Daniel

Daniel Fuchs is a complex character. He is a former prodigy, entering college at age 15 and attaining a Ph.D. while others his age are worried about which frat to pledge. A star before his time, he blazed through academia without a concern, and along the way met Madeline Grey–a coed years older than Daniel with a passion for unconventional theories and digs.

Daniel followed Madeline, finding her fascinating and attractive. As an idealist, Daniel adopted many of her views, based primarily on the work of her father, a famous, or perhaps infamous, archaeologist in his own right.

In Hearts in Ruin we learn something about the depth of Madeline’s influence on Daniel. We also learn see that Andrea is a person Daniel did not anticipate meeting. But what effect will she have? Can he complete the work he is determined to pursue, and should he? And is Andrea a help or a hindrance?

Hearts in Ruin

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The Paleolithic Past

Hunter gatherer food products

What do we know about our Paleolithic past? We know about the diet. We’ve seen some of the art. But the fact is, what we call the “Paleolithic” period ran for such a long time that our knowledge of recorded history is little more than the blink of an eye in comparison.

The term “Paleolithic” was coined by archaeologist John Lubbock in 1865, derived from Greek palaios (παλαιός), “old”; and lithos (λίθος), “stone”, meaning “Old Stone Age.”

The absence of a written record permits only deduction from evidence uncovered through archaeology. So our understanding of Paleolithic human culture comes from archaeology and inductive comparisons to modern hunter-gatherer cultures. As far as we can

pd_g6_unit1_ps1tell, humans hunted wild animals for meat and gathered food, firewood, and materials for their tools, clothes, or shelters. Human population density was very low, around only one person per square mile. Like contemporary hunter-gatherers, Paleolithic humans enjoyed an abundance of leisure time unparalleled in both Neolithic farming societies and modern industrial societies. At the end of the Paleolithic, humans began to produce works of art such as cave paintings, rock art and jewelry. They also began to engage in religious behavior such as burial and ritual.

English: Sorcerer of Le Gabillou (Dordogne, Fr...
English: Sorcerer of Le Gabillou (Dordogne, France) Español: Hechicero de Le Gabillou (Dordoña, Francia) Français : Sorcier de Le Gabillou (Dordogne, France) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Interestingly, the paleolithic span of time in which human hunter-gatherer bands roamed the Earth was at least several hundred-thousand years, and might perhaps have been as much as one million years. Considering human civilization and its written records date back no more than six thousand years, that time frame is staggering, and while it is certainly possible that humanity progressed steadily throughout that entire time, it is clear that if there were rises and falls, there were tens of thousands of years or more between such rises and falls to erase most, if not all, evidence of those peaks and valleys in human prehistory.

Naturally, in the absence of evidence supporting such conjecture, science correctly assumes the opposite. Skepticism is healthy in such endeavors. But that healthy skepticism is what, at the core, is challenged in Hearts in Ruin. Daniel and Andrea face evidence, albeit fairly meager, that something more advanced than hunter-gatherer culture existed long before any accepted rise of civilization.

 

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