That’s an interesting review and there’s plenty of food for thought in there.
As for our ancestor’s values, it is a difficult one because they didn’t write anything down. When our ancestors were hunter-gatherers, I am sure that basic logic would determine that they respected the forest, the sea and the land because they knew that they could not survive without them. When our ancestors moved on to agriculture, they would have respected the land and looked after their livestock, again in full knowledge of how their lives depended on it. I think family bonds, friendship and the very basic idea of trying to be good to other people would have resonated just as much with them and that these are fairly universal. However, it’s with the emergence of more intensive agriculture, city states and the coming of iron that things seem to start going wrong: you start getting increased aggression, warrior societies, class/caste systems, slavery and oppression – materialism set in, the idea of owning the land, of “owning” people even. I think we need to go back to the earlier values and that we don’t necessarily need to find them carved in stone somewhere to get to them, nevertheless, in today’s world it is indeed a great challenge. I’m not saying that we should, or even could, return to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, but I do think modern society needs to give up its attachment to material wealth all the time; to my way of thinking, it’s telling that many spiritual traditions including the dharmic paths of the sadhus, the Christian monks and the holy ascetics from around the world usually give up or renounce everything before they go on their spiritual journey. I believe there’s a lesson in that for all of us.