Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Times 2nd December 2006

From The Times 2nd December 2006

Python may have been the first sacred cow 70,000 years ago
Lewis Smith

Pythons were probably the first idols to be worshipped by man, archaeologists said after unearthing evidence of a ritual dating back 70,000 years.

A rock shaped like an enormous python’s head, discovered in a cave in the Tsodilo hills of Botswana, puts back the date of the first known human ritual by 30,000 years, they say.

Behind the rock, which was covered in man-made indentations, was a chamber that the archaeologists believed was used by a shaman who could have spoken without being seen, giving the impression that it was the snake speaking.

Full story is at,,13509-2482418,00.html

Move house ... but thou shalt not take thy dead relatives
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

When people move house they often take with them every fixture and fitting bar the kitchen sink. And sometimes even that too. But a new trend is dismaying bishops in the Church of England.
Increasing numbers are asking whether they can dig up their dead relatives and take them to another churchyard near their new home.

The trend has emerged in two judgments from separate dioceses in the Church of England.

Two chancellors — Church judges — have issued grieving relatives with a warning that, once buried, their dear departed must be allowed to rest in peace.

One case involved a woman who wanted the cremated remains of her son moved from a cemetery at Morpeth to a churchyard in Kent.

Full story is at,,2-2482203,00.html