Anthropological Insight into Death Essay

Vado Tergum In Vicis

Vado Tergum In Vicis” I hear him mumble as I cradled him and watched him shut his eyes, inhale a deep breath one last clip before snoozing off in a deep ageless sleep. Those were his last words. It has been hebdomads since my gramps passed off but his words still echo in my caput, as if those were merely said yesterday. I was traveling through some of the things in his office when something of involvement caught my attending. There, stashed between aggregations of reproduction of dodo fragments, valuable artefacts and dust-covered heap of abrasion documents and mouldy books he gathered from old ages of field work, was a little, uneven looking, leather book. Write on its really first page were the exact same words he held before he died. I knew immediately that the book was of something particular. However, shoping through its worn out dust-covered pages, I was merely left with letdown for the book did non incorporate anything aside from descriptions and a few drawings of our supposed human ascendants.

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My gramps was an anthropologist, and a superb one I should tout. He spent his old ages making field work in different parts of the universe until it was clip for him to halt because of his old age. Bothered by my grandfather’s last words, I once more went through his book, this clip traveling through and reading every chapter, entry by entry, reiterating his last words over and over in my caput while reading every word in the book, trusting to do sense of the phrase. Suddenly, I felt a eldritch esthesis creeping up my spinal column, and so everything started whirling right before my eyes until it all went black.

Chirp! Chirp! Chirp! Chirp! ”I heard small peeping sounds as I awoke from a strange and an unexpected deep slumber. “Chirp! Chirp! Chirp! Chirp! ”I heard them one time more. Not detecting that I woke up in a different topographic point, I set off to happen where the noise was coming from until I came upon a nest of hungry small eaglets. Wondering at the sight of the hapless small animals, it eventually occurred to me where I truly was, on top of a tree in a unusual and unfamiliar topographic point someplace and non in my grandfather’s office where I remembered reading before melanizing out. Thinking it was merely a dream, I started stretching trusting to eventually wake up in the comfort of my grandfather’s office. But to my incredulity, alternatively of slender human weaponries, large, strong wings came out and stretched in all its might. Still astonished and clueless of how I transformed into this brilliant animal in a individual catch, I was left with no pick but to populate in this new signifier and accept the duty of looking after my immature eaglets.

While winging above the surface, I observed the environing country. It was non the typical alcoholic green forest 1 may happen in a typical wood or a mountain someplace. The country is a dry savanna grassland with trees scattered widely apart ( Forey & A ; Blaxland, 2013 ) . Then at a distance, non really far from where I was vibrating, I noticed a group of species with really distinguishable characteristics. They have a comparatively hairless, tall, slender long legged organic structure complemented by an unsloped stature and a level face with human-like projecting nose ( Forey & A ; Blaxland, 2013 ) . Then it hit me, could it be that this species were the same as or the 1s being described in my grandfather’s book? Is it possible that I have clip traveled 1.9 to 1.5 million old ages in the yesteryear ( Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.d. ) through his book to witness firsthand the being of theHomo ergaster,which was the earliest known human ascendant to hold possessed more human-like characteristics ( Forey & A ; Blaxland, 2013. ) , in East and South Africa ( Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.d. ) ? If this was the instance, so I can still go back to the present clip and be a human once more.

The idea of being able to go back to the present clip and be a individual once more filled me with so much joy and exhilaration that I rapidly perched on the nearest tree that enabled me a position where I could detect and watch them more closely. Remembering my grandfather’s notes and holding personally observed the species, which I will now mention to as theHomo ergaster, it can be verified that their comparative depilation and vertical stature can account for the betterment of organic structure chilling techniques ( Forey & A ; Blaxland, 2013 ) and for their life on the land as their mounting versions got lost with the development of their ability to walk, run and go long distances ( Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.d. ) . Noteworthy, among theHomo ergasterwas their development, find and use of tools and fire which I have found drawings in grandfather’s book. Harmonizing to the description in his notes, tools which included cliverss, manus axes and choices were excavated together with theergaster’sdodos ( Forey & A ; Blaxland, 2013 ) . The tools were used chiefly in runing and slaughtering large animate beings and heavy wood working ( Forey & A ; Blaxland, 2013 ) .

“Is that fire I can see wavering at a distance? ” I excitedly thought to myself. I better wing at that place and look into what is go oning. “Oh, I can see it now! They’re doing fire! ” ( Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.d. ) I exclaimed merrily. But for what ground are they doing it? Eager to cognize, I continued to vibrate near the country. A few minutes subsequently, when the fire is firing large plenty, the species so placed balls of meat, possibly from some animal, and works tubers found all over the Savannah ( O’Neil, 2013 ) over the firing heap of wood as if they were in a barbeque party. “How astonishing! ” I exclaimed, “These animals already have knowledge devising and cookery with fire! ” ( Forey & A ; Blaxland, 2013 ) . Amazed, I decided to remain a small longer trusting to larn more about them. I built a new nest on a close tree so that I could still look after my immature while analyzing this intriguing group of species. Based from my close observations of them, I can deduce that there is a clear correspondence between theHomo ergasterand our more modern human species, like be givening and caring for the sick or injured, although there were no groundss of them intentionally burying their dead, remaining or populating within household based societal bonds, an drawn-out period of childhood ( Forey & A ; Blaxland, 2013 ) , and pass oning through a limited scope of sounds and gestures ( O’Neil, 2013 ) . Besides, there existed a form of cooperation inHomo ergastermales and females which can be attributed to a decreased sexual dimorphism between them ( Forey & A ; Blaxland, 2013 ) .

Until one twenty-four hours, as I was seeking for nutrient to feed my immature, that sudden unusual feeling I felt before coming into this unusual new topographic point came to me once more. My wings all of a sudden grew asleep and I started falling, I lost consciousness. Few minutes subsequently, I woke up, sitting in my grandfather’s office, the book in my lap. Terrified by the experience, I decided to maintain the book off but found myself seconds subsequently more drawn to it, shoping and turning it’s every page. Then before I had the strength to set it off, the unusual feeling crept through me once more, so, I found myself in another unusual topographic point. This clip, in a grassland country with a more temperate and ice chest clime ( O’Neil, 2013 ) far from the dry savannas of East and South Africa. Abounding in assorted steppes, the environment proved to be an ideal home ground for big graze animate beings ( O’Neil, 2013 ) . Wondering why the book brought me to such an environment, I started rolling through the country. As I go about appraising the new milieus, I realized that something really unusual was go oning. Other animate beings ran off at the blink of an eye they saw me coming. Puzzled, I continued until I came across a little pool. Hot from hours of walking, I decided to rinse my face and drink from the crystal clear Waterss of the pool. But as I bent near the water’s surface, this monolithic tiger’s face appeared and stared right at me from the H2O. Terrified, I rapidly pulled myself off from the water’s surface and got on my pess to study the country of the lurking animal. Recognizing I was really entirely, I once more went near the H2O merely to recognize that the tiger’s contemplation which scared me earlier was really mine. Dumbfounded at the thought that I am now a fierce marauder, it made me recognize that non merely did my grandfather’s notebook allowed me to go through clip but besides, it enabled me to determine displacement to a different animal in each clip period.

The sound of go throughing footfalls pulled me from my ideas. At a distance, there was a group of short and compact work forces, with big faces characterized by a level olfactory organ, a low sloping brow and monolithic forehead ridge ( Forey, 2013 ) dragging the carcase of a Sus scrofa, slit unfastened, bespeaking that it was attacked and eaten by bigger marauder and was non killed by the work forces. Unaware of the present clip period and geographic location where I am in, and seeing a resemblance between these work forces and the species ofHomo ergasterwhich I have observed in the African continent, led me to presume and set up a connexion between these two species. While in secret detecting the group from behind the shrubs as to maintain my presence unknown, memories from reading grandfather’s notes in his office all of a sudden rushed through me. Then I remembered reading on the portion when some groups ofHomo ergasterstarted to travel out of Africa and dispersed in parts of Asia and Europe 1.8 to 1.7 million old ages ago ( O’Neil, 2013 ) and might hold evolved into more complex existences or side branched into a different species. With this in head, the thought eventually struck me. The book brought me to Asia to run into theHomo erectus, perchance an ascendant or a distant cousin ( O’Neil, 2013 ) of the modern human species, who lived 1.6 million – 100,000 old ages ago ( Forey, 2013 ) . But where precisely am I in Asia? China or Indonesia? As I have knowledge that the Homo erectus were geographically distributed in parts of these states ( Forey, 2013 ) . Judging from the immediate milieus and the cool clime, I can state that I was in China. Eager to larn more about them, I decided to follow them until they led me to what seems a little colony. There, I observed that these species, like theergaster, live in little band-societies, slightly similar to the hunter-gatherer set societies ( Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.d. ) Tools can besides be found in the colony. However, comparing them to those of theergaster’s, one may detect that the tools of the erectus were more crude as they were merely simple choppers and bogus tools ( Forey, 2013 ) . Besides, I have seen no grounds of their usage of fire which their cousins in Africa utilised ( Forey, 2013 ) . When it comes to their diet, I have observed that it chiefly consist of meat supplemented by veggies, nuts, fruits and berries ( Forey, 2013 ) .

Dried branchlets and subdivisions on the land aloud cracked as I by chance stepped on them informing the erectus of a presence nearby. Fearing that they become cognizant of my presence, I remained mutely still, hidden behind the shrubs. Then, I sensed motion behind me. And when I turned about, it was excessively late for he had already lifted and thrown a large bowlder in my way. Frightened, I merely closed my eyes and impotently waited for the stone to hit me until I blacked out. A few minutes subsequently, I was really grateful to hold wakened once more in my grandfather’s library. Thrilled with what was go oning, I continued reading the book until I once more found myself in another topographic point, in another clip period, in another creature’s signifier. Just as I regained my consciousness, lances and pointers made of flint started striking in my way. Groups of work forces started trailing after me as I transformed into a cervid when I came here. I ran and ran until I lost them. Now, holding cognition that I have clip traveled 400, 000 – 200, 000 old ages in the yesteryear, in Europe, or possibly in Central or East Asia, in hunt of theHomosexual sapiens neanderthalensis( Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.d. ) which I think were the 1s trailing me earlier, I instantly set off to happen their colonies but dying that one time they saw me, will stop up killing me for nutrient as their diet chiefly consist of meat and other veggies ( Forey, 2013 ) . After hours of rolling in the new environment, I eventually reached their colony, but merely detecting them on a nearby hill, hidden from their sight. Populating under cold clime to temperate climes in forest and steppe environments ( Natural History Museum, n.d ) , the Neanderthals developed a short and compact build that allows them better preservation and ordinance of organic structure heat which enabled them to last glacial periods ( Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.d. ) . They besides have a big in-between face characterized by a dual arched forehead ridge, angled zygomatic bones and big nose utilized in warming and moisturizing cold air ( Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.d. ) .

The Neanderthals live in complex groups and have advanced tools made of rock and flint such as blades, pointers, lances, manus axes and other flake tools which they used in runing my sort and other large animate beings ( Natural History Museum, n.d ) . Then something caught my attending. “What are they making? ” I thought, as I saw a few of them carry one man’s organic structure to another hill next my location. Curious, I went closer but still concealing from them. “Are they making what I think it is? ” I exclaimed as I saw them put the organic structure in what seems like a grave and cover it with soil. “Are they burying their dead? ” To corroborate my observation, I went to the other site where I saw them bury the adult male the minute they left. To my incredulity, I saw many other what seems as Gravess, the hill was a cemetery. This pattern of really burying their dead by the Neanderthals ( Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.d. ) truly amazed me. Aside from this, they besides have other activities and behaviours really similar to that of modern worlds, which other human ascendants doesn’t have or pattern, like covering their organic structures with apparels made from carnal tegument, workss or barks coming from trees, doing and controlled usage of fire, doing symbolic or cosmetic decorations, and sometimes taging the Gravess with flowers and other decorations ( Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.d. ) . I all of a sudden felt a cutting esthesis. An pointer has pierced through my dorsum. One of the Neanderthals went back to the grave to offer flowers, saw me and fired a shooting. Suffering from the hurting, I mustered all my strength and tried to run off. Turning weak because of blood loss, I collapsed, The last thing I remember was puting on the land, the adult male, an axe in his manus, so, everything went black.

Expecting to be waking up in my grandfather’s office, I was in arrant confusion to hold found myself inside a collapsible shelter when I regained consciousness. Still confused where I was and why I ended up in such a topographic point, I heard a familiar voice from behind, “What took you so long? ” it said “I’ve been anticipating you” . And when I turned about, there, standing behind me was my gramps. I couldn’t believe what my eyes merely saw, “What is grandfather making here” “Is he alive? ” “Am I dead? ” “Is he the devil disguising as my gramps? ” these ideas filled my head. “Do non fear my male child. You are non dead nor I was” the adult male said. “Come, I will state you the whole narrative, ” he revealed the secrets of the book, how he was able to go through clip through it, until we reached a colony crowded with collapsible shelters made from bronzed fells of large animate beings like the wooly mammoth, sewn together, wrapped around logs and were pulled to the land with large stones or soil ( Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.d. ) . Then he introduced me the other people in the colony and I found out that they were the Cro-magnons who lived 35,000 – 10,000 old ages ago in Europe ( Foley, 2002 ) , my gramps and I, now one of them. These people, unlike their contemporary Neandertal mans, were tall and muscular in stature closely resembling modern worlds although more robustly built ( Foley, 2002 ) . Harmonizing to gramps, these people, during the winter months and those populating in colder countries wore apparels made from teguments of animate beings whereas during the summer months and warmer seasons, the Cro-Magnons clothe themselves in woven barks or grass ( Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.d. ) . They were a semi-nomadic, hunter-gatherer society who used to run large game like the bison, mammoth, cervid ( Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.d. ) with finely crafted tools like lances, javelin, pointers made from made from castanetss, flint and antler points ( Foley, 2002 ) , as their diet chiefly consist of meat and veggies ( Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.d. ) . The Cro-Magnons besides made usage of fire, made necklaces and other decorations from pieces of shell and animate being dentitions, cared for the ill and believed to bury the deceased in a individual grave in cave shelters ( Foley, 2002 ) . These people besides utilised Mns and Fe oxide to paint images picturing their civilization and activities on cave walls ( Foley, 2002 ) , most celebrated of which were the 1s found in France. Having coexisted with the Neandertal mans in Europe ; there is a possibility of crossbreeding between these two human species. However, with the extinction of the Neanderthals some 28,000 old ages ago, one possible ground was competition and hunting between the two ( Foley, 2002 ) .

Having experienced all these, made me appreciate and understand more the complexness of human existences. How they have evolved from simple, retiring existences to more intelligent and complex 1s is one of our species greatest enigmas. But the inquiry lingers? Have we, as the most complex and evolved human species busying the top topographic point in this great concatenation of human development, reached our perfect and concluding signifier? Or are we, like the great ascendants before us, still undergo and are capable of germinating as we discover and learn new things with the passing of clip?

Strolling inside one of the caves, wondering at the artistic pictures on the cave walls, a leopard all of a sudden jumps in forepart of us. Then, I heard my gramps “Vado Tergum In Vicis” and before I knew it, we were back in my father’s room, on his deathbed, him in my weaponries, the book in my custodies.

Noelle Patricia AlonteANTHRO 104

2011-48771November 25, 2014


Dorey, F. & A ; B. Blaxland. ( 2013 ) .Homo ergaster. Australian Museum. Retrieved from: hypertext transfer protocol: //

Dorey, F. ( 2013 ) .Homo erectus. Australian Museum. Retrieved from: hypertext transfer protocol: //

Dorey, F. ( 2013 ) .Homo neanderthalensis. Australian Museum. Retrieved from: hypertext transfer protocol: //

Dorey, F. ( 2014 ) .Homosexual sapiens. Australian Museum. Retrieved from: hypertext transfer protocol: //

Foley, J. ( 2002 ) .Fossil hominids: Cro-magnon adult male. Retrieved from: hypertext transfer protocol: //

Natural History Museum. ( n.d. ) .Neanderthalensis (Homo neanderthalensis ) .Retrieved from: hypertext transfer protocol: //

O’Neil, D. ( 2013 ) . Homo Erectus. Retrieved from: hypertext transfer protocol: //

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