In addition to your statement above, you say:
Greg and I refer to it as the “shamanic civilisation,” since it is not so much a civilisation of roads, rivers, city states and writing, but one of a universal expanded mindset reflected in religious and magical ideas and practices, along with the building and design of geometric, liminal structures, and a universal cosmic journey of the soul centred around a perceived place of origin and place in the afterlife among the stars.
I really like these wonderful formulations, which are consistent with my own sense of spirituality--and even my personal epistemology, but my scientist side has to ask: how do we know that any of this is true?
My nonspecialist sense of old fashioned Darwinian thinking has a rather sharp drop off from modern thinking man to more ancient animal man, associating presumed cognitive development with skull formation and site related artifacts. When analyses suggested an alternative Neanderthal sub species existing at the same time, it was immediately supposed that our surviving homo Sapiens most likely killed them off. Then along came genetics, and things got much messier--and then messier still. Neanderthal may have kicked the bucket, but some of his dna remains in modern humans. That's where you're updating us--I get it--but let me stay old fashioned for a bit longer.
In the stereotype,Neanderthal is dumb but human like. Before him, we were not much different from apes--called hominids--and hanging from trees. Well, maybe smart apes, but not thoughtful creatures--lost in meditation. It was presumed that we would see emerging cognitive development through analysis of cultural artifacts--especially within the last 20,000 years or so--and almost nothing in earlier times. If there was any spirituality, it was superstitious behavior in response to acts of nature we didn't understand.
So, what's changed? and why should I believe you about the spiritual part?