Black Spirituality Religion : World’s oldest ritual discovered

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by awo dino, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. awo dino

    awo dino Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    World’s oldest ritual discovered. Worshipped the python 70,000 years ago
    2006 12 02

    By Yngve Vogt | apollon.uio.no

    SACRIFIED TO THE PYTHON:
    The world’s oldest ritual ceremonies are twice as old as previously thought. More than 70,000 years ago in a small cave in Botswana, humans sacrificed spearheads to the python. Photo: Sheila Coulson.
    A new archaeological find in Botswana shows that our ancestors in Africa engaged in ritual practice 70,000 years ago — 30,000 years earlier than the oldest finds in Europe. This sensational discovery strengthens Africa’s position as the cradle of modern man.

    A startling archaeological discovery this summer changes our understanding of human history. While, up until now, scholars have largely held that man’s first rituals were carried out over 40, 000 years ago in Europe, it now appears that they were wrong about both the time and place.

    Associate Professor Sheila Coulson, from the University of Oslo, can now show that modern humans, Homo sapiens, have performed advanced rituals in Africa for 70,000 years. She has, in other words, discovered mankind’s oldest known ritual.

    The archaeologist from the Department of Archaeology, Conservation, and Historical Studies, made the surprising discovery while she was studying the origin of the Sanpeople in cooperation with the University of Tromsø, Norway, and the University of Botswana. A group of the San live in the sparsely inhabited area of north-western Botswana known as Ngamiland.

    Coulson made the discovery while searching for artifacts from the Middle Stone Age in the only hills present for hundreds of kilometers in any direction. This group of small peaks within the Kalahari Desert is known as the Tsodilo Hills and is famous for having the largest concentration of rock paintings in the world. The more than 3,500 paintings, some more than 1,500 years old, constitute an important piece of our cultural heritage and are the reason that Tsodilo is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


    RITUAL CEREMONIES: People from the area held the ritual in a little cave in Tsodila Hills in Botswana. Foto: Sheila Coulson.
    The Tsodilo Hills are still a sacred place for the San, who call them the “Mountains of the Gods” and the “Rock that Whispers”. San guides who lead archaeologists to the hills must first check with their deity to ascertain whether they are welcome there.

    The python is one of the San’s most important 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.


    The python cave

    Sheila Coulson’s find shows that people from the area 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. The cave itself is so secluded and access to it is so difficult that it was not even discovered by archaeologists until the 1990s. The first archaeologists at the site noticed two paintings on one side of the cave and a rock with a large number of indentations in it on the other side.

    When Coulson entered the cave this summer with her three master’s students, 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.” said Sheila Coulson to the University of Oslo’s research magazine Apollon.

    They found no evidence that work had recently been done on the rock. In fact, much of the rock’s surface was extensively eroded.

    When they saw the many indentations in the rock, the archaeologists wondered about more than when the work had been done. They also began thinking about what the cave had been used for and how long people had been going there. With these questions in mind, they decided to dig a test pit directly in front of the python stone.

    At the bottom of the pit, they found many stones that had been used to make the indentations. Together with these tools, some of which were more than 70,000 years old, they found a piece of the wall that had fallen off during the work.

    Sacrificed Spearheads


    RARE QUALITY: The spearheads were particularly beatiful and were brought from hundreds of kilometers away. Photo: Sheila Coulson.
    In the course of their excavation, they found more than 13,000 artifacts. All of the objects were spearheads and articles that could be connected with ritual use, as well as tools used in carving the stone. They found nothing else.

    As if that were not enough, the stones that the spearheads were made from are not from the Tsodilo region but must have been brought from hundreds of kilometers away.

    The spearheads are better crafted and more colourful than other spearheads from the same time and area. Surprisingly enough, it was only the red spearheads that had been burned.

    “Stone age people took these colourful spearheads, brought them to the cave, and finished carving them there. Only the red spearheads were burned. It was a ritual destruction of artifacts. There was no sign of normal habitation. No ordinary tools were found at the site. Our find means that humans were more organised and had the capacity for abstract thinking at a much earlier point in history than we have previously assumed. All of the indications suggest that Tsodilo has been known to mankind for almost 100,000 years as a very special place in the pre-historic landscape.” says Sheila Coulson.

    The Shaman ’s chamber


    MAN-MADE: On this six meters long by two meter high stone, which resembles a python, researchers found 300-400 indentations that must have been made by humans. Photo: Sheila Coulson.
    Sheila Coulson also noticed a secret chamber behind the python stone. Some areas of the entrance to this small chamber were worn smooth, indicating that many people had passed through it over the years.

    “The shaman, who is still a very important person in San culture, could have kept himself hidden in that secret chamber. He would have had a good view of the inside of the cave while remaining hidden himself. When he spoke from his hiding place, it could have seemed as if the voice came from the snake itself. The shaman would have been able to control everything. It was perfect.” The shaman could also have “disappeared” from the chamber by crawling out onto the hillside through a small shaft.

    While large cave and wall paintings are numerous throughout the Tsodilo Hills, there are only two small paintings in this cave: an elephant and a giraffe. These images were rendered, surprisingly, exactly where water runs down the wall.

    Sheila Coulson thinks that an explanation for this might come from San mythology.

    In one San story, the python falls into a body of water and cannot get out by itself. The python is pulled from the water by a giraffe. The elephant, with its long trunk, is often used as a metaphor for the python.

    “In the cave, we find only the San people’s three most important animals: the python, the elephant, and the giraffe. That is unusual. This would appear to be a very special place. They did not burn the spearheads by chance. They brought them from hundreds of kilometers away and intentionally burned them. So many pieces of the puzzle fit together here. It has to represent a ritual.” concludes Sheila Coulson.

    Dating the find


    A PERFECT FIT: At the bottom of their excavation, Sheila Coulson found this tool that was used to scrape out some of the intentattions on the python stone. Photo: Sheila Coulson.
    One is compelled to wonder why no one has made this discovery before. In fact, Sheila Coulson is one of the few archaeologists studying the Middle Stone Age in Africa. The Middle Stone Age spans the period from 250,000 until 40,000 years ago, yet very few human traces have been found from that period.

    Archaeologists who are interested in Africa —especially East Africa— have most often concentrated on the many extremely old finds that can tell us more about human history from the Early Stone Age, which lasted from about two million until 250, 000 years ago.

    Stone tools are a signature of the past. A way to differentiate between the two periods is to study how the tools were made.

    It was a major archaeological find five years ago that made it possible for Sheila
    Coulson to date the finds in this little cave in Botswana. Up until the turn of the century,
    archaeologists believed that human civilisation developed in Europe after our ancestors migrated from Africa. This theory was crushed by Archaeologist Christopher Henshilwood when he published his find of traces from a Middle Stone Age dwelling in the Blombos Cave in Southern Cape, South Africa.

    “That was the first solid archaeological evidence to demonstrate that early Homo sapiens were thinking abstractly and behaving like modern people long before it was thought to be possible. It became clear that Africa was not just the place that people became physically modern, but that many culturally modern practices were present in Africa long before they appeared in Europe.”

    Since the publication of the find at Blombos, archaeologists from other parts of the world have come forward with similar evidence to confirm the earlier development of culturally modern practices. “The finds at Tsodilo fit this pattern”, Sheila Coulson says.

    But in contrast to the finds in Blombos and other areas of the world that show that people were already modern 70,000 years ago, the cave in Botswana has never been used as a dwelling. For over 70,000 years, people came to this cave for the sole purpose of performing rituals, and nothing else.

    Of international importance

    Torfinn Ørmen, a zoologist who lectures on human evolutionary history at the University of Oslo, says that this is the biggest archaeological discovery in a long time.

    “Sheila Coulson’s discovery is going to garner attention the world over. This is the oldest ritual site that we know of and it was in use before physically modern man left Africa”, Ørmen points out. He explains that the San, who are also referred to as Bushmen, belong to the most ancient race of humans. The San, together with the Khoi (or Khoikhoi), separated from the rest of the worlds people about 70,000 years ago. Today they are commonly refered to as the Khoi-San people. The Khoi and the San are quite similar and were displaced by both the Europeans and the Bantu before and during colonization.

    “Some researchers believe that modern man descended from the San. What is certain is that the San are a very old people and that they have a very deep connection to this area of Botswana. The Tsodilo Hills are the San people’s most sacred place; they have had a connection to it for thousands and thousands of years”, says Torfinn Ørmen.
     
  2. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    70,000 years....wow.

    Every time a rock is kicked over in afrika, books have to be rewritten.
     
  3. DARKSIDE MAGICK

    DARKSIDE MAGICK Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    WAIT...WAIT......WAITTTTTTTTTTTTTTT......




    I THOUGHT THE EARTH WAS 6,000 YEARS OLD :SuN049:


    DARKSIDE MAGICK---- AND THE EVENING AND THE MORNING WAS THE 23RD WEEK
     
  4. Corvo

    Corvo navigator of live MEMBER

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    That was a great read!

    Thanks Awo Dino.

    I can feel myself being there, with them....

    It's almost a connection to our past!


    AXE!
     
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Ayibobo Damballah - Aido Wedo...

    Da - Dan.... one of the oldest ancestors.

    Ayibobo
     
  6. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the Spirit of Sankofa and Real Truth!




    Will you provide the sources link?

     
  7. awo dino

    awo dino Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    the recent discovery of stone temples in south africa pushes back the time line on human history and extends the context of ancestor reverence beyond what most academic historians are willing to admit

    ANCIENT RUINS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA
    In the heart of southern Africa lies the scattered evidence of a lost civilisation whose people built some 20,000 stone structures. These breathtaking ruins constitute the largest continuous stone settlement ever built on Earth as it stretches over thousands of kilometres from South Africa all the way to Kenya and beyond.

    Adam's Calendar discovered by Johan Heine in 2003. Estimated to be the oldest man-made structure on earth at around 75,000 years old.

    These mysterious ancient ruins consist of dwellings, forts, temples roads, irrigation systems and agricultural terraces that cover thousands of square kilometres. It is our estimate that more stone went into building these features than went into building all of the Egyptian pyramids. It is an archaeologist’s dream that will unveil even greater and more mysterious secrets in years to come.
    Ruins from above

    There is an overwhelming consensus by scholars, academics and even mystics that southern Africa is the cradle of humankind and that this is where the first humans walked the Earth before migrating to the distant corners of our planet. Through the study of mitochondrial DNA in females, geneticists found evidence that points to a time when the first humans suddenly appeared on Earth, reigniting the ongoing debate about the ‘missing link’. Their calculation show that the common ancestor to all humans appeared somewhere between 180,000 and 360,000 years ago. She was affectionately called Mitochondrial Eve.

    But the first signs of human intelligence and consciousness only appeared around 75,000 years ago, when the Khoisan people of southern Africa, sometimes also referred to as Bushmen, started leaving behind an array of spectacular cave paintings all over this part of the continent. Finely crafted beads and bracelet fragments found in a cave at Blombos in the Western Cape, South Africa, show that these early humans had already developed a feel for the arts and crafts around 80,000 years ago. Until recently, this was the only real link we had to the cradle of humankind in southern Africa and its earliest inhabitants.

    Southern Africa holds some of the deepest mysteries in all of human history. Although much has been written about the first humans who appeared in this part of the world, we have found very little evidence of their activity, what they did and what kind of lives they led.
    The re-evaluation of some of these ancient stone ruins of southern Africa has led us further back in time than ever before. Could these stone ruin be the remains of the earliest human settlements on Earth?

    Astronomical Alignment

    An overlay showing astronomical alignment

    Many of the circular structures are aligned to specific geographic points including solstices and equinoxes. But only when Johan Heine began to experiment with other possible encoded geometry, that the real hidden secrets of the ruins began to emerge. They are riddled with sacred geometry, Reiki symbolism and the Phi factor or golden ratio of 1,618.
    The discovery of the ancient stone calendar site by Johan Heine (Adam’s Calendar) in among all these stone dwellings and temples, would suggest that some of the structures would date back to the same era as the calendar some 75,000 years ago. It shows us with a certain level of clarity that these lost civilisations have been around for much longer than anyone could ever have imagined. It would not be absurd to then suggest that we may be staring at the very first concentrated human settlements inhabited by the early Homo sapiens
     
  8. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    lol.
     
  9. awo dino

    awo dino Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    i know, right
     
  10. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the Spirit of Sankofa and Real Truth!



    RAPTOR,

    Rule # 2. Do not add property to this site that belongs to someone other than yourself, without including their written permission. This includes, but is not limited to, poetry, news, articles, short stories, music, etc. If you don't have permission from the owner, please use the alternative method below:


    The above is more of a hassle than just copying and pasting, but gives due respect to that which belongs to others, and anything less is not acceptable. If you are found adding property that belongs to others without the above considerations, your Membership is in jeopardy. For more information on this rule, read the following thread: Copyright Infringement - Stealing - Is Not Allowed Here!

    http://destee.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8084

     
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