It is most convenient to say: the faith of the most ancient person was primitive, and maybe it did not exist at all, since there is no direct evidence. But to say so is to ignore the very unambiguous evidence of material monuments, to close your eyes to facts. In Soviet textbooks they wrote that religion arose out of fear of primitive people in front of the terrible phenomena of nature. That, hoping to protect themselves before a forest fire or flood, our distant ancestors invented spirits and gods. What ignorance they left to the deceased in their graves is the food-what if they get hungry? Gradually, from worshiping the spirits of nature (shamanism), people went on to chant the assembly of the gods (Egypt, Ancient Greece), then came up with monotheism (faith in the One God). And, finally, religion has gone out of fashion: life has become civilized, man – scientific and technically progressive. Such views are still very popular today. But how true are they? How do modern scientists see our prehistoric ancestors?
What is spirituality written on?
Many still believe that religion has developed since ancient times as the person has developed. There was, in other words, a linear process of development: from primitive forms – to complex cults. In science, too, such an approach dominated for a long time, but already from the middle of the last century, scientists abandoned these schemes, because of their inconsistency with a new array of facts. However, these schemes, long abandoned by science, continue to exist in popular culture. In literature, journalism, cinema, there are many stories about ancient savages who have not yet been invented by the gods, or have only just done so. Despite the fact that archaeological discoveries left less and less places for such views and even gave rise to a number of scientists to suggest that the most ancient person had knowledge of the One God-Creator, there was both faith and a religious cult.
The main problem here is that historians, culturologists and religious scholars often have little to rely on. After all, religion is more convenient to learn from texts than from archeology. This is the spiritual sphere of life, and it is not so easy to reconstruct the remains of bones and tools. There is a relatively small section of ancient history in which writing existed. (The first written monument dates to the very end of the 4th millennium BC The writing appears almost simultaneously with the statehood and approximately six thousand years after the domestication of plants and animals.) And there is a huge time layer – the oldest, prehistoric times, the dawn of mankind, when not only writing, but there was still no rock painting.
It is most convenient to say: the faith of the most ancient person was primitive, and maybe it did not exist at all, since there is no direct evidence. But to say so is to ignore the very unambiguous evidence of material monuments, to close your eyes to facts.
Since the beginning of the XX century, scientists are trying to reconstruct the worldview of the oldest people on the basis of archaeological finds. And this is done simultaneously with the study of the living tribes in Central Africa and Australia, leading an archaic way of life. All this makes it possible to speak reasonably about the religion and belief of our ancestors.