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[MUSIC]

In the previous segment, we said


that it is very hard to reconstruct
the lives of our Stone Age
ancestors, partly due to lack of evidence.
And, partly, because the chief
characteristic of ancient forager
societies was their immense variety.
So even if we know something about one
group, it doesn't
necessary mean that all other groups
behave in the same way.
There are, however, some generalization
which were probably
true of all or, at least, most of ancient
[INAUDIBLE]
society, societies.
it seems safe to assume safe to say that
the vast majority of people back then,
lived in small
bands, each band numbering perhaps several
dozen or at most,
several hundred individuals, and that all
these individuals were humans.
It is important to know this last
[UNKNOWN],
it sounds obvious that all members of the
society were humans, but it is not
obvious, because after the Agricultural
Revolution, most members
of human societies were not humans.
They were domesticated animals.
After the culture, Agriculture Revolution,
the typical human society had an upper
layer of humans but also many, many
domesticated animals,
like cattle and horses and sheep and pigs,
which were not equal members of society,
of course.
But, they were part of the society.
Today, for example, the society called New
Zealand is
composed of about five million sapiens and
50 million sheep.
And if you don't take the sheep into
account,
you can't really understand how New
Zealand's society functions.
There was, however, just one exception to
this general rule that all members of
ancient human societies were humans.
And this one important exception are dogs.
The dog was the first animal that
homosapiens domesticated.
It was domesticated from wild wolves.
Dogs are descendants of wild wolves, and
the domestication of the dog occurred
long before the Agriculture Revolution.
Experts disagree about the exact date,
but all of them accept that by about

15,000 years ago, one five, 15,000 years


ago, domesticated dogs were already part
of at least some human societies.
The actual date of domestication might
have been many thousands of years
previously, but we have hard evidence for
about 15,000
years ago of dogs being part of human
bands.
You can see for example here, a picture
of a tomb that archeologists found in
Northern Israel.
It's a tomb for about, from about 12,000
years ago.
And it contains the skeleton of a 50 year,
years old
woman next to the skeleton of a small
puppy.
You can see it in the upper right corner,
the woman's left hand is resting on the
puppy.
we have other examples of dogs being
buried individually in their own graves
just in the same way that humans were,
were buried back then, from all
kinds of places around the world but
mostly from Asia and from the Middle East.
What did the dogs do besides being buried
with humans?
Well, it seems they're used mainly for
hunting, to help people hunt, and
for fighting.
And also, as an alarm system against
enemies and intruders, both human enemies
and all kinds of dangerous animals.
When the band
[COUGH]
went to sleep at night, it could rely on
the dogs to sound the alarm if somebody
was coming.
Actually, it's very interesting because we
know that wolves hardly bark
at all, they rarely bark wolves, and dogs
bark all the time.
And scholars estimate that one of the
selection
pressures for dogs was whether they were
serving
as a good alarm system or not.
If you had the raised say, five puppies
and four of them hardly
barked at all, but one puppy was barking
aloud and, and then grew up to be
a dog who's barking all the time when
somebody was coming, this dog was
very crucial, very helpful to people
because
it served as a kind of alarm system.
And this is the dog to which they gave
most of the food and most of the care.

So the genes of this dog that barked a


lot got passed on to the next generation
of dogs.
And over the years this created a huge
difference between wolves, which hardly
bark at all, and
domesticated dogs whose one of the main
characteristics
of, of them is that they bark a lot.
when, when something happens, when
somebody's coming.
And this is a relic
to their ancient role and actually still
modern role,
too because many people still use dogs as
alarm system.
So one of their main roles was to help
defend, protect the bands, the common
bands of humans
and dogs against enemies by sounding the
alarm whenever
they heard something rustling in the
forest or, or approaching.
Over the generations,
mutual bonds of understanding and
affection developed between dogs and
people.
And dogs and, and, and humans basically
co-evolved, evolved
one with the other to communicate well and
to understand one another.
Dogs again, if you think about the, the
natural selection of dogs that joined the
human
the human community.
Dogs that were good at understanding what
human want, at under, understanding human
commands and
human emotions, had a better chance of
surviving
and passing their genes to the next
generations.
Also, dogs who are good at manipulating
humans, like
by being very cute and demanding attention
and food.
And the human said oh, how cute, let's
give him some food.
These are the dogs who survived.
So this is how over about 15,000 years,
dogs and humans learned how to understand
each other, how to communicate one with
the other, and how to manipulate one
another.
Not only humans learned how to manipulate
dogs,
but dogs also learn how to manipulate
humans.
And today, the dog is the animal that has
the best connection with human

beings, has the best understanding of a


human communication, human signals, and
human emotions.
Another thing that characterized the human
bands was a high level of intimacy.
Members of a band knew each other very
intimately, and
were surrounded throughout their lives by
friends and relatives.
Loneliness and privacy, which were also
quite common and important were
relatively rare in the world of 20 or
50,000 years ago.
As for the relations between different
bands, not within the band, but between
one band and another band, these relations
probably included both hostile
contacts and friendly contacts.
Neighboring bands could sometimes compete
for resources and even fight one another.
But they also had all kinds of friendly
contact.
For examples as they exchange members,
like one person
moved from this band to another band if
he,
if he didn't like the, the people in this
band or he wanted to change the
environment and
different bands sometimes came together
for, for
a big hunt like, to surround a big
herd of, herd of horses and and hunt them,
you needed a lot of people.
So several bands might combine efforts for
a big hunt.
different bands traded some items
especially luxury items.
We, we spoke about it in the previous
lesson, things like seashells or
a rare, other rare stuff they might have
traded with one another.
They might have formed political alliances
against another band or against the
neanderthals.
And they might have come together
[INAUDIBLE]
a few times a year to celebrate common
religious festivals.
Such cooperation in econo, in the economy,
in politics, and religion
was one of the most important trademarks
of homo sapiens.
And this is what gave sapiens a crucial
advantage
[INAUDIBLE]
over the other human species.
This is exactly what sapiens could do, and
neanderthals could not do.
So it was very important, even though the,

the
relationships, the contacts were not on a
daily basis,
even if it was just every few months,
there
was some cooperation for religious or
political or economic purposes.
It was enough to give sapiens a huge
advantage
over the other human species.
most human bands lived in a particular
territory but not in one place.
they lived in constant movement, moving
for one
place to another place, in search of food.
their movements were dictated, were
influenced by the changing of the seasons.
Like in winter, we stay
here, in summer we go somewhere else.
there are influenced by the annual
migration of animals.
For instance, if we, if our band hunts
deer, so we have to
follow the migration of deer or wherever
the deer go, we also go.
And it follow the growth cycles of plants,
say in a,
in summers our mushrooms that go, that
grow in a particular valley.
So we go to that valley to pick mushrooms.
And then, after a month it's the time when
the nuts become plentiful on some hill.
So we go to that hill to eat nuts.
So we move, the band moves all the time
over inside its territory, which
could be quite a big territory between
several dozen and several hundreds square
kilometers.
And this is our territorial, home
territory and we just move
around it according to the, to the cycles
which are dis, discussed earlier.
There are also some exceptional cases when
food sources
were very plentiful in a particular area
that bands could
settle down in seasonal and even
multi-seasonal camps, like
having one camp for two months, six
months, even, even
[UNKNOWN]
one year.
Most importantly, along side seas and
oceans and rivers or lakes.
Rich in seafood.
And in the water boats, humans could set
up permanent fishing villages.
And these were the first permanent
settlement
in history long before the Agricultural

Revolution.
Fishing villages might have appeared on
the coast
of Indonesian islands as early as 45,000
years ago.
And this may have been the base for in
which homo sapiens launched its
first transoceanic enterprise, the
invasion of Australia,
which we'll discuss in the next lesson.
but in most areas human bands were moving
from place, from place to place feeding
themselves
from a very large variety of food sources.
This is another very important
characteristics of almost all human bands.
They did not live by eating just one
thing.
They live by eating a lot of things.
They ate insects and they picked berries
and mushrooms and nuts, and
they dug in the earth to look for all
kinds of edible roots.
And they trapped
rabbits and turtles and frogs, and they
hunted deer and bison and mammoth.
So they did not live
just by doing one thing.
In terms of calories a,
of nourishment and of a getting raw
materials for their tools, gathering
was usually, for most bands, more
important that hunting.
We are used to thinking about the ancient
humans as great
hunters and there is a lot of attention
being given to
the issue of the hunt.
But actually for most bands in most places
in the world, the gathering was more
important.
Most of the food, most of the
calories were obtained from gathering
mainly vegetable foods.
And also, most of the raw materials came
from gathering stones and
sticks, and then things like that, and not
from the bones or
ivory or skin of the animals, even this
too was very important to the gather
economy.
survival under such conditions dependent
on
the having superb physical and mental
skills.
Ancient foragers whereas fit, most of
them, not all
of them, but most ancient foragers whereas
fit as
Olympic marathon runners.

And constant usage of their bodies to


climb trees and to chase after rabbits and
to escape from tigers, gave our ancestor
the kind of physical dexterity that
people today are unable to achieve even
after years and years of practicing yoga
and Tai Chi, whatever you want, you
won't have the physical, the amazing
physical abilities
of ancient foragers.
To survive, you needed not only these
physical abilities but also very good
mental abilities and a lot of knowledge.
You needed, first of all, a detailed
mental map of your home territory.
As I said, each band lived inside a
home territory of, perhaps several dozen
or maybe
even several hundreds square kilometers.
And you needed to know your home territory
very, very well.
You needed to know the location of each
spring.
You needed to the location of each walnut
tree.
You needed to know where you can find good
stones to make sharp spear points and, and
knives.
So this required a lot of knowledge.
you also needed to know, to understand
animals and the animals
and the that you hunted and the plants
that you gathered.
And you needed to know all kinds of
technical skills, like, how to make a
stone knife,
how to mend a torn cloth, how to prepare a
trap for a rabbit or for a mammoth.
How to escape from avalanches,
from snakes, what do if a
[INAUDIBLE]
if you encounter a lion.
You needed to do all these kinds of things
yourself.
You, when you, when you missed something,
when you needed a tool,
you could not go to the store to buy what
you need.
And if the, if there was an emergency like
you went
to the forest and suddenly here is a lion,
what to do?
You could not call the police or the army
to help you, you needed to know yourself
what to do.
And mastery of each of these skills
required years upon years of
apprenticeship and practice.
This means that in all probability, the
average forager had wider, deeper, and

more varied knowledge of her immediate


surroundings
of her world than most people today.
Today most people in industrial societies
don't need
to know a lot in order to survive.
Think, think for a moment about your own
life.
What do you really need to know about the
natural world
and about the world that surrounds you in
order to survive?
For example, say that you are a computer
engineer, or
you're an insurance agent, or like me, or
history teacher.
What do you really need to know in order
to survive?
You need to know a lot about your own tiny
field
of expertise, like I need to know a lot of
history.
But about a vast majority of life's
necessities, I don't need to understand
them.
I just rely blindly on the help of other
experts, whose own
knowledge is also limited to a tiny field
of expertise.
Like if I again take myself as an example.
I have no idea how to obtain the food that
I eat in, that I eat each day.
I don't know how to grow wheat or how to
harvest it or how to even cook it.
I don't know how to prepare the clothes
that I'm wearing or the shoes that I'm
wearing.
Like this, this shoe.
Where was it made?
In, in Vietnam.
This shoe was made in, in Vietnam a few
years ago.
I have absolutely no idea who made it and
how.
If you put a gun to my head and you tell,
and you tell me, if
you are unable to prepare a shoe like,
like the one you are wearing, we kill you.
I will be dead.
I have absolutely no
idea how to even begin approaching this
task of manufacturing,
making the shoes that I'm wearing, and
that support me.
But 20,000 years ago or 50,000 years ago,
I had to
know to know, myself, how to obtain the
food that I'm eating.
I had to know myself, how to prepare the
shoes or the clothes that I'm wearing.

And even people helped


each other, of course, so maybe there was
somebody in the
band who was a much better at making shoes
than I am.
But he was a member of my band, I knew
intimately him or her, it wasn't some
strange people in Vietnam on the other
side
of the world from who I obtained the
shoes.
So, at the very least, I had to be
familiar, intimately familiar, with the
people who make my shoes,
and to be on good social relations with
them.
Otherwise, they, they wouldn't give me a
shoe.
Of course, the human collective, humanity
in, as a whole, knows
today much more than the ancient bands 50
thousand years ago.
We know not only how to grow wheat and how
to make shoes.
We know how to make spaceships and we know
how to split the atom and make atom bombs.
And we know how DNA works,
and things like that but we know that, at
the collective level.
the individual level each of us knows much
less than our great, great, great
grandmothers and grandfathers.
The ancient foragers, they were the most
knowledgeable and the most skillful
people in history on the individual level.
There is, in fact some
evidence that the size of the average
sapien's brain has been decreasing
gradually since the age of foraging, that
after the agricultural revolution, when
people started to live as peasant and
farmers and later, as workers
and city dwellers, the size of the human
brain began to shrink.
And, there is good reason why,
because survival in the era of
foraging required superb mental abilities
from everybody.
If you couldn't know all these things
yourself, you didn't survive.
But, when agriculture and industry came
along,
and when people started to live as
peasants
and, and city dwellers and so forth,
people
could increasingly rely on the skills of
others,
of complete strangers, for their survival.
And thereby, were opened kind of niches

for imbeciles.
that enable even people with a longer
mental
ability and smaller brains and less
knowledge to survive.
You could survive in a big city just by
working a machine in the factory.
You don't know much else
about anything but you know how to work
this machine
for 12 hours a day just making the same
movement.
And you get your salary, your small salary
and you survive.
Or in an agricultural village, you could
be
the village idiot who survives by carrying
water
in buckets from the river, from the well,
and the others pay you a little for this.
And you buy the, your food from them and
this is how you survive.
And you pass your genes to the next
generation,
and this is how over the centuries and the
millennia, it seems that the human brain,
in the
last 10,000 years, has been growing
smaller and smaller.
And the
[INAUDIBLE]
hunter gatherer way of life, they fared,
as we said earlier, they fared
significantly from region to region and
from season to season.
But on the whole foragers seem to have
enjoyed in much more comfortable, or at
least
a little more comfortable and revolving
lifestyle the
most of the people who came after them.
They not only
were more skillful and more
[INAUDIBLE]
knowledgeable and had bigger brains, they
also, in various ways, had
a better life.
A better life than the peasants and
laborers and office clerks who followed in
their footsteps.
Today, people in the most affluent
societies in the
world work on average about 40 to 45 hours
a week.
People in most of the world, in developing
countries,
work 50 and 60 and even 80 hours each
week.
This is the, the, the, the working week
hours.

In contrast, hunter gatherers seem to have


worked
on average, just 35 to 45 hours each week.
And, on average, it was enough to go
hunting one day out a every
three days.
And to go gathering
nuts and mushrooms and things like that
just three hours to six hours a day.
This was enough in most areas in normal
time to feed the whole band.
So hunter gatherers actually worked less
hours
than most people in the world even today.
On top of that,
foragers also enjoyed a lighter load of
household jobs household
thing, things that you have to do in the
house.
forager, unlike us, ancient foragers, when
they, when they
came back home after being in the forest
and hunting
a deer and they came back home, they did
not
have to wash the dishes, because there
were no dishes.
They did not have
to vacuum the carpets, because there were
no carpets.
They did not have to wash and clean the
floors, because there are no floors.
They don't have to change diapers to
the baby because the baby doesn't have
diapers.
It just do whatever it does.
And there are no bills to pay.
And there is, there is no all kinds of
arrangements to make.
So even after, after the official working
day, even after when that
was over, still, foragers had a more an
easier
lifestyle than many people today.
The forager
economy was characterized not only by the
fact that
people had to work less, but also by the
fact that most
people had more interesting careers as
hunters and gathers
than later on as peasants or workers in
industry.
Imagine, for example, the daily life of a
Chinese factory worker today.
So our model factory worker, she lives
somewhere in China today, say Shanghai.
And she leaves home, around seven in the
morning, and
then she had, she, she takes one hour to

make her
way through all the streets.
The polluted streets on, on buses and cars
and so forth, until she reaches her
workplace.
Some dreary sweatshop, where they produce
shoes like this.
And there in the sweatshop, what does she
do all day?
She operates the same machine in the same
way,
day after day after day, for say ten long
hours.
Many people today in the, in the third
world, the working day is ten hours long.
And after these ten long hours of working
as a machine pressing the same
[INAUDIBLE]
leather again and again and again.
She has, again, to return home through all
the traffic and the pollution.
And when she reaches home at seven in the
evening, now she has to wash
the dishes and do the laundry and take
care of the baby and all these things.
Now, go back 30,000 years ago and see
how a Chinese forager might have lived
back then.
She might have left camp with her
companions, say, at eight o'clock in the
morning.
And they would go together to rome, to, to
move around in the nearby forests and
then, then swamps, to gather mushrooms, to
dig up all kinds of
fruits that they can eat, to catch frogs
to fish, and to run away from
tigers and, and snakes that might have
been dangerous.
By early afternoon, say three o'clock or
four
o'clock, this group of gatherers they
would be
back, back at camp to, to share the food
that they gathered and to make lunch.
And that left them plenty of time
afterwards to gossip and tell stories and
to play with the children and just to hang
out and do nothing in particular.
Now, of course, it wasn't an ideal
lifestyle.
There were problems.
The tigers were
[INAUDIBLE]
moving around, sometimes caught them.
Or a snake might have bitten them, but at
least they didn't have
to deal with automobile accidents or
industrial
pollution, like people in, in today's

China.
In most places, in most times, it is
estimated that foraging
not only was more interesting than working
in the factory but it also
provided people with better nutrition than
industry or, or agriculture.
Evidence from fossilized skeletons this
archeologist have found indicate
that ancient foragers were less likely to
suffer from starvation or for malnutrition
and were generally taller and healthier
than the
peasants who came after them after the
cultural revolution.
Average life expectancy was still not
shorter than it is today.
Apparently, average life expectancy was
about 30 to 40
years, but this was the same as the
average life, life expectancy
200
years ago in the world.
And, also, it should be noted that this
relatively short, small life
expectancy was due largely to the high
incidence of child mortality.
When people hear that 40 that 30,000 years
ago
the average life expectancy was maybe 35
or 40.
They sometimes imagine that people who are
40
were already very, very old.
So, this is not the case, it's just a
classical misunderstanding of statistics.
The truth is, the child mortality was very
high.
Your chances of reaching the age of 15 or
20 were quite small.
It is estimated at about a quarter to a
third of babies, did not make
it into their adult years because there
was some
accidental, something happened to them and
they died before.
But if you managed to pass through, to
survive the
dangerous years of childhood and reached
the age of 20, you had
a pretty good chance of living to be 60,
70, or even 80.
People who are 40 years old were not old.
It's just a statistical mistake because
when you take
together the old people and the many
babies that die
in the first or second years, you come to
the result of the average life expectancy
of, of 40.

But again, if you lived to be 20 or even


15, you
had a pretty good chance of reaching to
the age of 60, 70,
and even 80.
what was exactly the foragers
secret of success, which protected them
from starvation and malnutrition?
Why do we say that foragers had better
diet than peasants who came after them.
The main reason is that foragers enjoyed a
very varied diet,
whereas peasants, most of the people after
the
[INAUDIBLE]
agricultural revolution, they were not
kings and princes and priests.
They're, they were peasants.
And the kings in the palace might have had
wonderful lunches but the
peasants, most of the population, they
suffered from a very unbalanced diet,
a very unbalanced nutrition, especially in
pre-modern times.
Most of the calories feeding
most of the agricultural population, most
of the peasants usually came from a
single crop or just one or two crops, like
wheat and potatoes or rice.
And when you, when most of your food comes
from a single source, it means that you're
in a high danger of not getting all the
vitamins and all the minerals and all the
other
nutritional materials that the human body
needs.
For example, in China, in southern China,
for thousands of years peasants have been
eating rice for breakfast and rice for
lunch and again rice for dinner.
Meanwhile, in Mexico, peasants were eating
maize for breakfast.
And for lunch maize, and for dinner maize.
70, 80,
sometimes 90% of the calories came from
this single source, of
rice or maize, in the middle east it was,
it was wheat.
And this is not healthy for people to eat
just one thing.
which may provide them with calories, but
does not provide them with all the various
again minerals and vitamins that they need
in order to keep themselves healthy.
In contrast, the ancient
foragers in most areas of the world ate
dozens of different food stuffs.
For example, you might eat mushrooms and
nuts for breakfast.
And then, for lunch you catch some frogs

and snails and you eat them.


And then, for dinner, the hunting party
comes back with mammoth steak.
And you eat mammoth, mammoth steak.
And then, the other day, you have
completely different foods to eat.
It's estimated that a typical forager band
ate dozens, and even hundreds,
of different foodstuffs, both animals and,
and vegetable foodstuffs.
This variety of food and showed that the
foragers would received all the necessary
vitamins and minerals and then, and other
nutrients.
There was another big advantage for
relying on the huge variety of food stuffs
and not just, on just rice, so just
potatoes or just wheat.
By not being dependent on a single kind of
food,
the foragers protected themselves from all
kinds of calamities which hit
a particular source of food.
In agricultural
societies sometimes there is famine or
drought
or fire that destroy the annual rice
crop or the annual wheat crop.
And then, a society, which is based on
rice or wheat starves because
if there's nothing else.
In a forager society, on the other hand,
because they eat so
many kinds of things, they are much more
protected against natural disasters.
They do suffer, they did suffer from time
to
time from difficult periods, when there's
not enough food.
But usually, they were able to deal with
such calamities more easily than peasants,
than farmers,
because if the foragers lost some of their
usual foodstuffs, because there was
drought, or fire, or
some other calamity, they could start
gathering on,
or hunting larger quantities of other
sources of food.
Or, they could simply move to a less
affected area because they lived
In a very big area, each band roaming over
dozens, even hundreds of kilometers.
So if there was flooding in the river and
it
destroyed many of the traditional things
that they used to eat,
some of them would move to the mountains
which were
not affected by the flood, and eat

whatever they found there.


Peasants, on the other hand, they live in
a
very small place, like a village next to a
river.
If the river suddenly floods, the rice
fields, or the wheat field, everything is
gone.
And most likely,
the peasants will die of starvation.
so ancient
foragers had a better nutrition.
They also had another big
advantage which is that they suffered less
from infectious diseases.
Many people don't know it, but actually
most of the infectious
diseases that have plugged, plagued human
societies from the cultural revolution
onwards, and which still harm us today,
like smallpox or measles or tuberculosis.
They originated
in domesticated animals like cattle and
horses and pigs.
And were transferred to humans only after
the Agricultural Revolution.
Even today you, almost every year, you
hear about
new diseases that are being transferred
from domesticated animals to humans, like
flu.
So you have the chicken flu and you have
swine flu, which starts with, with swine,
with pigs.
And it then moves on to humans.
Now, ancient foragers did not domesticate
any animals except for dogs.
So they did not receive any of these
deadly
diseases, any of these infectious
diseases.
And this is why ancient foragers suffered
far, far less than their descendants,
the peasants and the industrial workers,
as
they suffered far less from infectious
diseases.
Another reason why the foragers were less
effected by infectious diseases is that
they lived
in small communities, in small bands,
roaming around the country.
And these were not ideal places for
infectious diseases to take hold and
spread.
In later time, when people started to live
in cities, in permanent cities, lots of
thousands,
tens of thousands of seat of people living
in the same city, in the same place,

together with the garbage, and together


with the toilets,
and together with their pigs, the horses
and cattle.
So these were ideal hotbeds for infectious
diseases to start spreading around.
And this is why people after the
agricultural revolution, died in, in huge
numbers from these diseases, but hunter
gatherers, 20,000 years ago, they lived
in small bands of 50, 100 individuals.
And they moved all the time from place to
place,
not staying in one place, close to the
toilets and garbage.
So it was very unlikely that any
infectious disease could
take hold in such a band and begin to
spread around.
The wholesome and varied diet of the
ancient foragers, the relatively
short working week, and the rarity of
infectious diseases.
have led many experts to define
pre-agricultural
forager societies as the original affluent
society.
We are used to sit, to thinking about our
societies today.
at least the rich
societies like the USA or Sweden or Japan,
as affluent societies.
But, say, these experts, actually the
original affluent societies, which enjoyed
very
good conditions existed longer before the
Agricultural Revolution among these
hunters and gatherers.
However, it would be a mistake to focus
only on these good aspects and
to idealize the the lives of of the
ancient foragers.
Though they lived better lives than
most people in agricultural and industrial
societies,
the world of the ancient foragers could
still be very harsh and unforgiving.
The world period of difficulties and
hardship, child
mortality, as we discussed earlier, was
very high,
much higher than it is today.
Accidents, such as, falling from a tree
could easily become
a death, a death sentence because there
was no good medical care.
And most people probably enjoy, enjoyed
the close intimacy of the small band.
But if other people in the old band, for
some reason, didn't like you or objected

to the way
that you behave, they could make your life
hell.
And it was not like a big city or big
country
that you can move some, some place else,
somewhere else easily.
It's, could be very, very difficult in
such situation.
As we shall see later on in this lesson,
it is also likely that at least some bands
suffered from a high, even very high
levels of violence.
So, it is best neither to demonize nor
to idealize the lives of the ancient
foragers.
Their societies, just like our societies,
were very complex.
They had good aspects and they had bad
aspects.
They had good days and they had bad days.
It was not all the time wonderful.
I did, in the pre, in this segment,
I did try to focus more on the good
aspects of the lives of the ancient hunter
gatherers in
order to counter common prejudice of many
people today, who
think that history is a process of ongoing
progress, improvement.
And who think that
lives in previous eras, especially before
the, the appearance of agriculture and
village and cities, must have been
horrible, extremely difficult, and
extremely poor.
So, it was important for me to to show
that this is not the case,
that actually, life back then had many
positive aspects, and that history is not
always going from worse to better, from
bad to good.
But, there are good things that we have
lost on the way.
It is difficult for many people to
appreciate it, because they compare
it to their conditions today.
I guess many of the people who are
watching this lecture are not necessarily
poor peasants or poor workers in industry,
but many of you are actually, belong to
the middle class or
to the more more, more affluent layers of
society.
And when you compare the life of the
ancient foragers
to your life then they still look pretty
poor and disappointing.
But, if you do belong to one of the better
off classes in today's society,

you are not representative of the typical


person.
After the agricultural revolution, you are
not even
representative of the typical person today
in the world.
And it is wrong to judge what happened
along history from the
perspective of this tiny elite minority of
middle or upper class people today in
the world.
And if you judge history from the
viewpoint of the
more average person, like a simple peasant
or like a
simple factory worker, then you seem that
the agricultural revolution
was not such wonderful thing, not such a
wonderful idea.
And that in many respects, people 20,000
or 50,000 years ago had better lives.
And that in many respects, people 20,000
or 50,000 years ago had better
lives even than people today in the world.
In the next segment, we will try to gain a
deeper understanding of the
lives of our ancient ancestor by examining
not only
their their economic condition, what they
ate and how much they work.
But also by examining the spiritual and
religious beliefs, the politics, and the
question of war and violence
in the ancient world.
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