Ancient carvings showing five figures, including a man clutching his penis, tell the story of man versus beast in the world’s oldest story.
A 10,000-year-old stone tablet discovered in Turkey shows two males and three animals taking part in separate but related “scenes”.
The reliefs depict the story of two men being attacked by animals, as they both engaged in a pose for self-defense against the attacks of leopards and a bull.
The discovery was made by archaeologists from Istanbul University, who unearthed a dangerous tale within the ruins of a Neolithic building found 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 carvings show two men, one holding his genitalia, and leopards on each side
‘These figures, etched together to depict a story, are the first known examples of such a comprehensive landscape,’ archaeologist Dr. Elim Ozdogan, of Istanbul University, said in a statement.
This was a picture of the stories that shaped the ideology of the people of that period.
Since 2021, archaeologists have been working in the Turkish village of Sayburc, removing layers of dirt to uncover ancient Paleolithic secrets.
This work revealed two common buildings and a group of apartment buildings about 230 feet apart.
Archaeologists believe that the image shows the man defending himself by protecting his genitals
Tiger mouths are open, teeth are visible, and their long tails are curled towards the body
Excavations revealed that the site was inhabited during the Neolithic period, in the ninth millennium BC.
According to the researchers, this period witnessed an important transition, as people switched from a mobile, hunter-gatherer lifestyle to farming and living in long-term settlements like cyborgs.
The wall with narration found in one of the community buildings, is 36 feet in diameter, and is carved in limestone bedrock, with masonry walls resting on a bench raised off the ground.
The images are etched on the inner face of the pew, forming a panel two feet high, extending about 12 feet.
The direction and position of the characters suggests that there are two related scenes. While the other figures face each other, only the male figure — in high relief — faces the room and peers in,” according to the study, published in the journal Antiquity.
“This main human figure is holding her penis in her right hand.”
The wall with the narration was found in one of the communal buildings
The narrative is carved along a wall inside the building, along a bench
The other male figure is shown squatting, with his back turned towards the other male, holding a snake in one hand with six fingers. The bull was sculpted to have exaggerated horns like the teeth of a tiger
The figure has been damaged over time, but the researchers said it is a male figure between two tigers that appear ready to pounce.
Tiger mouths are open, teeth are visible, and their long tails are curled towards the body.
The other male figure is shown squatting, with his back turned towards the other male, holding a snake in one hand with six fingers.
The bull is a feature in this scene carved into exaggerated horns like the teeth of a leopard.
This distorted perspective is comparable to that seen at other prehistoric sites and must have been deliberately chosen to emphasize the horns, which were enlarged like the teeth of leopards in the earlier scene, the researchers wrote in the study.
Archaeological evidence can provide some insights 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 has the potential to tell us a lot about the Neolithic period.