urus deningeri), wild horse (Equus mosbachensis), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), hyena (Hyaena brevirostris) and giant beaver (Trogontherium shmerlingi).
The Java and Peking man sites, which are Homo erectus sites, yielded many fauna that were unclean. These sites included but were not limited to the following: bats, monkeys, rhinoceros, elephants, and wild cats. Although early man did eat some animals that were clean, such as deer and ox, the scientific literature shows that his diet consisted mainly of unclean mammals, a large percentage of which were carnivores such as, lion, wolf, and bear. This fact becomes important in the next section.
KNM-ER 1808 is a partial cranium and skeleton of a H. erectus. It was unearthed in Africa by K. Kimiu in the Koobi Fora Formation in North East Kenya near Lake Turkana. This skeleton is very interesting as it shows pathology in its skeletal structure associated with hypervitaminosis A. This is a condition in which too much vitamin A is ingested, which then causes bone malformations.
High vitamin A intake is teratogenic, causing brain, skeletal, and birth defects. Notice the following citations from a study published by Rothman et al. (Rothman, KJ, et al., “Teratogenicity of High Vitamin A Intake,” The New England Journal of Medicine, 333(21)1369-1373, 1995).
Abstract—Background. Studies in animals indicate that natural forms of vitamin A are teratogentic. Synthetic retinoids chemically similar to vitamin A cause birth defects in human; as in animals, the defects appear to affect tissues derived from the cranial neural crest.
Conclusions. High dietary intake of preformed vitamin A appears to be teratogentic. Among the babies born to women who took more than 10,000 IU of preformed vitamin A per day in the form of supplements, we estimate that about 1 infant in 57 had a malformation attributable to the supplement.
Vitamin A is essential for embryogenesis, growth, and epithelial differentiation. By the term “vitamin A,” we refer to retinoid compounds that have the biologic activity of retinol. A preformed vitamin A in the diet comes from animal sources, such as dairy products and liver, and from fortified foods and vitamin supplements.
Experiments in animals have shown that retinoids can be teratogentic…As in the studies in animals, a specific group of malformations (“retinoic acid embryopathy”), including those of craniofacial, cardiac, thymic, and central nervous systems structures, appears to be involved.
Excess vitamin A intake is a problem among Arctic inhabitants and explorers usually caused by regular meals of polar bear, seal, or husky dog liver (“Vitamin A Excess,” Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 12, p. 401, 1985). The disease will manifest itself after several months of high vitamin A intake. The KNM-ER 1808 H. erectus skull and postcranial skeleton show signs of the pathology of hypervitaminosis A. The following article (Walker, A. Zimmerman, MR. Leakey, REF, “A Possible Case of Hypervitaminosis A in Homo erectus,” Nature, 296:248-250, 1982) states that this condition was caused by the high ingestion of carnivore livers. Carnivore livers are blood-rich tissue, so the eating of carnivore livers would entail not only the eating of blood from unclean animals, but also the consumption of toxic levels of Vitamin A.
Abstract—Following an initial discovery by Bw. K. Kimeu in 1973, sieving operations have recovered the most complete Homo erectus skeleton so far known from the upper Member of the Koobi Fora Formation in Area 103, Koobi Fora, East Lake Turkana in Kenya. The partial skeleton shows pathological changes consistent with chronic hypervitaminosis A. We attribute this disorder to the high dietary intake of animal liver, most probably that of carnivores, during a period when the dietary habits of Homo erectus were changing.
The appendicular skeleton shows striking pathology, consisting of subperiosteal diaphyseal deposit of coarse-woven bone. The new bone, 7.0 mm thick in places, thins toward the metaphyses. The sharply demarcated, coarse-woven new bones contain enlarged, sub-spherical and randomly placed lacunae…Bones changes are seen in adult experimental animals with administrations of excess amounts of vitamin A…The most likely diagnosis is therefore, hypervitaminosis A…how did this Homo erectus ingest such large doses of the vitamin? There was probably a major change in the diet of early humans, with a large increase in meat eating. At that period, it may have taken some time to learn which parts of which carcasses were poisonous. One hundred grammes of modern herbivore liver contains 44,000-50,000 IU of vitamin A, whereas 100 g of carnivore liver contains 1.3-1.8´106 IU, as carnivores derive and store large amount of preformed vitamin from livers of their prey. The condition described above is unlikely to be due to ingestion of the easily masticated liver of a herbivore but quite possibly to a diet containing carnivore liver.
This is another example of how rebellion against God’s dietary laws was common. The majority of the animals found at the early man sites have a high population of carnivores. These included, bears, cats, hyenas, and wolves. Undoubtedly early man had a diet high in vitamin A caused by the eating of large quantities of carnivore liver. This is further evidence of how man had degraded himself during the pre-flood period. It also shows how the degenerative state of some of fossil men’s morphology is a consequence of breaking God’s law.
Neanderthal Trauma and Injuries
The Biblical record states, “…the earth was filled with violence.” This violence would entail physical violence against each other. This type of violent behavior is supported by the fossil record as evidenced by the trauma evident on many early man fossils.
The Neanderthal individuals that were unearthed in Shanidar, Iraq, are typical of the types of injuries that the fossil record reveals. Four out of the six Neanderthal skeletons were marred by injuries. One Neanderthal named Shanidar 1 suffered multiple injuries. These included a blow to the left side of the head, which probably caused blindness in the left eye. Another injury was a severed right arm, which was withered below the elbow. The withering of the arm bone was caused by two breaks, which refused to heal. The unhealed break eventually caused the arm to fall off. Finally he also received traumatic injuries to his right leg, ankle and a fracture on the outer portion of his foot, which eventually healed. He probably shuffled as he walked. Another of the Shanidar Neanderthals has a notch on one of his ribs. This notch showed evidence of healing and was probably caused by a stab wound. The wound was so massive that it almost cut the rib bone in half. No small feat considering the robustness of the Neanderthal rib cage.
Notice the following quotes from a journal article (Trinkaus, E. Zimmerman, MR, “Trauma Among the Shanidar Neanderthals,” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 57:61-76, 1982) written about the trauma associated with these Shanidar Neanderthals.
Abstract—Four of the adult Neandertals from Shanidar Cave, Iraq, Shanidar 1, 3, 4, and 5, show evidence of antemortem trauma. Shanidar 1 sustained injuries to the right frontal squama, the left lateral orbit, the right humerus and the right fifth metatarsal. Associated with this trauma are hypoplasia or atrophy of the right clavicle, scapula, and humerus, osteomyelitis of the right clavicles, degenerative joint disease at the right knee, ankle, and first tarsometatarsal joint, and remodeling of the left tibia. Shanidar 3 experienced trauma-related degenerative joint disease at the right talocrural and talocalcaneal joints and sustained a penetration wound across the left ninth rib. Shanidar 4 suffered a fracture of the right seventh or eight rib, and Shanidar 5 had a scalp wound over the left frontal. A high frequency of antemortem trauma associated with the survival of the injured individuals appears to have been characteristic of the Neandertals.
Conclusion—The adult Neandertals from Shanidar Cave sustained a number of injuries of varying severity. The high incidence of trauma-related abnormalities in the skeletal remains of the Shanidar Neandertals appears to have been related to the advanced ages of most of the Shanidar adults, the dangerous lives experienced by the Neandertals, and a social system that helped them survive even massive trauma.
The following example is typical of what many anthropologists discover when a systematic study of Neanderthal injuries is undertaken.
So many Neandertal bones show traumatic breaks that one of Trinkaus’s graduate student, Tomy Berger, decided to investigate the pattern. He analyzed the bones of 17 Neanderthals who had suffered a total of 27 traumatic injuries. “I noticed that they were mostly injuries to the head and upper body — almost no lower limb injuries,” says Berger (Gore R, “The Dawn of Humans — Neanderthals,” National Geographic, 189:1:2-35, 1996).
Even the world’s first Neanderthal discovery was a victim of traumatic injury. The Neanderthal man discovered in the “Neander” valley in Germany in 1856 had a massive injury to his left elbow. This injury probably did not allow the use of the left arm and this necessitated the exclusive use of the right arm (Day, MH, Guide to Fossil Man, 4th ed., The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, pp. 85, 88. 1993).
The fossil record of early man is replete with much skeletal evidence that the pre-flood world was very brutal. The above sampling is simply a small portion of the physical injuries that were part and parcel of this time period. Any good book on fossil men will give numerous examples of skeletal trauma. Also many injuries that a person may have suffered may not be evident in the skeleton. This means that Neanderthals probably were afflicted with many more injuries than is evident from bone morphology.
The fossil record of early man supports what the book of Genesis indicates. During this time period cannibalism was common. The wholesale slaughter and murder of men is expressed in the cast off fossil remnants laying on the trash heap of many an excavated site. The bones of fellow human beings were butchered, cut apart, and then cast into garbage pits where they mixed with rotting pig, elephant, and wolf carcasses.
Pre-flood man had no respect for the laws of God. The simple dietary laws given by God were constantly and consistently violated. Men were consumers of carrion, carnivores, and blood. This unhealthy diet affected their bone structure and probably led to many degenerative diseases. The longevity of men would allow a filthy diet to wreak havoc on bones and tissues for hundreds of years.
The skeletal remains of the fossil record shows that H. erectus, H. neanderthalensis, and H. sapiens were living in violent societies. The world had become corrupted and filled with violence and God saw that the only solution was the extermination of the human race. It is no wonder that the sixth chapter of the book of Genesis states; “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
— by Arnold C. Mendez, Sr.