Archaeologists have unearthed nearly 5,000-year-old shaman's stones in a rock shelter in Panama. The stone collection may be the earliest evidence of shamanic rituals in that region of Central America, researchers say.
The 12 stones were found in the Casita de Piedra rock shelter, in the Isthmus of Panama. The rocks, which carbon-dating of surrounding material showed to be between 4,000 and 4,800 years old, were clustered in a tight pile. That suggests they had been carried there, likely in a leather pouch that has long-since disintegrated, said study co-author, Ruth Dickau, an archaeologist at the University of Exeter, in an email.
"If our interpretation is correct, it constitutes the earliest material evidence in lower Central America of shamanistic practice," the authors wrote in the article.
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