What was the first sign of civilization?

Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she thought was the first sign of civilization in a culture. Student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks, clay pots or levig stones.

” But no Mead said the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighs) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You can’t run away from danger, go to the river for a drink or look for food. You are meat to the beasts that make beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough to heal the bone.

” A broken femur that healed is proof that someone took time to be with the one who fell, tied the wound, carried the person to safety and treated the person through recovery. Helping someone else overcome difficulties is where civilization begins, Mead said.

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