Stop me if you’ve heard this story. Some years ago now, it’s been reported that a student asked famed cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead what she considered to be the first sign of civilization. Her response? A 15,000-year-old fractured femur that had broken, then healed. Connecting hip to knee, the femur is the longest bone in the human body, and when broken, it takes about six weeks of rest to heal — six weeks during which this person would have been completely reliant on members of their community.
What does it say about humanity that our earliest ancestors were inclined to so thoroughly uplift and care for each other in times of need?