Archaeologists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem discovered in northern Israel the tomb of a shaman woman, which includes the shells of 50 turtles and a 12,000-year-old human foot.
The finding, which corresponds to the Neolithic period, is believed to be one of the oldest known of a shaman's burial throughout the region, according to a statement issued today by the university.
The tomb contained remains of various animals rarely found at Neolithic burials, such as 50 complete turtle shells, the tip of a golden eagle's wing, the tail of a cow, the skeletons of two ferrets and the foot of a wild boar. .
Leore Grosman of the institute's Archeology Institute who directs the excavation at Hilazon Tachtit in western Galilee believes that the burial preparations and ritual, as well as the method of closing the tomb, suggest that the burial had a prominent role in the community.
In addition, a human foot of a considerably taller than the dead individual was discovered, who was 45 years old when he died, according to an analysis of his bones.
Grosman considers the finding to be what specialists associate with shaman tombs, since burials generally reflected the role the individual played and his dead were buried with animals and other objects to which they related in life.
The archaeologist mentions that at the moment of her burial, ten stones were placed on the woman's head, waist and arms, and that after the body's decomposition her weight caused the disarticulation of some parts of the skeleton.
One of the reasons for this practice is believed to have been to prevent your body from being eaten by animals or perhaps because the community has tried to protect your spirit within the grave.
Shaman: word of indigenous origin. Meaning: The one who does magic
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