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The fox and the T-shaped stones

29 January 2011

At www.pasthorizons.com January 28th we have a story about a fox that was provided with its own grave as if it was a special member of a family group, a pet. It may also have been some kind of tribal talisman. Likewise, depictions of foxes and the remains of foxes are not unknown features of the past – they pop up on occasion. This fox, dated to around 16,000 years ago, was found in the Transjordan zone. It is not particularly unusual for people to keep a fox as a pet, even n owadays. I knew a bloke who found a fox cub that was orphaned and he kept it in his garden – and he had chickens as well.

At www.todayszaman.com/news-233727-gobekli-tepe-making-us-rethink-our-ancestors/ … what is thought to be the remains of a cultic site in eastern Anatolia, with T-shaped pillars arranged in a circle around an inner taller pair of pillars, may not actually be as unique as it has been represented. Such T-shaped pillars have been found elsewhere in the general region but the sites concerned have not been excavated. Gobekli Tepe is said to date all the way back to the very beginnings of the Holocene, at the brink of the Early Neolithic. It is generally thought the people concerned were actually hunter-gatherers, but there is time for archaeologists to change their minds on this point. Just as Mesolithic tribes in Britain organised communal projects, but somewhat later (but not too distant) so too did people in the Near East – and we only know a very small fraction of what human activity was occurring at the time so jumping to conclusions is not always the best option. Scientists seem to like to pigeon hole things and archaeologists are the same. On the pillars of the circle uncovered (there remain others still buried on the hill) there are depictions of wild animals – such as lions, bulls, wild boars, snakes and …. foxes. Why the skittish fox?

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