Saturday February 16, 2019
Home Science & Technology Recent Archae...

Recent Archaeological Digs Show the Remains of ‘Skull Cult’ in Turkey

0
//
Gobekli Tepe, Turkey
Gobekli Tepe was a place where the people from the Stone Age use to gather around 9,000 years ago. Wikimedia
  • A study by the German Archaeological Institute suggested that Gobekli Tepe was a place of ritualistic significance
  • There were 691 fragments of bones at the site and 408 of them belonged to human skulls
  • There were no signs of decapitation and it was clear that the changes were made shortly after their death

Turkey, July 1, 2017: Gobekli Tepe was a place where the people from the Stone Age use to gather around 9,000 years ago. It was a time long before the kingdoms or the kings use to rule the lands.

A study by the German Archaeological Institute released in the journal ‘Science Advances’ suggested that Gobekli Tepe was a place of ritualistic significance performed by the early humans.

It is inevident that the people who were buried died there, but there were 691 fragments of bones and 408 of them belonged to human skulls. Moreover, according to the study the site also consisted of monolithic T-shaped limestone pillars and a stockpile of limestone sculptures. In fact, the research also shows the signs of deliberate modifications on the skull fragments.

ALSO READ: Quinona: Sacred “mother grain” of Ancient Inca Civilization may be the Grain of Future

Deep grooves across the foreheads of the skull were also found and some skulls even had hole drilled into it. It showed the signs that the skulls were put on display so that the visitors could see them hanging. Though there were no signs of decapitation and it was clear that the changes were made shortly after the death of those people.

These kinds of remains were also found in other archaeological sites where the skulls were used to worship and in the ancient cities of Anatolia and Levant.

Anthropologists say that these practices were because people used human skulls for various reasons- some people used to worship ancestors, others thought the dead could protect the living and some groups also used skulls of their animals to display. They refer to these groups as ‘Skull Cults’.

Gobekli Tepe also seems to be one of the oldest skull cults that the researchers have come across till now.

– by Sumit Balodi of NewsGram. Twitter: @sumit_balodi

Next Story

Siberian Caves Provide New Insight Into Mysterious Extinct Human Species

New fossils would be especially welcome, as we know almost nothing about the physical appearance of Denisovans, aside from them having rather chunky teeth.

0
Siberia
The entrance to Denisova Cave, which contains evidence of previous habitation by extinct human species, in the Anui River valley in the Altai mountains of Siberia, Russia, is shown in this image released on Jan. 30, 2019. VOA

Scientists using sophisticated techniques to determine the age of bone fragments, teeth and artifacts unearthed in a Siberian cave have provided new insight into a mysterious extinct human species that may have been more advanced than previously known.

Research published Wednesday shed light on the species called Denisovans, known only from scrappy remains from Denisova Cave in the foothills of the Altai Mountains in Russia.

While still enigmatic, they left a genetic mark on our species, Homo sapiens, particularly among indigenous populations in Papua New Guinea and Australia that retain a small but significant percentage of Denisovan DNA, evidence of past interbreeding between the species.

Fossils and DNA traces demonstrated Denisovans were present in the cave from at least 200,000 to 50,000 years ago, and Neanderthals, a closely related extinct human species, were present there between 200,000 and 80,000 years ago, the new research found. Stone tools indicated one or both species may have occupied the cave starting 300,000 years ago.

Fossil
Bone points and pierced teeth, sampled for radiocarbon dating from the early Upper Paleolithic layers of Denisova Cave in Siberia, Russia, are shown in this photo provided Jan. 30, 2019. VOA

Scientists last year described a Denisova Cave bone fragment of a girl whose mother was a Neanderthal and father a Denisovan, evidence of interbreeding. The girl, nicknamed “Denny,” lived around 100,000 years ago, the new research showed.

Pendants made of animal teeth and bone points from the cave were determined to be between 43,000 and 49,000 years old. They may have been crafted by Denisovans, suggesting a degree of intellectual sophistication.

“Traditionally these objects are associated in Western Europe with the expansion of our species, and are seen as hallmarks of behavioral modernity, but in this case Denisovans may be their authors,” said archaeological scientist Katerina Douka of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany.

Our species arose in Africa roughly 300,000 years ago, later spreading worldwide. There is no evidence Homo sapiens had reached Denisova Cave when these objects were made.

Denisovans are known only from three teeth and one finger bone.

Also Read: U.S. Sponsored Event Promoting Fossil Fuels Disrupted by Protesters

“New fossils would be especially welcome, as we know almost nothing about the physical appearance of Denisovans, aside from them having rather chunky teeth,” said geochronologist Zenobia Jacobs of the University of Wollongong in Australia.

“Their DNA in modern Australian Aboriginal and New Guinean people tantalizingly suggests they may have been quite widespread in Asia, and possibly even southeast Asia, but we need to find some hard evidence of their presence in these regions to flesh out the full story of the Denisovans,” added University of Wollongong geochronologist Richard “Bert” Roberts.

The research was published in the journal Nature. (VOA)