From Archaeo News:
Snake carving in Botswana may be first sign of worship
A new archaeological find in Botswana shows that our ancestors in Africa engaged in ritual practice 70,000 years ago — 30,000 years earlier than the oldest finds in Europe.
This sensational discovery strengthens Africa’s position as the cradle of modern man.
Associate Professor Sheila Coulson, from the University of Oslo, can now show that modern humans, Homo sapiens, have performed advanced rituals in Africa for 70,000 years.
She has, in other words, discovered mankind’s oldest known ritual.
The archaeologist made the surprising discovery while she was studying the origin of the San people.
A group of the San live in the sparsely inhabited area of north-western Botswana known as Ngamiland.
Coulson made the discovery while searching for artifacts from the Middle Stone Age in the only hills present for hundreds of kilometers in any direction.
This group of small peaks within the Kalahari Desert is known as the Tsodilo Hills and is famous for having the largest concentration of rock paintings in the world.
The Tsodilo Hills are still a sacred place for the San, who call them the “Mountains of the Gods” and the “Rock that Whispers”.
The python is one of the San’s most important animals.
Sheila Coulson’s find shows that people from the area had a specific ritual location associated with the python.
The ritual was held in a little cave on the northern side of the Tsodilo Hills. …
“In the cave, we find only the San people’s three most important animals: the python, the elephant, and the giraffe. That is unusual.
This would appear to be a very special place.
They did not burn the spearheads by chance.
They brought them from hundreds of kilometers away and intentionally burned them.
So many pieces of the puzzle fit together here. It has to represent a ritual.” concludes Sheila Coulson.
Rare snake species Liopeltis calamaria in India: here.