Found: An Ancient Monument to the Soul

Found: An Ancient Monument to the SoulIn a mountainous kingdom in what is now southeastern Turkey, there lived in the eighth century B.C. a royal official, Kuttamuwa, who oversaw the completion of an inscribed stone monument, or stele, to be erected upon his death. The words instructed mourners to commemorate his life and afterlife with feasts “for my soul that is in this stele.”

12,000-Year-Old Shaman Unearthed in Israel

12,000-Year-Old Shaman Unearthed in IsraelA new figure in humanity's history emerged last week when archaeologists announced the discovery of what could be one of the world's oldest known spiritual figures. After years of meticulous excavation just miles from Israel's Mediterranean coast, scientists from the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem unearthed a 12,000-year-old grave that held the remains of a diminutive "shaman" woman. Buried alongside the woman's small, huddled corpse were selected pieces of animal bone, a cowtail, an eagle wing, the foot of another human, and, most curiously, some fifty tortoise shells deliberately arranged around the woman's body — all tell-tale signs, experts say, of her lofty social status at the time. "This is something very special; it stands apart," says Leore Grosman, the project's lead archaeologist.

Studying culture rather than shedding it in India

Studying culture rather than shedding it in IndiaIn a library deep in the western Indian countryside, in an academy surrounded by farms on all sides, five students are writing briskly in their ruled notebooks.

They are in their early 20s and newly enrolled, pimples dotting their faces and polish peeling from their nails.

But there is no discounting the gravity of their assignment: When they complete it, the world will have five more documented languages at its disposal.

Indigenous Health Center in Venezuela

Indigenous Health Center in VenezuelaA shamanic healing and training center was opened by Venezuelan authorities in eastern Delta Amacuro State, as part of efforts to support indigenous culture and development.
The institution is based on the knowledge of the Warao people, one of the more than 40 ethnic groups in Venezuela, and is the first of six such shamanic healing centers planned to rescue ancient values and culture.

Skeleton of 12,000-year-old shaman discovered buried with leopard, 50 tortoises and human foot

Skeleton of 12,000-year-old shaman discovered buried with leopard, 50 tortoises and human footThe skeleton of a 12,000 year-old Natufian Shaman has been discovered in northern Israel by archaeologists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The burial is described as being accompanied by "exceptional" grave offerings - including 50 complete tortoise shells, the pelvis of a leopard and a human foot. The shaman burial is thought to be one of the earliest known from the archaeological record and the only shaman grave in the whole region.