Humans are a communal species that have banded together and cared for their sick, disabled, and elderly since before we were ever modern man. Resources were shared even as skills specialized.
Capitalism isn’t natural. A community should not have members dying of starvation or exposure while there is an abundance of resources. That isn’t how it works. That isn’t how it’s supposed to work.
shanidar 1 is a neanderthal who, at a pretty young age, was hit in the head hard enough to blind him. this also led to that side of his brain shutting down and withering his right arm, and possibly crippling his entire right side. not only that but his skeleton also shows that at some point, he broke a bone in his foot and, in addition to the other factors, resulted in a noticeable limp. there are some sources which say he likely had degenerative diseases. (arthritis was really common in neanderthals)
going off of widespread ideas of “”primitive”” (no longer the word used in anthropology/academia to describe early-modern humans) societies, shanidar probably died really young, deliberately abandoned or killed. i mean, he was severely crippled, blind, etc., he couldn’t contribute anything, he would have been a “”burden to society””, right?
except he lived to be between 40 and 50 years old. (about ~80 in human years)
this means that his social group had to have taken care of him for a minimum of two or three decades without his ‘contributing’ anything significant to the group. this discovery (and Shanidar III’s) was huge because it basically proves that early humans had a concept of hospice. early modern humans cared for the sick and the elderly, greatly extending their lifespan, simply because they cared.
tl;dr: the concept of someone needing to be ‘’useful’’ or ‘’’productive’’’ in society in order to be valued and cared for is a very modern concept and our quasi-predecessors would be ashamed
Also, Shanidar I was buried with flowers. They cared about him after he was dead, too.
They’re not actually sure if he was buried with flowers, or if the flowers were stashed there later by a rodent storing food for the winter. There are no other burials of Neanderthals with flowers, so either his burial was somehow unique, or it wasn’t a deliberate inclusion.