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Offerings to a Stone Snake Provide the Earliest Evidence of Religion

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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 08:12 PM
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Offerings to a Stone Snake Provide the Earliest Evidence of Religion
I thought this was interesting from Scientific American.com


SCIENCE NEWS
December 01, 2006

Offerings to a Stone Snake Provide the Earliest Evidence of Religion

70,000-year-old African ritual practices linked to mythology of modern Botswanans

The discovery of carvings on a snake-shaped rock along with 70,000-year-old spearheads nearby has dramatically pushed back the earliest evidence for ritual behavior, or what could be called religion. The finding, which researchers have yet to formally publish, comes from a cave hidden in the Tsodilo Hills of Botswana, a mecca of sorts for the local people, who call it the Mountain of the Gods.

"It's very big news," says Sheila Coulson, an archaeologist at the University of Oslo in Norway and leader of the study. Prior to the discovery, researchers had identified signs of ritual practice going back at most 40,000 years from sites in Europe.

Researchers believe that anatomically modern humans emerged from East Africa perhaps 120,000 years ago. "The difficulty was always this incredible time lag between that occurrence and any more complex aspect of the culture other than just basic survival," Coulson says. Although some carved ornaments and wall markings from another African site are as old as the new find, they seem to have had no obvious ritual significance.


More at:
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID...
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 08:20 PM
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1. K&r/nt
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 08:24 PM
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2. ....or it could have been a bunch of bored people
who saw the serpent like shape and decided to decorate it.

That's a basic human impulse, too.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. You're so right. When ancient people adorned their bodies, was
that all about religion? Why should adornment of another object mean religion?

Religion, religion, religion. Enough already!
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 08:37 PM
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3. People are still worshipping snakes. Witness the cult of bush. n/t
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