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An ancient healer reborn

Excavations in Israel reveal one of the oldest known graves of a shaman, from 12,000 years ago

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3:51pm, November 3, 2008

The graves of people who died 12,000 ago rarely contain a woman’s skeleton pinned down in an unusual position by large stones, accompanied by a menagerie of animal remains and another person’s foot. Yet that’s what archaeologist Leore Grosman of Hebrew University of Jerusalem and her coworkers recently discovered in a small Israeli cave called Hilazon Tachtit.

Closer analysis shows that this grave holds a shaman, o

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