Earliest known shaman reveals tool of the trade

2017-12-20 04:00:20

THE grave goods of a 12,000-year-old hunter-gatherer, unearthed in Israel near the Sea of Galilee, suggest that she was one of the earliest shamans. Nestled with her remains were 50 tortoise shells, a human foot and the body parts of creatures including a golden eagle, a wild boar and a leopard. “I think she was a shaman,” says Leore Grosman of the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, head of the team that reported the discovery in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0806030105). Her burial has all the hallmarks of shamanism,