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Some 100 prehistoric "cult sites," complete with penis stone structures and artifacts with vulva shapes cut into them, have been discovered in the Eilat Mountains, an extremely arid area of the Negev Desert in Israel.
At the sites, which date back around 8,000 years, archaeologists discovered a variety of stone structures and artifacts, including stone circles that measure 1.5 to 2.5 meters across (roughly 5 to 8 feet) with penis-shaped installations pointing toward them. Other findings there include standing stones that reach up to 2.6 feet (80 centimeters) high, stone bowls and stone carvings that have a humanlike shape.
Humanlike stone carvings were also found at the 100 cult sites. They reach up to 46 centimeters (1.5 feet) in height. In one instance a carving was found buried within a circle, an act symbolically associated with death. (Photo Credit: courtesy Uzi Avner)
In this image three standing stones, with holes cut into them, look over the remains of an oval installation. Many standing stones were found at the 100 new cult sites and they reach as tall as 80 centimeters (2.6 feet). (Photo Credit: courtesy Uzi Avner)
For instance, in addition to the penis-shaped structures, researchers also found that some of the stones have vulva-shaped holes cut into them. The circles that the penis-shaped structures point to also seem to represent females.
"The circle is a female symbol, and the elongated cell is a male one (phallus)," said Uzi Avner, a researcher with the Arava-Dead Sea Science Center and the Arava Institute, in an email to Live Science.
Death is "signified by the burial of stone objects and by setting them upside down," the team members wrote in their paper. In one case, a humanlike stone carving was found buried "with only the very top visible on the surface."
Many examples of stones with holes cut into them were found at the site. Some of the holes are in the shape of the female vulva, suggesting these structures also symbolize fertility, the researchers said. (Photo Credit: courtesy Uzi Avner)
The 100 cult sites were found in a mountainous area that receives only 20 mm (0.79 inches) of rain per year, on average, the archaeologists said.
Around 8,000 years ago it would have been somewhat wetter. "The climate of the 7th-6th millennia B.C. was a little moister than that of the present, 40%-20% more rainfall, but the desert was a desert," said Avner in the email.
The cult sites tended to be built in relatively flat sections of the mountains. "Their position on topographic 'shoulders' or comparatively flat locations probably enabled several dozens of people to gather around them, for example, an extended family," the archaeologists wrote.
The sites also provide a good view. "Commonly, a broad view is seen from the sites, so possibly, the scenery was one element in the selection of their location," the archaeologists added.
While the researchers discovered many cult sites, they found few domestic ones. "In contrast to the density of cult sites, only two small habitations and one small campsite were found on the ridge," they wrote, noting that these three sites were all associated with the cult sites.
When you look at Göbekli Tepe there is confirmation that its builders shared a sense of connection with the cosmos. From the strange glyphs and ideograms on the various stones, which include symbols resembling the letters C and H, to the twelvefold division of stones in the various enclosures, there is powerful evidence that these 11,000-year-old temples resonate the influence of the celestial heavens.
Standing stones erected in the north-northwestern sections of the walls in two key enclosures at Göbekli Tepe bore large holes that framed the setting of Deneb each night, highlighting the star’s significance to the Göbekli builders, and showing the precise direction in which the shaman should access the sky world.
originally posted by: obscurepanda
a reply to: Wifibrains
Any legit, verifiable sources you could link to?
originally posted by: punkinworks10
a reply to: Spider879
I belive that calendars originally came about to time the optimum conception dates.
If you conceive near the summer solstice, the child should be born in late winter/early spring, making those first critical months easier to provide for the nursing mother. The lunar calendar came around to time the menstrual cycle.
Hence , the association of these early calendars to fertility rites.
Thunder and sex: Min,Pan and BwAZA:
With the possible exception of the Yazidis and the Alawi, in Iraq and Syria,the non-christian or non muslims among the Gurage of South-Central Ethiopia are today the only Semetic speaking "pagans". Among them,Bwaza or Bazo is still worshipped for his arbitary violence and sexual appetite. as a Gurage hymn puts it:
Oh Bwaza,is there a place you do not descend to,
a Keyae(house-hold) you do not visit,where you do not slay father and son Where you do not elope with the mother and daughter?.
Interestingly,these two apparently contradictory aspects seem to be reflected ethymologicallyin the name Bwaza itself. this comes from a Semitic or Afroasiatic biconsonantal root BZ with many different forms,which the lexicographer David Cohen groups into semantic clusters,split, divide,distribute and inflate,inseminate and abound.
In the book of Ruth Boaz was the name of Naomi's kinsman whose association with fertility is shown by his consummation of his marriage to Ruth,on a threshing floor at harvest time in Bethlehem,'House of Bread'. The thundering aspect of Bw.aza is paralleled in the Biblical use of the name Bo.az as the name of one of the pair of pillars placed infront of the temple of Yahweh. Bo.az was presumably also the name of the similar pillars known to have been placed before other Canaanite temples. The practice of placing free standing pillars in front of temples has a counterpart in the cult of Bw.aza among the Guarage.
The priest of Bw.aza called maga- a name that is interestingly and inexplicably close to the Iranian Magi-distribute for profit small strips of wood,sana,from trees struck by lightning. These are placed onthe ground close to the entrance of a compound or outside a hutan as the anthropologist William Shack puts it,Whereever sana is displayed,it symbolizes that the land and property is blessed and others respect it for fear of Bw.za reprisals.This type of spiritual lightining conductor infront of houses would seem to be a Gurage parallel on a domestic scale to the Bo.az placed in front of temples.The need for protection from this fierce but creative divinity in West Semitic religion can be seen in the Ugaratic hymns and epics of Ba'al,who punishes without mercy while fertiliziting the land and,like a storm tears out and brandishes trees.