It’s easy to imagine ancient hunter-gatherers as people who lived in a grotesquely backwards society. Without our modern amenities, and technology surely they couldn’t have been living happy fulfilling lives. But, we shouldn’t be so quick to judge our ancient ancestors. Although they lacked our medical science, the smaller communities they lived in meant diseases were much less common. They also ate a diet rich in a variety of foods, and got plenty of exercise. However, the most enviable difference is probably the mild work schedule they followed. Hunter-gatherers would work 3 days a week, and spend the rest of their time, relaxing, hanging out, and fornicating.
Many people in the modern world struggle to eat, and live. Children work for hours in sweatshops, for meagre sums, and sleep in squalid environments. Yet, it’s fascinating to discover ancient tribes that lived lives of abundance, with seemingly more food and they knew what to do with. Two 34,000 years old bodies, were found buried in Siberia. The 10 and 12 year old boys were buried with 10,000 mammoth Ivory beads, more than 20 armbands, 300 fox teeth, 16 ivory mammoth spears, and carved artwork, and deer antlers. There was also an adult buried, with significantly less riches. This finding shows that some ancient tribes lived lives of abundance, and could hunt mammoths with such ease that they had more spoils than they knew what to do with.
Of course, the life of a hunter-gatherer wasn’t heaven. They were nomads who were constantly moving, and it was a physically demanding life. Those who couldn’t keep up may have been abandoned, or even killed to not slow the group down. A snake, or spider bite could prove fatal, and illnesses we may brush of in the modern world, could have been fatal for them. Despite this, they were still living rich fulfilling lives, but this would all change with the introduction of a single food source. The simple discovery or wheat, would lead to a world much harsher and more deadly than the one they were currently living in.
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari