--These pages are just the beginnings of the pages to be developed over the next few weeks. I've had to construct this site quickly, but I want to get as much out there as I can.  Much more to follow...--

Python Cave

The brilliant Sheila Coulson's find in 2006 is our earliest evidence of complex social ritual.  From around 70,000 BCE it's still in good shape.  Minus the 2 meters of accumulated debris.  In the Tsodilo Hills area of Botswana, Sheila and her team found this huge rock in a remote cave among a group of other heavily used caves from the upper paleolithic.  These other caves are a treasure trove of petroglyphs and other archeological evidence.  In this cave, the Python Cave, there's a large rock that has been altered to resemble a huge python.  The face, eyes, mouth and skin texture were all done over thousands of years by human hands.

This is the Python Rock in daylight.

But the fun (as usual) is when the sun goes down and we light the lights...

The area in front of the Python was an area for the "performance" part of this ritual.  But what's interesting is a little area behind the rock.  On the side closest to the performance area is what may be some man made markings.  This could be an indication of some kind of context to the ritual on the other side of the rock.  Or, another way of looking at it, is this could possibly part of a 70,000 year old script.  Stay tuned...

                                                                                           Photo by Sheila Coulson of the Python at night

The area behind the Python Rock. A tight squeeze.  Middle right is a series of markings.

Disregard the bird looking shape.  There are other human type shapes similar to other wall markings from the same area.

The area behind the Python Rock would be a unique find and could be part of the manipulation of the rock as a visual symbol.  Its exact use in the ritual is still (and probably will probably be forever) unknown.  But it opens the way for conjecture into the complexity of the elements involved in these early rituals.  

 

Storytelling Ritual