Human Evolution was Sculpted by Floods, Birds, Fire, Insects and Warfare

by superpsychologist, Raymond Lane

[Note: Archaeology provides artifact evidence about human evolution obtained from site excavations. Anthropology adds information about the beliefs and customs of primitive cultures. Superpsychology adds a further ingredient of how unresolved traumas alter the perception and behaviour of both individuals and societies. It is able to make clearer sense of social trends and odd and violent behaviours throughout history.]

The origin of the human species revolves around the factors of bipedality, retardation of canine teeth, tool making, and superorganism behaviour (e.g., colony building and warfare). Most explanations of human species development make little reference to environmental disasters or interactions with other organisms (aside from hunting). However, superpsychology research shows that humans were not only affected by environmental disasters, but also studied how other organisms lived and even adopted from them some attributes that they found useful to their own survival. This article explores the factors that caused separation from other apes, and the development of the species in terms of following birds, using fire, colony building, and engaging in warfare.

Surviving a Flood

East Africa is considered the birthplace of the human species. This region has the prominent geological feature of the Great Rift Valley. It is a series of depressions (rifts) in the Earth's crust caused by the separation of two tectonic plates. It is about 5000 km (3107 mi) long and from 30-100 kilometres (19-62 mi) wide. It has an unusual variety of features: rivers, freshwater lakes, soda lakes, hot springs, up to 2,000 metre-high (6,562') cliffs, and about 20 volcanoes. It supports a great diversity of wildlife. The area was (and still is) subject to floods, drought, fire, earthquakes, and volcanism. These are all potential sources of social trauma (or supertrauma) for a species, and early hominid remains have been found within this region.
Hominids split from the ape line about 10-5 million years ago, then shared the following Pliocene Epoch with numerous ape species. While apes only perform some activities bipedally, hominids may have become increasingly bipedal in order to exploit ground and/or near-ground food sources that other tree-dwelling apes were not exploiting. They returned to the trees for safety and to sleep at night.
Around 6 million years ago, our ancestors' canine teeth began to recede for some reason. Ardipithecus kadabba (c. 5.8 million years ago) may have been the first species to diverge from the apes. This is because its tooth remains include a self-sharpening upper canine that is shared by monkeys and apes, but is smaller in size. From therapy we know that unresolved trauma has the power to repress genetic expression in individuals. And from the laws of pain we know that the repression of genetic expression within a species - often associated with superorganism behaviour - is caused by social trauma. Any source of trauma is possible - such as those described above - but floods are probably the most likely. This is because most superorganisms are ground and/or near-ground dwelling species. They include organisms like thrips, aphids, roaches, ants, termites, wasps, bees, mole rats, and canids. For them, floods are the most common hazard, but also the most survivable. Some superorganisms also display skill at dealing with water - suggesting previous trauma from flooding. For example, ants form bridges and rafts with interlocked legs, while mole rats move to higher ground when water is rising.
By spending a lot of time on the ground, hominids were also susceptible to floods. A group of hominids may have become caught in a turbulent flood and had to struggle to keep their heads above water and/or hang on to each other to prevent being swept away. While some would have perished, the surviving members became the stock from which the human species developed. This event infected the group with unresolved traumatic energy, which bound the members into a tighter, more interdependent form and began to retard this line's genetic features - firstly, their canine teeth.
Remains of another ancestor, Ardipithecus ramidus (c. 4.5 million years ago) have been found at a site in Ethiopia where various watercourses existed and remains of mole rats have also been found, amongst other animals. Humans also have a history of flood trauma - for example, most cultures have a flood legend. And we have displayed great skill at dealing with water - for example, irrigation, bridges, aqueducts, dams, and drawing hydroelectric power from rivers.

Following Vultures

Hominids had no defence against predators once the canine teeth began to recede in size. So they had to carry large sticks in their hands for this purpose. However, such sticks would also have been used in spats between groups, since throughout history the same weapons used against animals have also been used against other humans. A stick defence would also have allowed for wider foraging and, hence, opportunistic scavenging of meat. At around 3 million years ago, our ancestors suffered another social trauma. Again, any source is possible, but the resultant behaviour change indicates that this trauma specifically killed adults. A natural disaster kills indiscriminately, while predators kill the young. The one social trauma that mainly kills adults is fighting. Australopithecine stick-weilding spats may have become increasingly intense, leading to the culling of adults from the losing group. Returning to the scene later, the group's adolescents and young would have received a double shock: realising that they were suddenly left without worldly guidance and a territory; and witnessing their adult carers being devoured by vultures. Unable to resolve this trauma they attributed vultures with intelligence and caring qualities (this is known as transference: transfering the qualities of one being onto another), and that they regenerated the dead (this is known as symbolism). Normally, losing a territory would lead to starvation, but having "latched onto" vultures as substitute adults, this orphaned group was now provided with a food source (vultures circle high above carcasses). This behaviour trait "stuck" over following generations and, so, it was this group of vulture-following apes that became the final progenitors of the human species. This social trauma acted to knock our ancestors right off the normal path of ape evolution and onto a unique path of evolution where they learnt from birds rather than from apes.
Precedents for the above types of violence and trauma have been filmed in the wild. A group of chimpanzees in Tanzania (Gombe National Park) beat to death by hand all the males and some females of a neighbouring group and claimed their territory. And an adolescent lioness in Kenya - who suffered the trauma of her pride being killed by local herders - captured a series of four or five young oryx (normally a prey item) as substitute companions.

Human Species Development

Following is a table that outlines the key stages of human species development. The left column addresses birds and fire, the right column addresses warfare and colony building (superorganism behaviour), while the centre column lists brain sizes for hominids and population figures from the last Ice Age onwards.


Birds & Fire
Warfare & Colony Building
3 million years ago
3 million years ago
Meat Eating
Meat eating was learnt by witnessing the lammergeyer taking carcass bones into the air and dropping them onto rocks below, then feeding on the exposed marrow within. Australopithecines then broke carcass bones open with stones to feed on marrow and brains. This allowed for a more regular meat supply, rather than the previous opportunistic efforts of eating scraps of flesh. The first species to become a dedicated meat eater was probably Australopithecus africanus. They may have lived nearby to vultures.
Sticks and Stones
Like sticks, stones would also have been used in spats between hominids.
2.6 million years ago
  The first evidence of stone tools appear, but their maker is unknown. It indicates a hominid relying more on meat eating. Making stone tools is hard, time-consuming work, and this could only have been engaged in by a driven being.
2 million years ago
2 million years ago
Tool Making
The need to get to carcass sites to obtain more meat improved the hominid gate. This new hominid was Homo habilis, whose remains have been found along with stone tools. H. habilis may have developed basic sounds and gestures to communicate tool-making skills to following generations, because technology often spurs new language to explain items and procedures. They may have frequented crags or watersides for a rock supply to work, adopted pair-bonding from birds (which helped to reduce dimorphism in the species), and developed a simple vulture mythology to pass on to following generations.
Sharp Tools
Sharper stone tools also made for sharper weapons in hominid spats - and more trauma.
1.9 million years ago
The value of fire was initially learnt by following more birds (like the grasshopper buzzard-eagle, woolly-necked stork, and black kite) hunting around the edge of natural fires for fleeing and dead creatures. This hominid - perhaps Homo rudolfensis - also got a taste for cooked meat. Fire then became associated with vultures (representing all meat-eating birds), as was the sun since it was like a fireball in the sky.
1.8 million years ago
1.8 million years ago
Learning about Fire
Fire was a "hot tool" that proved to be as big a development for prehistoric humans as the invention of the wheel in ancient times. Fire could attract flying insects for food, attract and destroy mosquitoes, mould wood through heat (to produce straight aerodynamic spears and hardened spear points), cauterise wounds, destroy harmful microorganisms in cooked food (and thus improve health), flush out animals to be killed, and keep predators at bay. Fire could also heat rocks to provide lingering warmth after a fire waned. Heated rocks could be placed around and inside large game for roasting in a pit oven. Heated rocks dropped into a container of water could boil water, making it able to cook foods - including new foods like grains - and, again, to destroy harmful microorganisms.
Water splashed onto hot rocks could produce steam that could be used to mould wood, or as a steam bath within a shelter. Smoke from fire could be used to preserve meat - thus extending the time between hunts, and be fashioned into signals to communicate over long distances - thus extending language capability.
Fire use made H. erectus a sophisticated hominid - master of day and night. Eventually, they learnt to make fire themselves with sticks and flint.
Fire was the light of social consciousness; it was around fire that many later advances in human development were undoubtedly conceived.

Fire Capture
Homo erectus probably ran to carcass sites to obtain the most amount of meat possible. It was competition over carcasses that sculpted the human body: long legs for running and short arms for fighting. They also developed sharp, pointed hand-axes to quickly butcher carcasses for return to camp, and to sculpt long sticks into spears for hunting small to medium-sized animals. (Ironically, hand-axes were similar in shape to the canine teeth that had receded in size.)
For about 1 million years the range of H. erectus' tools did not change probably because they were learning about fire. There are both physical and psychological reasons for capturing fire. Firstly, they were in danger of suffering hypothermia during the cold night because their body hair was receding. Secondly, their life was becoming increasingly violent by risking attack from the top predators at carcass sites and from hunted animals, and by using sharper weapons in hominid spats. This led to proportionately more injuries and deaths - thus creating a buildup of traumas that manifested itself as nightmares, bad dreams, and general fear of the dark. The earliest appearance of monsters in dreams would have been very frightening. So H. erectus brought fire into the camp - about 1.5-1 million years ago - to extend daylight conditions, thus delaying sleep, calming children, and staving off the perceived bad spirits of night. (Fire has been mankind's night time companion ever since.)
For centuries H. erectus may have worked to keep their campfires alive because at that time they could not make fire. When a fire went out, they had an anxious wait to recapture it. The new troubles of trying to keep fire alight, defending against bad spirits, and needing to understand a more puzzling world may have caused H. erectus to develop a broader language and firmer mythology (that included other elements like water and the moon). Additionally, the extended evening may have been filled with simple stories, dances and rituals to teach lessons, pass on mythology, and as purification devices against spirit possession.

Fighting Ritual
A fighting ritual developed from this time involving males clubbing each other about the head to settle disputes. H. erectus may have believed that such a practice would also strengthen the head against night time spirits. Some scholars attribute this practice with the thickening of the H. erectus skull over the length of its reign. The evidence includes skull X (of Peking man) that has a healed depressed fracture.

1.6 million years ago
1.6 million years ago
Sharper tools and fire made portable shelters possible, and helped facilitate migration: firstly a trickle from about 1.6 million years ago, then a stream from 1 million years ago to Europe and 500,000 years ago to Asia and Indonesia. From H. erectus onwards, humans were also more substantial cave dwellers. Most hominid caves exist in mountainous areas overlooking valleys where migratory herds would graze. So when hominids migrated they were moving from mountain range to mountain range. This way of life was just like the birds of prey that they reverenced. When H. erectus migrated they must have had one eye on the migrating herd as potential food, and one eye on the bird of prey (some of whom follow migratory herds) for spotting carcasses (since H. erectus was not a big-game hunter).
With experience, they could have followed other migratory birds to a variety of food sources, like roosting sites (for eggs and fledglings) and feeding grounds (for fruit, berries, vegetation, seeds and seafood). Following birds would also explain hominid sites unusually located on coastlines and on opposite sides of peninsulars, since they lie on bird migration routes.
850-1000 Migration
The reasons offered for hominid migration have included following migratory herds or following a spreading favourable climate. But hominids may also have migrated to get away from increasing social violence, or having been ostracised from the social group by their own violence.
400,000 years ago

Dominance of the Sense of Sight
By the time of the emergence of Archaic Homo sapiens the sense of sight had become preeminent over other senses. DNA research indicates that the sense of smell had also declined in sensitivity compared to other animals. Ironically, this made humans even more like the Old World vultures that they reverenced, who have a well-developed sense of sight but no sense of smell.

Conceptualising Gods
H. sapiens may also have developed more involved stories, rituals and ceremonies - as well as spending more time conceptualising. For example, two artifacts of crude stone figurines (partially naturally formed) - found in Morocco and Israel - and a few giant hand-axes suggest that H. sapiens (or late H. erectus) may have started to conceptualise human-based spirits/gods.

160,000 years ago

Hunting Big Game
Homo sapiens idaltu remains, found at an old lake shore in Ethiopia, show that the people were a little larger and stronger than modern humans. This has been attributed to living a tough life hunting large animals. Big game hunting required social cooperation.

Ancestor Worship
H. s. idaltu skull remains show signs of defleshing and polishing, which suggests some form of mortuary ritual - possibly ancestor worship. Such a practice is related to belief in spirits.

130,000 years ago
130,000 years ago
Neandertals are the first to make musical instruments (late in their reign). They were flutes and whistles crafted from the bones of animals and birds.

Many Neandertal remains show signs of healed fractures - mostly to the upper body. This suggests a tough life involving any number of activities: hunting large animals, carrying heavy carcasses, lifting boulders to drop over cliffs onto animals below, ritual wrestling/fighting, and/or ritual feats of strength.

Deliberate Burial
Neandertals were the first hominids to deliberately bury their dead. They placed some items in the grave, including a stone slab over the head. This may have been done as protection against spirits of the dead escaping from the head.

At several Neandertal sites, cut and split Neandertal bones mixed in with animal bones suggest that Neandertals engaged in cannibalism.

60,000 years ago

Aboriginal Fighting Ritual
Australian Aborigines were very religious and believed in spirit beings. They also had thick skulls. Of a study of 430 skulls, 59 percent female and 37 percent male showed signs of healed depressed fractures. This has been attributed to ritualised fighting to settle disputes that included clubbing of the opponent's head. This appears to have been a continuation of the same practice engaged in by H. erectus more than a million years earlier.

Wrestling was probably one of humankind's earliest pastimes. New World settlers noted its practice by American Indians.

30,000 years ago
30,000 years ago

H. s. sapiens invented a portable firelight, in the form of the stone lamp, that allowed them to work separately and for longer periods at night, thus facilitating specialisation of work and artistic expression. One of the earliest artistic artifact created was the raptor talon pendent - indicating how prominent birds were in human minds. Few birds appear in cave art perhaps because humans were still seeing themselves as akin to birds. For example, a bird-headed human was depicted at Lascaux Cave, and an owl-faced anthropomorph at Les Troi Frères, Ariège, France. Meanwhile, some mother goddess figures had bird attributes of eyes, beak and/or feet. And in Siberia, figurines of diving waterfowl as well as bird pillars suggest close observation and reverence of birds respectively.

Feathered Arrow
The major weapon advance of the Ice Age was the bow and arrow. The projectile's design was refined by adding feathers to its tail to make it "fly" straighter. Humans must have studied bird flight to understand that tail feathers were used for direction and stability and that the same principle would apply to the bow's projectile.


Homo sapiens sapiens were burying their dead with ceremony, trinkets, and beads. Of special interest, though, was the inclusion of headbands, some of which were still in place around the deceased's skulls. Finds have been composed of shell, ivory, and animal teeth.
There is no doubt about the cause of this phenomenon: the headband is a clear symbol of the trauma of crowning at birth. Crowning occurs when the top of the baby's head protrudes from the birth canal, but at the same time the vaginal muscles form a painful tight ring around the head. The inventors of the headband would have been suffering from a recurring sensation of tightness around the head into adult life, as well as recurring headaches. The headband would have acted to mask this nervotension and give it symbolic meaning - such as a sign of a mighty warrior or chief. The Merck Manual of Medical Information notes the band of pain in its description of tension headaches: "A steady, moderately severe pain often occurs above the eyes or in the back of the head; a feeling of tight pressure, like a band around the head, may accompany the pain".
Birth trauma was occurring because the accumulation of trauma in the species - especially from clubbing of the head - was increasing the size of foetal heads during gestation. Babies' skulls were no longer easily passing through the birth canal, thereby infecting infants with distress and pain. In essence, the people never really experienced their birth, because they were rendered unconscious of it due to its large degree of pain.
Such birth nervotrauma would have led to mother goddess worship, the establishment of royalty (a queen), concept of an afterlife, and increased tribal warfare. This is because from therapy we know that birth nervotrauma implants in its sufferers an intense feeling of repression that causes them - as adults - to either develop a subordinate manner (and worship others) or a dominant manner (trying to conquer others), and/or a propensity towards fighting.

Headhunting was practiced in numerous primitive cultures up to European colonisation. It was engaged in for complex ritual purposes, including to help complete mourning of the dead, and as an expression of manhood. Headhunting of enemies - often associated with cannibalism and head shrinking - is (psychologically speaking) an expression of dominance over another. The head was prized and displayed. Such practices were also related to belief in spirits.

Mass Extinction
Besides climate change, a number of factors may have been responsible for the extinction of many species - including megafauna - by the end of the last Ice Age. They include the use of fire in hunting and to regenerate the land, the effectiveness of composite tools (the hafted spear, spearthrower, and bow and arrow), and animals becoming a target for increased human aggression.

Further Genetic Retardation
Skin pigmentation began ro recede (become lighter) in Europeans, Asians and Americans due to an increasingly stressful life aided by living indoors in cold climes.

Learning from other Species
Humans began studying animals and insects more closely, but could only draw animals in cave art. They began worshipping a mother goddess, adopted a division of labour from insect superorganisms, and modelled Venus figurines on the bulbous insect queen.
Remnants of insect reverence can still be seen in indigenous peoples of today. For example, the Bambara and Dogon of Mali and the Yanomamo of Brazil (ants and/or termites important in cosmology); the people of Zambia (the wasp as giver of fire to humankind); and numerous cultures (the bee as a symbol for the soul).

10,000 years ago
10,000 years ago

By the end of the last Ice Age, reduced animal numbers led to humans turning to waterbirds for guidance this time and they adopted a fishing and fowling lifestyle along waterways (the Mesolithic). They may have even employed birds to catch fish for them as some fishermen still do today.

Bird, Fertility, and Water Symbols
The earliest, regularly used symbols in artwork were of the meander, 'M' shape, and the chevron (a 'V' shape pointing in any direction). The former two are believed to have symbolised water, while the chevron is believed to have symbolised fertility (AKA the pubic triangle). But the latter two may have also conveniently symbolised birds - particularly waterbirds. This is because large waterbirds adopt an 'M'-shaped profile when gliding, and flocks (like ducks, geese, and spoonbills) form a 'V'-shape when flying.
Some Venus figurines were depicted as bird-like and decorated with these symbols - indicating that the mother goddess was associated with water, fertility, and birds.

Fire Weapons
Humans began building more solid structures. But during times of conflict quick destruction of such structures was necessary for victory, so fire was combined with weapons for this purpose in the form of the torch and flaming spear and arrow.


Some humans were being treated with the crude brain operation of trepanation: the cutting of a hole in the skull, then covering it with a piece of gourd, stone, shell, or precious metal. The practice was used to treat recurring headaches, fractures, epilepsy, and other mental afflictions. So far, Asikli Hoyuk (Anatolia) contains the first evidence of trepanation. It was practised in many regions even up to the Middle Ages.

Head Binding
Trepanning is also found in conjunction with head binding (or molding): the most widespread form of body modification. The newborn's head was bound tightly with fibre or fabric for about the first 6 months of life, which fixed the skull into (usually) an elongated shape. It appears to have been an effort to retain the elongated skull shape that newborns have (due to the pressure of the birth canal muscles temporarily deforming the pliable skull). The general belief may have been that the elongated skull of the newborn was natural and so was free of headaches, troubles and perceived evil spirits, whereas the rounded skull of older people was accompanied by such problems. It was another attempted remedy for the effects of birth trauma - a severer form of the headband. The advent of both trepanation and head binding indicate more widespread birth nervotrauma in society after the last Ice Age.

With the rise of civilisation - including commerce, crime, and warfare - beheading became the most prominent capital punishment. It was used against criminals, enemies, revolutionaries and monarchs, and the heads were put on display as a warning to others. Beheading was the ultimate display of dominance over others - and of humiliation towards others.


After the Ice Age, the Indo-Europeans emerged as cultural leaders. At the major settlement of Çatal Hüyük (Anatolia) - of about 6,500 BC - reverence was shown towards the vulture, leopard, and bull, as they were prominent in artwork (and each had shrines). These were the main animals that early hominids interacted with. In fact, the people of a number of early Fertile Crescent settlements exposed their dead to vultures and reverenced animals like the bull and feline.

Çatal Hüyük's wealth was achieved by monopolising the trade in the black volcanic glass of obsidian - yet another fire-made substance. Its hard and ultra-sharp edges made it ideal for weapons like arrowheads and spearpoints.

Clay became an important material during the Neolithic. Sun-dried clay bricks were used for building, while moulded pottery was also sun-dried. Then fires burning at higher temperatures were achieved by enclosing them in walls (a kiln). Such fires hardened clay pottery to make it more durable (stoneware).


Storing Grains and Domesticating Animals
Neolithic humans began storing grain foods - a prelude to farming - and experimented with domestication of animals. It is possible that they learnt these skills from studying ant superorganisms. Many ant species collect and store seeds, while some keep and protect "herds" of aphids (called "cows") to feed off the honeydew they exude. In their own small way, ants were agriculturists long before humans.

Modeling Civilisation on the Honeybee / Wasp Superorganisms
Neolithic humans studied the insect's role as a crop pollinator - particularly bees and wasps - to learn farming. They provided nearby lodgings for honeybees and modeled their society on the honeybee and wasp superorganisms by worshipping a mother goddess, following a queen, and building "beehive" shaped homes.
Other, later, insect influences may have included some or all of the following: the potter wasp (possibly inspiring the making of pottery via its tiny vase-like egg chambers); the dragonfly (possibly inspiring the Egyptian obelisk via its resting posture of pointing its long abdomen towards the sun); the paper wasp (reportedly inspiring Ts'ai Lun of China to make paper via its paper hive); and the silkworm (inspiring the Chinese to harvest the silken thread from its cocoon).

By 6,000 BC, the advanced agricultural settlement of Jericho became the first fortress, as it was surrounded by a wall and a moat. This suggests that raiding and warfare had become commonplace.

Ancestor Worship
The people of Jericho buried their dead under the floors of their houses. After some time they removed the skulls and filled in their features with clay and shells for the purpose of ancestor worship. Similar practices were a feature of a number of early settlements.

The Great Flood
The Great Flood of legend may have occurred when humans first began farming. This was a new way of life that depended on watercourses for food production. The earliest major flood that destroyed crops and homes and killed people and livestock would have been a powerful social trauma.


The Development of the Wheel
Wheels began to be devised to improve productivity. They were employed in the quern - two grinding stones used for grinding cereal grains, and the potter's wheel - upon which pots were turned. Then the wheel was applied to the cart, which replaced the pack animal and revolutionised transport.

Bird, Fire and Sun Reverencing
People still continued to reverence birds, fire and the sun during antiquity. All three (in both Old and New World cultures) were interrelated in that the sun was considered the sky fireball, fire was its earthly form, and the vulture was the intermediary between the two - and (according to some cultures) gave fire to humankind. All three were attributed the same qualities of purification, regeneration and fertility. Most cultures had bird, fire and sun spirits or gods, as well as sacred hearth fires that were restarted annually as a part of the New Year celebration. Societies kept fire alive to ward off evil spirits - thus continuing on the practice begun by H erectus more than a million years earlier.
The Indo-European-derived cultures - like the Hindus, Persians, Greeks and Romans - were particularly strong bird and fire reverencing cultures. For example, the Persians exposed their dead to vultures, kept a sacred flame burning, and worshipped on mountains. Prometheus was the Greek vulture god who gave fire to mankind. The Romans used the flight of vultures for augury, and its legion adopted the eagle banner. Meanwhile, Egyptian royalty wore vulture headdresses. Even in early Christianity Mary and Jesus were associated with the vulture and eagle respectively.


Endemic Warfare
Early civilisations began to divide internally into classes, indicating a level of social oppression, specialisation of work, and use of slaves. Endemic warfare involved one culture trying to dominate other areas and peoples by bringing them under unified control. This afforded them territory, wealth, status, many new workers, and helped to prevent attack and conquest by those other areas. This social behaviour was common in Mesopotamia - the "cradle of civilisation". Raiding other human colonies and bringing the inhabitants under one rule is similar colony building behaviour to ant superorganisms.

War Chariots
The development of the wheeled cart led to battle-wagons being used as fighting platforms in war and, later, to fast horse-drawn chariots that terrorised early armies.

War against Animals
As warfare increased amongst humans, a war was also being played out against the animal kingdom. There were parallels between the treatment of animals and the treatment of enemies. For example, the art of early civilisations often depicted kings, gods, and goddesses trampling on animals, and the former two also trampling on enemies. A relevant artifact includes the Gebel-Arak knife (c. 3,500 BC) that has an ivory handle carved with a hunting scene on one side and a battle scene on the other. This clearly indicates that hunting and warfare were activities seen in the same light. Meanwhile, Heredotus describes the Thracians as killing animals bare-handed.
Mesopotamian stamp and cylinder seals often employed scenes of violence towards animals to intimidate thieves.
Dominance over animals reached a peak by Roman times. Thousands of animals were captured and brought to the amphitheatre to be killed in mock hunts and battles, including crocodiles, elephants, rhinoceros, giraffes, lions, and leopards. Some species were almost driven to extinction. The animal carnage is similar to the behaviour of army ants that go out on determined hunting forays and carry back to their nest any larger creatures that they come across.

War against Children
Not only were there wars with humans and animals, but there was also a growing war with children. Plato states that the attitude towards children in the Ancient World was that they were wild and needed to be tamed (through education).
On an ancient Egyptian clay tablet a child wrote of being beaten in conjunction with schooling. The ancient Greeks and Romans abandoned unwanted children in the hills as if they belonged to the wild. Spartan boys in army training (begun from age seven) were treated "no better than animals", and some were beaten to death by other boys during tests of skill. And Spartan babies considered too weak for life were tossed over a ravine outside of the city. The Spartans, and many other ancient cultures, were obviously numb to the suffering of infants - because they had also suffered in their own childhoods.

Metal Smelting
In order to smelt newly discovered metals, a hotter fire was developed by blowing air into the flames using a blowpipe. Later, a bellow was used. Thus, a further advance in fire use led to the end of the Stone Age and the move to the new Copper, Bronze and Iron Ages. The metals of gold and silver fuelled commerce and trade. Metal also became a new material for art, and one of the earliest subjects was, again, the raptor talon - birds were still at the forefront of human minds.

Metal weapons
The advent of the Bronze and Iron Ages offered stronger materials for tools and weapons, and for defences of armour and shields. This sped up the arms race. The metals of gold and silver also became objects of warfare.

The headbands of prehistory developed into headbands, diadems and crowns made of precious metals - that were the sign of royalty and, therefore, dominance.

The Classical Age

Superorganism Warfare
From the 600s-300s BC, the Greek army employed a fighting formation called a phalanx, where a number of lines of infantry would charge forward into battle as one unit. It was an early example of organized superorganism warfare, rather than just a rabble of fighting individuals. So successful was the phalanx that it was adopted by the Carthaginians, the Macedonians and the Romans.

Colony Building
During the rise of their empire, the Greeks established colonies in Italy, France, Sicily, and the Black Sea coast. Later, Alexander the Great conquered much of the known world.
On the back of Greek successes, the Romans conquered many regions and established a huge empire.

Wrestling and Boxing
Wrestling and boxing were instituted in the Greek Olympic Games. The main aim of boxing is to knock the opponent out with a blow to the head. The Romans boxed with a studded leather hand covering, and maiming and death were common. Gladiatorial combats were also conducted in amphitheatres.

The Middle Ages
The Middle Ages

The Rise of Science
During the Middle Ages the new monotheistic religions subdued pagan beliefs and practices (like bird and fire reverencing) and the Dark Age ensued. From the 1300s, though, the Renaissance led to the reemergence of science in Europe. Ironically, one of the earliest recognised scientists - Leonardo Da Vinci - studied raptor flight and designed flying machines aimed at allowing humans to fly like the birds. This again indicated the spell that birds had over even the most scientific of minds.

In the Late Middle Ages, fire - aided by the new fuel of gunpowder - was added to weapons to propel metal and stone projectiles at great speed and distance.

From the Late Middle Ages up to the 1800s, a social hysteria concerning evil gripped society, and the authorities employed fire as the main social cleanser - by burning at the stake thousands of perceived witches and their defenders. Again we see the symbolism of fire keeping evil at bay.


Religious Wars
During the Middle Ages, with the rise in power of the Church, violence became attached to religious causes. Troubled access to the Holy Lands created an ongoing war between Christianity (in Europe) and Islam (in the Middle East) known as the Crusades. The Crusades involved eight major conflicts, from 1095-1270, and many adults died on the way to the Crusades due to the arduous journey.

Tournaments involved hand-to-hand combat and mock wars between knights. It centred on the joust, where knights in armour charged at each other on horseback with blunted lances as weapons. Due to injuries and sometimes deaths, a dividing barrier was added to change the joust into the safer tilt.

Firearms and bombards made knights redundant, and led to more efficient warfare that could cull even more adults from the species. And like all other weapons beforehand, firearms were trained against animals.

Colony Building
New European empires based on sea power developed during the mid-1500s-mid-1700s. They initially set up trading posts in new territories, but later fought with and dominated indigenous peoples. Then colonies were established to expand territory. The English Empire became the world's largest.

Superorganism Sea Warfare
England became a superior naval power. Its gunships performed as one unit - for example, by sailing in a column to present a string of guns to enemies. It was a new superorganism fighting strategy, rather than single galleons trying to ram and board each other as before. So successful was the line-of-battle strategy that battleships (as part of a battle fleet) became the main weapons of war up until WWI.

The Modern Age
The Modern Age
Mechanical Flight
The Industrial Revolution of the 1700s-1800s propelled society into the modern age. It was made possible by large furnace fires burning coal at high temperatures. This produced iron and steel (for building, weapons, and machinery), coal-gas (for heating and street lighting), and steam (for early engines). One of the most important inventions of this time was the internal combustion engine that employed a fire spark to ignite petroleum fuel to drive pistons and rods for mechanical work, thus replacing animal labour. The engine quickly led to the invention of motorised transport - especially the airplane to finally realise the dream of flying like the birds.
Economic Systems
The 1800s was a period of philosophical revolution that reinterpreted the individual's role in society, the collective will, and a government's role in ruling individuals. Both the prominent philosophers of Adam Smith (capitalism) and Karl Marx (communism) noted the diligence and efficiency of individuals in the ant society without an apparent ruler (the queen's control of workers by pheromones was unknown then). The philosophical revolution eventually led to increased rights for the individual, and republics replacing monarchies in many countries of the world.
Colony Building and Imperial Wars
From the 1870s-1914 the European countries rushed to obtain new colonies and territories in other regions in order to build empires. Competition between these imperial powers led to numerous wars during the 1800s, and more adult deaths. As European power grew most Islamic territories also fell to it.
Bird and Fire-based Technologies
Imperialism, nationalism and war during the Twentieth Century spurred more bird and fire-based technologies to produce a great array of weapons - like machine guns, bombs and flamethrowers, and flying machines - like fighter planes (also called "warbirds"), rockets and missiles (the latter two still employing the flight principles of the arrow). The Second World War was led by Adolf Hitler, who felt an affiliation with both the Aryans (Indo-Europeans of prehistory) as a superior race and the bird of prey (he adopted the eagle as the Third Reich's emblem, frequented the "Eagle's Nest" mountain retreat, and erected the eagle statue at newly-conquered territories). This war also deployed atomic bombs - the most devastating fire weapon ever produced.

Bird and Fire Reverencing
In the modern world, there remain two amazing reverencing remnants. Firstly, there is the Mohana "bird people" of Pakistan, who live in houseboats on Manchar Lake. They tame birds and get them to catch fish and act as decoys to catch other birds. Children go to "bird school" to learn birdcalls. Since they have lived this lifestyle for 6000 years this provides direct evidence that earlier humans used birds to get to food sources and adopted bird behaviours. Secondly, there is the Parsi of Iran and India. They still expose their dead to vultures and the sun, work to keep a sacred fire alive, and believe in the cosmology of the bull. They are still following the bird and fire mythologies of their predecessors the Persians, the Catal Hoyukans before them, the Homo erectines with their capturing of fire, and even back to the Australopithecines and their following of vultures to start humanity off. The Parsi has shown that of all the human knowledge-seekers they have most doggedly clung to core traditions.

National Emblems
Today, the eagle is the national symbol for the USA, Poland, Russia, Germany and Serbia, the garuda (god-eagle) is the national symbol of Thailand and Indonesia, while the condor (vulture) is the national symbol of Chile.


World Wars
The Twentieth Century brought with it the two most massive wars of history, that led to the culling of tens of millions of adults from the species.

The United Nations
After WWII's end, the United Nations was instituted to try to prevent similar wars from reoccurring. But its effectiveness has been limited, since the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars have occurred since.

Modern Superorganism Warfare
The initial aim of warfare - openly displayed during the two Gulf Wars - is to "decapitate" the enemy. This is done by taking out the central command (also known as a "surgical strike"). This tactic works because an army is a superorganism - a giant individual. Like an individual, the drive to fight in an army comes from its "head" - its leaders. Once the leaders are killed the soldiers lose purpose and direction and are more easily conquered.

War against Terror
Today, the world is engaged in a war against terrorism. The battle is mostly between the privileged West and oppressed Islamic regions. It is a reemergence of the age-old fight between Europe and Islam of the Crusades, and of the later Age of Imperialism. Terrorists also employ the age-old practice of beheading their captives.

Technology Modelled on Superorganisms
The Modern Age is the era of technology. Since technology involves large numbers of units or connections or people that need to be organised, insects - especially ants - have become the model for some systems - particularly in communications, robotics, and nanotechnology. So the human species is still today modelling its future path of development upon the superorganism.



As the hominid line was emerging, its newness and small numbers meant that the early supertrauma infections from a flood and an intense stick fight had a profound effect on it. They set it on a path of periodic fighting and excessive knowledge-seeking. As time progressed, the accumulation of trauma from fighting predators, hunting, hominid spats, and (no doubt) further natural disasters, led to the concept of spirits infecting the head through nightmares, and, later, to an anatomically large foetal skull that made birth more difficult. From the time of the last Ice Age, there has been a clear parallel between advances in bird and fire-based technologies and the intensity of warfare. Each has fed the other.

Humans went on to make many marvelous developments, like the wheel, writing, art, music, and science but they were created as part of the drive to accumulate knowledge and skills. The advances of one generation were superseded by new advances made by the following generation. Nothing stood still (and still does not today). This shows that human advances are not wholly necessary for survival in nature, but are largely a race for survival within the superorganism itself. Human advances are like rungs on a ladder leading to the top - but there is nothing at the top except a natural cure for suffering.

During our species' development the body doubled in size, while the brain tripled in size (known as encephalisation - a swelling of the brain). The physiology became foetal-like - with retarded teeth, jaw, body hair and skin pigmentation (in some peoples), and a bulbous skull. Only ape infants are born with such attributes and, hence, we have been recognised as a species of neotenic apes. The body and brain stopped growing about 75,000 years ago, but then the social population began to grow instead. Knowledge and work was no longer confined to the individual body and brain, but became divided between the numerous bodies and brains of society (which became ruled by kings and/or queens). This process built a superorganism and social brain (or superbrain) structure. So the repeated retardation of psychoemotional development of the young - due to generations of adult culling in wars - also retarded the human ape physiology and built a superorganism. Our species' development is a devolution rather than an evolution. It is solely due to the loss of the natural ability to heal both individual and social trauma. Breakthroughs into understanding the effects of (individual) trauma occurred, perhaps unsurprisingly, in the post-World War development of re-experiencing-based therapies. Finally, the interconnectedness between both types of trauma were formulated in this author's laws of pain (superpsychology).

Throughout history the head has been a target for attack, reverence, fashion, surgery, drug use and, finally, therapy. This attention clearly shows that the head is the source of trouble in our species. It is the head that becomes infected with trauma (and not evil spirits) and expresses adverse personality traits like stubbornness, jealousy, greed, rage, melancholy, infatuation, and violence. Some of the nervotensions being resolved in therapy today are actually hundreds, thousands, or even millions of years old - because they have been passed down from generation to generation as a behavioural code (or a false genetic code). Where the troubled people of earlier times may have worn an animal tooth headband, undergone a trepanning operation, or dabbled in shamanism, the troubled people of today are coming to therapy. And we discover that the reason they get involved in symbolic activities is due to unresolved traumas. They then clear the trapped energy from those traumas out of their heads, and become calmer, more sensible, and more peaceful people. This is why superpsychology has knowledge of how earlier humans behaved and what kinds of traumas they suffered in life. Superpsychology is establishing the psychoemotional aspects of human species development that is essential for healing suffering. So the reason for the development of the human species is a psychoemotional one, not a genetic one.

Internet Photographic References

Griffin Vulture (note how the wings resemble human-like arms with fingers)
Stone Age Hand-axes
Catal Hoyuk vultures (with human feet), amongst headless human corpses
Persian god Ahura Mazda (surrounded by a sun disk and vulture wings and tail)
The Gebel-Arak Knife

Further Scientific Developments

Hominids were hunted by Birds

One of the remains of our earliest homind is the Australopithecus Afarensis skull known as the Taung child. Archaeologists had assumed that this individual was a victim of a tiger or saber-toothed feline. However, Lee Berger (from Witwatersrand University) and Ron Clarke have revealed traces of ragged cuts behind the eye sockets that are characteristic of eagle predation. Some of the other remains (of small monkeys) found with the skull had also shown signs of bird predation. This indicates that hominids - particularly the young - were not only targets of predators from the ground but also from the air.

Alexandra Zavis, 'Researcher: Early Man Was Hunted by Birds', The Associated Press / Yahoo! News, Thu Jan 12, 8:46 AM ET, (accessed 16 Jan 2006),;_ylt=

Humans were Inspired to make Wine by Observing Birds

Biochemical archaeologist Patrick McGovern believes that the first bottled wine was produced about 6,000 years ago. Wine residue was found in 2.5 gallon clay jars discovered near the Hajji Firuz Tepe site in the Northern Zagros Mountains of Iran. Scientists believe that humans were originally inspired to make wine by observing birds feeding on fermented berries.

Lora Griffin, 'Rebel Science: Scientists discover Neolithic wine-making: Possible first-ever booze dates back at least 6,000 years, according to scientist's research', The Rebel Yell, University of Nevada Las Vegas, 28 Nov 2005, (accessed 1 Dec 2005),


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article © copyright Raymond Lane, January 2005


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