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Iceman Was Buried in Formal Ceremony

A sign of Prehistoric Religion? - Mysterious things can happen in ancient places. For instance, it has been discovered that the 5,300-year-old iceman who has been nicknamed Oetzi, discovered in the thawing Alps 19 years ago, may not have died where he was found in 1991. Instead, he may have been ceremoniously buried there.

PhysOrg.com reports that new research by archeologist Alessandro Vanzetti indicates that Oetzi died much closer to sea level, from wounds he received in a fight. Until now, archaeologists thought Oetzi, whose mummified corpse was discovered in a high mountain pass in the Alps in 1991, died at that spot from wounds he had sustained in a fight. The new theory would explain why so many objects were found next to the body and why some of the weapons found there were not ready for use. Some of these objects were valuable and would have been taken by his murderer if Oetzi had died where he was found. This burial shows that from the earliest times, human beings have had an active spiritual life.

Signs of prehistoric spirituality are have also been discovered by archeologists who unearthed what appears to be the grave of a shaman grave who was buried at least 12,000 years ago in what is now Israel. They found evidence of a buried feast nearby. In LiveScience.com, Charles Q. Choi quotes researcher Natalie Munro as saying, "This is the first solid evidence that supports the idea that communal feasts were already occurring, perhaps with some frequency, at the beginnings of the transition to agriculture."

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