Thursday, September 16, 2010

Beads: The Dawn of Civilization

This video is worth a watch.  The Mind's Big Bang.

It suggests the beginning of civilization is when humans were no longer merely surviving but creating artifacts of social identify.  And those artifacts were beads!  It's fascinating to think that the first spark of humans needing to express themselves were fashioned in bead form.


Alice said...

Heather, my heart goes pitter patter when I see things like this. Sometimes I wish I could have been an archeologist (if if weren't for the long days without A/C and adequate toilet facilities).

When I was young, my father would take us hunting for arrowheads on the banks of our local creeks. To most kids this would sound boring, but to me it was heaven to find a piece of the past. Sometimes we found the tiniest of bird points, or a large knife formed out of the local flint.

Every vacation we took included hunting for arrowheads, or digging for fossils or diamonds (much to the frustration of my mother).

Even today we take our kids to the creeks, and are lucky to find krinoids drilled precicely into beads by the natives that roamed the area. What a thrill to have a small peak into the past.

artybecca said...

Well, maybe this explains the love of beads that some of us's genetic memory! 43,000 years ago...and that beader's non-bead friends probably didn't understand their love of beads either! :o)

JeannieK said...

Great video THANKS. Love Liam Neeson.
I wonder how much those beads would go for?

Patty said...

This was wonderful! My favorite quote was this:

"People have tended to look at beads and suggest that people were just sort of playing around. But in fact, we know here at Kestlemarough (sp?) they were spending thousands of hours making beads when they could have been doing other things that we might think to be more productive."

Most of us here can relate to the "thousands and thousands of hours" part, and I think we're still engaged in social communication using these wonderful miniature artifacts.

This video was a great find - thanks for sharing.