Ritual grooves are different from those discovered at other ‘skull cult’ sites
German Archaeological Institute (DAI)
Hunter-gatherers who built and worshiped at one of the oldest known ritual centers in the world carved up human skulls in a style all their own.
At Turkey’s Göbekli Tepe site — where human activity dates to between around 11,600 and 10,000 years ago — people cut deep grooves in three human skulls and drilled a hole in at least one of them, say archaeologist Julia Gresky of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin and colleagues. Ancient hunter-gatherers there practiced a previously unknown version of a “skull cult,” in which human skulls were ritually modified after death and then deposited together, Gresky’s team reports online June 28 in Science Advances.
Collections of human skulls modified in other ways have been found at several sites from around the same time. For instance, deliberately broken faces on skulls were unearthed at a Syrian settlement and