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: Violent aftermath for the warriors at Alken Enge

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Physicists discuss quantum pigeonhole principle

6 hours ago

The pigeonhole principle: "If you put three pigeons in two pigeonholes at least two of the pigeons end up in the same hole." So where's the argument? Physicists say there is an important argument. While the ...

Giant crater in Russia's far north sparks mystery

8 hours ago

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

NASA Mars spacecraft prepare for close comet flyby

9 hours ago

NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.

Recommended for you

Violent aftermath for the warriors at Alken Enge

Jul 29, 2014

Denmark attracted international attention in 2012 when archaeological excavations revealed the bones of an entire army, whose warriors had been thrown into the bogs near the Alken Enge wetlands in East Jutland ...

Dinosaurs doing well before asteroid impact

Jul 29, 2014

A new analysis of fossils from the last years of the dinosaurs concludes that extra-terrestrial impact was likely the sole cause of extinction in most cases.

A word in your ear, but make it snappy

Jul 28, 2014

To most, crocodiles conjure images of sharp teeth, powerful jaws and ferocious, predatory displays – but they are certainly not famous for their hearing abilities. However, this could all change, as new ...

User comments : 0