Ancient skeleton of a witch/shaman discovered in Galilee Israel

A 12 thousand years old Witch skeleton was discovered during excavations of archaeologists from the Hebrew University in Hilazon Cave. With her skeleton another skeletal remains were discovered – 50 turtles, leopard and a human foot.

Hebrew University archaeologists found in Hilazon cave, which is the northern slopes of the Hilazon River in the Western Galilee, 12 thousand years -old skeleton of a  of a woman who probably practice some kind of shamanism (religion spiritual activity). Together with the skeleton there were also grave unusual offerings: 50 tortoise shells, bones of the pelvis of a  tiger and a foot of a person. Shamanic tomb is the oldest and the only one of its kind in every region of the Middle East. Excavations, conducted – by Dr. Lior Grossman from the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University, discovered the Natufian Cemetery 12 thousand years ago.

He discovered the tomb of a woman of 45 value itself indicate that suffered inflammation and pain. An examination of the skeleton revealed that the woman was disfigured and that is probably limping and no higher than five feet. The woman was buried when she lies on her side, the tomb built of stones and mud.

Witch skeleton was found, the arrow indicates the position of the skull (Photo: Naftali Hilger)

Dr. Grossman and Prof. Anna Belfer – Cohen argue that the unique burial and effort that went into designing the tomb indicate that it is the grave of a shaman, because these women enjoyed high status especially the community. Role of the shaman is a key role in society and destiny bridge between spiritual beings and the individual or company whole. shamans used this period as messengers, healers and magicians. often buried shamans along with items that indicated their spiritual powers, particularly the relationship with the animal entities which seek shamans help.

Tomb of unique items that were placed in tombs were other periods and cultures so. In addition to 50 tortoise shells, a leopard’s pelvic bone of the human foot, bones found in the grave also wild boar, wild cow’s tail and wings of an eagle bone. The woman was covered at the Eagle Wing has the most beautiful feathers and furs fuels skulls found over the burial. Presence of bones in the grave also shows that the woman deal magic.

An analysis of the bones, made by researcher Natalie Munroe, indicate that dissolution turtles made during burial and grave discarded parts as part of ritual activity. Other ritual acts which saw researchers include the removal of bone marrow boar, were placed under the woman’s arm, and laying of the human foot, which probably belonged to an adult was significantly larger.

The bones found in the tomb along with a chart of the animal it assembled (Photo: Gideon Hartman)

Hilazon cave: