Python shrine found in Botswana

Dec 04, 2006

A Norway-based archaeologist has found a cave in Botswana that appears to be a 70,000-year-old religious shrine.

The cave in the Tsodilo hills has a rock with a marked resemblance to a python's head, The Times of London reported. The rock has manmade marks on it and a hiding place behind it that could have been used by a shaman appearing to speak for the python.

Sheila Coulson of the University of Oslo said the indentations on the rock in daylight look like scales. In the light of a fire, the snake appears to move.

"The shaman would have been able to control everything. It was perfect," Coulson said.

If Coulson's find is a shrine, it pushes back the first archaeological evidence of religious beliefs back 40,000 years.

The cave also contained artifacts buried in the floor, including red stone spearheads that had the marks of burning on them.

"It was a ritual destruction of artifacts," Coulson said. "There was no sign of normal habitation. No ordinary tools were found at the site."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Newly discovered 48-million-year-old lizard walked on water in Wyoming

Related Stories

Blacklist warnings spread on websites in North Korea

53 minutes ago

North Korea, already one of the least-wired places in the world, appears to be cracking down on the use of the Internet by even the small number of foreigners who can access it with relative freedom by blacklisting ...

'Map of life' predicts ET. (So where is he?)

2 hours ago

Extra-terrestrials that resemble humans should have evolved on other, Earth-like planets, making it increasingly paradoxical that we still appear to be alone in the universe, the author of a new study on ...

Baby seals that practice in pools make better divers

2 hours ago

Being able to dive is what matters most for seal pups, but how do they learn to do it? Grey seal pups that can play in pools may have better diving skills once they make the move to the sea, and this could ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.