In Panama found shaman stones

Unusual stones Indian shamans, healers use to this day. For four thousand years, little has changed. Behind the shelter of a small prehistoric Casita de Piedra near the town of Boquete in western Panama found lying compact twelve stones – the earliest evidence of shamanism in the lower Central America.

Ruth Dick of Exeter University (UK) dug up a cache in 2007. The age of a piece of coal, found himself under the stones, the radiocarbon method is estimated at 4800 years. Embers, lying higher, give four thousand years. Evidence that someone had buried the stones later, no. By the way, that they are in a close group, said that they were kept in a bag or basket, which eventually disintegrated.

Casita de Piedra (photo by Eduardo Bejerano).



Based on the location and the unusual composition of the cache, Richard Cooke of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panama) suggests that the stones used the man who combined in his person the shaman and healer. Stewart Redwood geologist determined that the cache consists of a small piece of dacite, which give a cylindrical shape, a little flake white translucent quartz, jarosite-quartz aggregate with a cutting edge unit of crystalline quartz, several pieces of pyrite with traces of use, frayed piece of chalcedony flake magnetic andesite , a major piece of chalcedony and small magnetic kaolinite, which as a result of natural erosion acquired an unusual appearance – he looked like a flower.

"This is not just a bunch of rocks, stones and crystals, typically associated with gold deposits in the Central Cordillera of Panama and Central America, – said Mr. Redwood. – But nothing gold found in the shelter, and there is no reason to believe that the stones were collected in the search for gold, for a cache prior to the earliest gold artifacts from Panama for more than two thousand years. Yet the one who collected them, had a flair for the unusual stones. Unfortunately, we will never know how important they were to him. "

In the vicinity of Casita de Piedra lived such ethnic groups as Ngobe, Bugle, Bribri, Cabecar and now extinct people doraske. Shaman-healers (curanderos) of these and other modern Indians of Central and South America often carry a small stone, which are used during rituals. Stones with crystal inclusions appear in their accounts of the transformations.

First Casita de Piedra in 1970. found and excavated Anthony Rahner of Temple University (USA). He came to the conclusion that this shelter has been used for thousands of years. There butchered and cooked food, made and renewed with tools, maybe even treated wood.

Radiocarbon dating of the lowest layers, made a group of Mrs. Dick, showed that the first people came here more than nine thousand years ago, that is a lot sooner than I expected runner. It was also found that the local inhabitants slowly grew maize, cassava and arrowroot and collected coconuts, fruits and root vegetables. Perhaps in the nearby hills and streams, they hunted and fished, but the bones of animals completely decomposed in wet soil seekers.

Shaman stones (photo Ruth Dickau).



The study is published in the journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences.

Prepared according Phys.Org.

Category: Archaeology

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