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Friday, March 26, 2010

The Neolithic Religion


I previously discussed the Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon religions, which were identified archaeologically as the Stone Age. However, the Neolithic or late Stone Age that followed was reaped in innovation including new weaponry and a developing agricultural system.



Geographically, this was a very important time for people looking to settle in one place, however the weather would never allow it. When people realized that they could plant seeds, harvest the crops, and store them, their lives changed incredibly. They were able to settle in one place, thus setting up permanent dwellings. This directly resulted in a huge population growth in which, people started to work together to grow and harvest food. Consequently in Egypt, land surveying started to take place using science and mathematics to establish the boundaries of land ownership.

People now had the ability to sit back and allow the crops to grow, leaving them more time to delve into other subjects such as religion and astronomy. In fact, most of what they started to learn was based upon nature including the changing of the seasons, the tides, the phases of the moon,and the movements of the stars  This is initially where religions based upon the stars, sun, moon, and seasons started to evolve.

What do we know about the Neolithic People?


The Neolithic people are greatly associated with the use of Megaliths, the two best examples being Stonehenge and Brittany in France. Brimming with speculation, the megaliths have been rumored to be associated with a cult of the dead and ancestor veneration, however due to the lack of written records no one really knows the truth. It does seem quite odd that these massive stones were transported to certain locations from a quarry, many times at a great distance from the original location. There must have been a real purpose behind it.

Also, archaeologists have turned up bones of man, woman, and child, along with ornaments and tools from large burial sites, thus indicating that the chieftain would be served in the next life.

What are your opinions? Please comment below and tell me what you think the megaliths were used for and why.

Pictures Sources: Mane Braz

6 Comments:

John | Daily Photo Gallery said...

The sites must have had a religious significance. Nothing else would explain the enormous amount of work out ancestors put it.

If it was merely a calendar or a meeting place then why go to so much trouble? Surely they'd use the materials to hand? Some of the stones at Stonehenge weigh 50 tons. The heaviest at Castlerigg is 16 tons. Even with modern technology that's wouldn't be easy.

The Ancient Digger said...

@John

I agree with you completely. Why take all that time to move stones that could weight up 300 tons to one place and set them up in a certain position? It makes no sense if these didn't have a religious or spiritual purpose.

Katherine said...

Just seeing your blog for the first time from Tribal Blogs. My first thought? "Wow, you are SMART." LOL! I will have to bookmark and let my oldest dive in to your blog. He is fascinated with things like this... really interesting!

The Ancient Digger said...

@Katherine

Thanks so much for stopping by. This blog is really a great way for me to learn about different subjects. I read about them and then I write about my findings.

Ratty said...

While I'm sure religion had something to do with these megaliths, I also believe that religion was originally also a form of science. I look at the reasons we do things today to guess why someone from the past might do something. I think they thought at the time that moving these stones had a very practical reason. I agree that religion was involved, but I also think it was much more than that.

Carol Yates Wilkerson said...

It's hard to think like a 'primitive' human, but that said, I doubt they were all that primitive. We have always had them presented to us that way is all. What would make anyone believe so strongly in something that they would be willing to give their lives to moving huge stones? A love of something unseen that was so great they felt compelled to honor it like this. It goes on being a mystery.

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