Oldowan - Olduvai Gorge, Koobi Fora, NW Europe - j) scavengers

Comment: Given a riparian woodland scavenger-gathering subsistence mode of the Oldowan peoples, they--at least by the Developed Oldowan (contemporary with earliest Acheulian--may have had an incipient religious system drawing upon a symbolism of the six most common predator-scavengers. In order of access to carcasses these six are: lion (kills and consumes viscera and flesh, leaves some flesh and skull and bones--marrow sources--thus providing for others); leopard (stores carcasses in trees, a windfall for human scaveners); vulture (penetrates tough hides into depths for inner organs); jackal (strips bone of remaining flesh but leaves marrow); wild hunting dog (strips flesh but leaves marrow bones); hyena (eats all, consumes bones, leaves nothing). Drawing upon the natural history and surviving mythology of these six carnivores, I have derived a reconstruction of the 'First Religion' of human cultural evolution. Harrod, J. (2002). First Religion: Notes Toward an Oldowan Scavenger Theology -- Mimetic Patterns of Oldowan Spirituality

Photo © African wildlife - Cheetah Chasing Vultures. Photo Y.A. Bertrand; copyright Sapra, M.M

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j) scavengers