A team of German researchers three fragments of carved human skulls at an archaeological site in Anatolia, Turkey. The remnants, dating back 11,000 years ago, during the Neolithic period, might work as evidence for a skull cult which got involved in rituals in the area.
- Researchers found three carved skull fragments in Anatolia.
- The carvings were the result of a skull cult, a ritual widespread in the area.
- These marks were unique, so the cult hasn’t probably been documented before.
This is not the first time when scientists discover evidence for this skull cult in the area in Turkey. However, these findings represent the first palpable examples of this kind of body modification. Many civilizations worshipped skulls and made different kinds of modifications on their bodies. Now, researchers analyze them to find more about these rituals.
It was a common practice in the area to displace dead bodies of their skulls, to paint them, or to remodel their facial structure. All these documented changed made by the worshippers are referred to by researchers as skull cult.
Researchers discovered these skull fragments at the site Göbekli Tepe, in Southeast Anatolia. They analyzed the remnants and discovered different carvings, which might indicate that an unknown and previously undocumented skull cult took was widespread in the area 11,000 years ago. Their analysis was published in the journal Science Advances.
They found the site was used mostly for rituals, since other specific architecture was discovered in the area. There was no trace of any human burials, but they found numerous human bones. Unfortunately, their poor state doesn’t allow their dating.
The fragments in question display peculiar carvings and incisions, which seem to have been made intentionally by humans. They don’t seem decorative, but rather meant to remove other decorative elements which prevented them from hanging the skulls.
Since the carvings are unique, researchers came to the conclusion that the remnants were used in a skull cult not documented before. The purpose of the rituals remains unknown, but it was either veneration of the ancestors or a technique to intimidate enemies.
Image Source: Max Pixel