One of the most disturbing stories from the Book of Genesis in Old Testament is that of Cain and Abel. For many thousand years this story has bewildered the readers and stands as a testimony to the disastrous effects of envy. For those of you who do not remember this horrific tale, let’s recall. Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Heaven after they tasted the Forbidden Apple. As the couple started their new life on Earth, Eve conceived Cain and sometime later she gave birth to his brother Abel. The elder son, Cain was very ambitious and became the pioneer of agriculture. He learned the art of tilling the soil. He became rich with all the essentials of life at his disposal. While Abel was a nomadic shepherd, often struggling to find his food. But God somehow favored the simpler man of the two, Abel. Cain grew jealous of his brother and one day took him out to the fields. Cain attacked his brother and committed world’s first murder. Cain killed Abel.
For many years, researchers have argued about the authenticity of the event. But there is a new light thrown to this puzzle with some new discoveries. While seeking the truth we should identify that the Old Testament is highly metaphorical at times. At other times the depictions suggest real events or places. Such as the Garden of Eden with its fours did exist and archeologists found its existence in southern Iraq. The Great Flood did happen as a result of an asteroid impacting the Earth during the Neolithic Age. The Six Days Evolution mentioned in this old text can be compared to the evolutionary theory of mankind.
So, what is the metaphorical meaning of the Cain and Abel story? Modern day researchers feel that Cain and Abel were not two individuals rather they represented two species – Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis. Both these species had originated from the same father species – Hominid genus. Cain, the elder species murders Abel, the younger species. Such an event perfectly fits with the fossil records of the two species. Homo sapiens emerged some 200,000 years ago while Homo neanderthalensis emerged about 130,000 years ago. For some while the scientists believed that Neanderthals were nothing but a sub-species of Homo sapiens, but that theory has now been refuted.
Early human settlements were indeed the progenitor of planned agriculture, while the Neanderthals were more reliant on hunting, herding and gathering for their subsistence. So, Neanderthals in the role of Abel matches perfectly. As the two species started co-existing, tension brewed. Humans were technologically much advanced, but they had to still compete with the Neanderthals. This not sit well, so the humans started killing the Neanderthals with their smart weapons. The Neanderthals were a much laid back species, who could not defend themselves. Thus they were exterminated by their superior species. Recent evidences have provided evidence of co-habitation, interbreeding and inter-species violence between these two Hominid species.
An archeological dig in Iraq recently came up with a Neanderthal skull. Neanderthal was killed about 50,000 to 75,000 years ago. He took a spear in his rib, and the spear was typically human made. Another Neanderthal male skeleton found in Libya had his head crushed by a human made weapon. These facts clearly point to a genocide carried out by the humans of their resembling species, the Neanderthals.