One of the oldest references to the division of the body and soul has been recently discovered in the ancient city of Sam’al near the modern city of Zincirli (pronounced ZIN-jeer-lee) in southeastern Turkey. Archaeologists from the University of Chicago discovered an inscribed 800-pound basalt stone monument called a “stele” that asked mourners to worship the stone as it possessed the soul of Kuttamuwa, a royal official from the eighth century BC.
This belief was a marked departure from contemporary cultures such as the Israelites who believed that the body and soul were inseparable and hence cremation was unacceptable.
“Normally, in the Semitic cultures, the soul of a person, their vital essence, adheres to the bones of the deceased,” said David Schloen, an archaeologist at the university’s Oriental Institute and director of the excavations. “But here we have a culture that believed the soul is not in the corpse but has been transferred to the mortuary stone.” (NY Times)
Does this sound familiar SuperSensers? I think it is the same reasoning that leads to the veneration of various material objects that we have been describing in this blog.
Thanks Arno.. remember keep sending me these links, guys.