In ancient times, our ancestors devoted to ritualsa lot of attention. By conducting rituals, they tried to connect with spirits, appease the gods and increase their spiritual and physical strength. All kinds of masks made of wood, stones and other materials played an important role in ancient rituals. In most cases, the masks were made in the shape of human faces with certain emotions like fear, anger, joy, and so on. Throughout history, scientists have found a huge number of masks from different times and peoples, but in 2014, American researchers made the most important discovery. In the Midbar Yehuda desert, located in Israel, they found a closed cave, inside which Stone Age masks were discovered. According to the calculations of researchers, the age of the found artifacts is more than 9000 years, that is, these masks are the oldest among all found. But what were they used for, especially in the Stone Age?
Stone Age Masks
Scary-looking masks were made of limestonecave people. This is the conclusion reached by scientists who found them inside a cave located in the Midbar Yehuda desert, which is better known as the Judean desert. The researchers gave the name to the cave Nahal Hemar and considered this place a cult place. Most likely, ancient people performed rituals inside this cave, as evidenced by beads found in addition to masks, flint knives, figurines carved from stones and human skulls. Since the cave was sealed, the researchers suggested that it represented an entrance to the "afterlife", the spirits of which could not go outside.
Most likely thousands of years ago maskswere made by the inhabitants of many parts of our planet. But, due to the fact that they were mainly made of wood or limestone, the artifacts have not survived to our times. But the masks and other objects of the Nahal Hemar cave were practically not damaged, because they were covered with a sticky substance. At first, the researchers thought that someone had already visited the cave and for some reason flooded the artifacts with construction waste. But the composition of the substance turned out to be identical with the glue that ancient people knew how to make. Most likely, masks and other antiquities were thus protected from destruction.
In the discovered masks, as in many others,there are holes for the eyes, nose and mouth. But they look very creepy and depict different emotions. Scientists believe that in this way the ancient people wanted to portray the distinctive features of certain people or even gods in which they believed. Of course, no documents that spoke of important personalities of such distant times have survived. Scientists also do not know what gods people could believe in thousands of years ago. Most likely, we will never know about it. Of course, if humanity fails to invent a time machine, then it will be possible to go back in time and observe everything that happens on our own.
See also: Why did our ancestors feel more pain than we do?
Stone Age people's lives
Such masks were found not only in the caveNahal Hemar, but also in other caves located within a 30-kilometer radius of it. Whether they were sealed in the same way, The Times of Israel does not report. However, scientists know other interesting facts about the people of those times. It is believed that 9000 years ago, our ancestors had already ceased to lead a nomadic lifestyle and began to live in strictly defined places. For long-term living, they chose places where there is water and various sources of food nearby. Over time, people began to evolve, invent new tools and develop their intelligence. Yes, throughout history, our ancestors faced many problems like climate change, but, nevertheless, the human race still lives on.
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On the topic of the life of our distant ancestors alsoI recommend reading the material from Ilya Khel, published in 2015. In his article, he spoke in detail about how the ancient people came up with what many of us eat almost every day - bread. So how did humanity come up with a recipe for bread? Read it now.