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Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Snake worship the oldest found religion


A group of archaeologists have found the oldest remains of human ritual activity to date.
70,000 years ago in remote region of Botswana a python snake was worshiped. Previous to this find the oldest proofs of ritual activity by man were 40,000 year old European sites.

The Tsodilo Hills are still a sacred place for the local San people, who call them the "Mountains of the Gods" and the "Rock that Whispers". The San people - known as Basarwa or Bushmen in Botswana - are know to be Southern Africa's indigenous population. San guides who lead archaeologists to the Tsodilo Hills must first check with their deity to ascertain whether they are welcome there.

The python is still one of the San people's most important sacred animals. According to their creation myth, mankind descended from the python and the ancient, arid streambeds around the hills are said to have been created by the python as it circled the hills in its ceaseless search for water.

Ms Coulson's discovery shows that locals even thousands of years ago had a specific ritual location associated with the python. The ritual was held in a little cave on the northern side of the Tsodilo Hills. [...]

When Ms Coulson and her team entered the cave this summer, it struck them that the mysterious rock resembled the head of a huge python. On the six meter long by two meter tall rock, they found three-to-four hundred indentations that could only have been man-made.

"You could see the mouth and eyes of the snake. It looked like a real python. The play of sunlight over the indentations gave them the appearance of snake skin. At night, the firelight gave one the feeling that the snake was actually moving," Ms Coulson told 'Apollon'.


It is worth reading the rest of the article. It is well known that the snake has played an ambiguous symbolic role throughout human history, but this find is so ancient that it puts its recurring appearance in ayahuasca visions on another light..

It also has some implications for Terence McKenna's theory that 20,000 years ago there was a singularity that took place in the plains of Africa were hominids suddenly developed language and culture (thanks to mushrooms) To judge from the discovery above he could be off by 20-40 thousand years. I wonder what that would mean for the timewave...

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