Archaeologists have dug up what they believe to be the 12,000-year-old skeleton of a “witch doctor,” according to the Associated Press.
The excavators, who found the deformed female skeleton in Northern Israel, say it belongs to a 45-year-old member of Natufian culture.
The body was covered with large stones, which experts say are believed to entomb the spirit.‚ The skull was also resting on one of 50 tortoise shells found in the grave.
In the carefully-carved oval grave, archaeologists also found a leopard pelvis, a cow tail and a piece of an eagle wing.
AP reports that a pestle and mortar were also discovered, which are believed to have been used to grind powder for potions.‚ Spooky.
Most people from the period were buried in communal graves, so the solitary burial, along with the animal parts and deformities are what is causing archaeologists to believe the woman was a “witch doctor.”
According to Israeli archaeologist and Natufian culture expert Mina Weinstein-Evron, the woman belonged to a hunter-gatherer group, which makes the finding all that more unique.
“If it’s a witch…this would be the first proof ever of such a kind of behaviour within this hunter-gatherer group,” she said, according to AP.
Evron said she had never seen a burial so elaborate.