Ancient carvings with five figures, including a man holding his penis, tell a tale of man versus beast in the world’s oldest tale.
A 10,000-year-old stone slab on a wall excavated in Turkey shows two males and three animals engaged in separate but related “scenes.”
The etchings depict a story of two men being attacked by animals, with both in a self-defense position against attacks by leopards and bulls.
The discovery was made by archaeologists from Istanbul University, who uncovered the menacing story in the ruins of a Neolithic building beneath a modern village.
Not only is this the oldest of its kind, but the study notes that the carvings “reflect the complex relationship between humans, the natural world and the animal life that surrounded them during the transition to a sedentary lifestyle.”
The carving shows two men, one of whom is holding his genitals with leopards on each side
Archaeologist Dr. Eylem Özdoğan, from Istanbul University, said in a pronunciation: ‘These figures, inscribed together to depict a story, are the first known examples of such a holistic tableau.
“This was a picture of the stories that formed the ideology of the people of that time.”
Archaeologists have been working in the Turkish village of Sayburç since 2021 to remove layers of dirt to reveal ancient Neolithic secrets.
This work revealed two communal buildings and a series of residential buildings about 70 meters apart.
Archaeologists believe the image shows the man defending himself by protecting his genitals
The leopard’s mouths are open, the teeth are exposed, and the long tails are curled towards the body
The excavations revealed that the site was inhabited during the Neolithic period, in the 9th millennium BC.
“A major transition occurred during this period, with people moving from a mobile hunter-gatherer lifestyle to farming and living in long-term settlements such as Sayburç,” the researchers said.
The story wall was found in one of the communal buildings, measuring 11 meters in diameter and carved into the limestone bedrock, with stone walls resting on a bench that rises from the floor.
The images are etched on the inside of the sofa, forming a panel 2 feet high that extends about 12 feet.
‘The direction and posture of the figures imply that there are two related scenes present. While the other figures face each other, only the male figure – in high relief – looks into the room, staring into it. study published in the journal Antiquity
“This most important human figure holds his phallus in his right hand.”
The wall with the story was found in one of the communal buildings
The story was carved along a wall in the building, along a bank
The other male figure is shown crouching, with his back turned to the other man, holding a snake in one hand with six fingers. A bull is cut to have exaggerated horns, like a leopard’s teeth
The figure has been damaged over time, but researchers said it is a male figure between two leopards that appear ready to pounce.
The leopard’s mouths are open, the teeth are exposed, and the long tails are curled towards the body.
The other male figure is shown crouching, with his back turned to the other man, holding a snake in one hand with six fingers.
A bull is a feature in this scene and is carved to have exaggerated horns, like a leopard’s teeth.
This distorted perspective is similar to that of other prehistoric sites and must have been deliberately chosen to emphasize the horns, which are exaggerated like the leopards’ teeth in the previous scene,” the researchers wrote in the study.
“Archaeological evidence may provide some insight into the traditions of past societies, but clearer evidence rarely survives, so this discovery is exciting.” Sayburç has very clear evidence in this regard and can tell us a lot about the Neolithic,’ concluded Dr Özdoğan.