SOC250Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Behavioral Modernity, Cave Bear, Stone Slab

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Published on 21 Nov 2012
School
UTSG
Department
Sociology
Course
SOC250Y1
Professor
Soc Lecture 9
Pre history phase
Rise of the state phase
Flow chart polytheism (textbook has detail on it, journey east and journey west) download.
Orient- features contemplation- focused on thy-self
wisdom-exemplary, holy figures
salvation- through gnosis, illumination,
transcending- the self,
pantheism- cyclical cosmology
validation- of the social order
cyclical cosmologies
Occident- features asceticism- focused on conduct, must follow certain rules, prophets have been told
messages to give to us ‘the people’- we listen to these messages and hold the ones that received them
first hand to be sacred.
revelation- emissaries, prophets,
salvation through conduct- ethical submit to God’s commands,
monotheism- historical eschaton
Judgement day
Phase One- Pre-history
From 2.5 million to 3500 BCE
Evidence- cave paintings, burial sites and cultural survivals. No signs that pre-human hominids were
capable of religious thought. Assumption: similar social organization = similar cultures
Neanderthals c 230 000 to 30 000 BCE
Burial customs- deliberate placement of some bodies in natural and excavated sites, arranged in
crouching, fetal positions? With floral bouquets? This placement of bodies means some sort of
tradition and respect- symbolic activity going on. But they may not believe in an after-life.
Cult of cave bear- arrangement of bear skulls, on elevated slabs/altars- a form of cultic activity
Contemporary example- Pygmies of the Congo- must prepare for the hunt: they leave camp at
sunrise- clear a patch of ground- finger trace in the sand- pray- the suns rays hit the patch- they
step in a shoot an arrow in the sky- run off and kill an antelope. Prayer of the hunt- magic of the
hunt- flow into Malinowski theory!
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Document Summary

Flow chart polytheism (textbook has detail on it, journey east and journey west) download. Wisdom-exemplary, holy figures salvation- through gnosis, illumination, transcending- the self, Validation- of the social order cyclical cosmologies. Evidence- cave paintings, burial sites and cultural survivals. No signs that pre-human hominids were capable of religious thought. Neanderthals c 230 000 to 30 000 bce. This placement of bodies means some sort of tradition and respect- symbolic activity going on. But they may not believe in an after-life. Cult of cave bear- arrangement of bear skulls, on elevated slabs/altars- a form of cultic activity. Prayer of the hunt- magic of the hunt- flow into malinowski theory! Burial customs- deceased interred near their shelters or camps, or in grottos. Cave paintings- a rich artistic display, typically located in the deepest recesses of caves (so not likely for home decoration)

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