In many ways, Christians don’t think about the details of what fossil man did. Most books that even touch on them are very cursory in their treatment. I decided that one of the things I need to do before I check out of this world is to lay out my best case for Genesis 1-11 to be historical. As some know here, I have long advocated for an ancient Adam, one much older than any other Genesis Scholar. Unless one knows the detailed data of why this is necessary, one can’t make a proper judgement on my suggestion.
I put out my historical reading of Genesis 1 a couple of weeks ago and decided to do about 4 or 5 articles on why Adam has to be very old before putting out my view of how Genesis 2-3 can be viewed historically and scientifically correct. As I have noted before here, I think this is very important, and the reaction I have had to my Historical Reading of Genesis 1 article has been more than I have ever gotten in the past, so I think other people might find it helpful to them to see how other parts of Scripture can be made historically accurate. But it will take about 5 posts to lay out the case for an ancient Adam.
Above is the altar structure from the Neanderthal sanctuary at Bruniquel, France. This object is dated to a time long prior to the advent of any Homo sapiens in Europe. There was only one human tribe that could have made it—the much derided Neanderthals. This is truly strong evidence of their religious proclivities. There are loads of other examples on my blog above if anyone is interested. Those not interested, don’t bother to reply.
I have not brought over the entire post on Religion among Neanderthals and H. erecti. If one is interested one can find it at:https://themigrantmind.blogspot.com/2019/06/when-did-adam-live-part-1-religion_15.html/ Below is what I consider the most important evidence of Neanderthal religion because they did very similar things to what the Maya Indians did when they worshipped in caves.
Below is from my blog on Bruniquel.
One of the things in Anthropology that bothers me is that if evidence of some activity among modern humans is discovered, it is automatically accepted, but if it is associated with Neanderthals, far too many automatically reject it. They also say the above sites are old, excavated prior to more modern techniques and don’t prove evidence of Neanderthal religion. But they have trouble saying that about the Neanderthal altar found at Bruniquel during modern times, using modern excavation techniques and uranium dated in 2016.
At Bruniquel, France, archeologists have excavated a squarish stone structure dating to 176,000 years ago. The original article only says it is older than 47,600 years, so until I wrote this, I had been unaware of the new dating. The new dating makes this an extremely important religious site. In this cave Neanderthals built a structure in which they burned a bear. Here is a picture of the structure, made of fallen stalactites. That this is a structure made by man is clear because random falling of stalactites wouldn’t cause this arrangement. Falling stalacties would land randomly.
Bednarik (1996, p. 104) writes:
“The cave of Bruniquel in southern France has just produced fascinating new evidence. Several hundred metres in from the cave entrance, a stone structure has been discovered. It is quadrilineal, measures four by five metres and has been constructed from pieces of stalagmite and stalactite. A burnt fragment of a bear bone found in it was radiocarbon analysed, yielding a ‘date’ of greater than 47 600 years BP. This suggests that the structure is the work of Neanderthals. It is located in complete darkness, which proves that the people who ventured so deep into the large cave system had reliable lighting and had the confidence to explore such depths. Bruniquel is one of several French caves that became closed subsequent to their Pleistocene use, but were artificially opened this century.”
"This appears to have been the ritual sacrifice of a bear. It is also the first proof that man went deep into caves long before they painted the walls.12
Work stopped at Bruniquel for some time because the lead anthropologist died. Then in 2016 new work was done which makes Bruniquel an even more remarkable site and almost conclusive of religion among the Neanderthals. The radiocarbon date obtained in the 1990s had only said the site was older than 47, 600 years, but didn’t say how old. In 2016, Jacques Jaubert and a large team dated the structure by uranium dating. They say:
'Uranium-series dating of stalagmite regrowths on the structures and on burnt bone, combined with the dating of stalagmite tips in the structures, give a reliable and replicated age of 176.5 thousand years (±2.1 thousand years), making these edifices among the oldest known well-dated constructions made by humans. Their presence at 336 metres from the entrance of the cave indicates that humans from this period had already mastered the underground environment, which can be considered a major step in human modernity."13
So the oldest well dated construction is of a site where bears were burned, deep in a dark cave. It was made by Neanderthals. At such an old date, there were no modern humans in Europe who could have constructed this thing.
Modern humans also worship in caves, so this is a very human type of activity Possibly the oldest Christian Church was found in a cave from the first century.:
He described a circular worship area with stone seats separated from a living area that had a long tunnel leading to a source of water and said the early Christians hid there from persecution . "14
Furthermore, the Maya often made sacrifices in deep dark hard-to-get-to-areas of caves:
“Historical and ethnographic accounts have long noted that Maya groups, including those still in existence, regularly conduct ritual activities in caves near their communities. Maya religion focuses strongly on the earth, Brady asserts. Caves, often in conjunction with mountains and water, embody the earth’s fundamental power and lie at the center of a four-cornered universe. Maya caves frequently contain cenotes, openings to underground water sources that further establish the cave’s sacred status.” 15
One of the most famous of these Maya sites is Actun Tunichil Muknal where a maiden was sacrificed. To get to this Maya site requires a mile long trek including hiking, wading, and underwater swiming. They didn’t go there because it was easy to get to, just like at Bruniquel.
" The cathedral-like ceiling is gigantic and glistens from the cave crystals. Enormous stalactites hang from the ceilings connecting to stalagmites creating giant pillars. The cave contains all shapes and sizes of pottery- even as big as beach balls. Archaeologist found remains such as nuts, seeds and spices inside the pots. Ceramics inside the cave were marked with kill holes indicating that they were used specifically for ceremonial purposes. “The Monkey Pot” is one of the four found in all of Central America".
" At the end of the highest chamber lies the magnificent “Crystal Maiden”. The skeleton of a 20 year old Mayan woman who’s death was believed to be a great sacrifice to appease the rain gods . This skeleton is covered in calcium carbonated crystals from the river flooding and receding over time. The magnificent maiden has drawn thousands to this sacred cave.16
To me it seems inescapable that Bruniquel is a Neanderthal religious site. It seems silly to think they went 336 meters, 1000 feet, into a dark cave just to barbeque the bear for dinner. Those who want to exclude Neanderthals from humanity’s circle can only do so by totally ignoring things like Bruniquel. The conclusion I draw here is that if Neanderthals were ritually sacrificing bears 176 thousand years ago, Thus, to say they couldn’t do it at Drachenloch, Regardou, Petershohle, Wilddmannlisloch and other sites at 80,000 years ago is illogical. The possibility that Neanderthals passed their bear cult religion to modern humans is a quite fascinating and quite likely idea. The circumpolar bear cult may be at least 176,000 years old.