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Ancient Mysteries

Ancient shrines helped to predict the future

February 20, 2015 | Comment icon 4 comments

Ancient rulers once used the shrines to predict future events. Image Credit:
Archaeologists have discovered three divination shrines within a hilltop fortress at Gegharot, Armenia.
The shrines, which date back 3,300 years, are believed to have been used by local rulers to aid them in predicting the future, a practice that was common at the time.

Each of the shrines consisted of a single room containing a clay basin filled with ash and ceremonial vessels. Archaeologists excavating the site also unearthed a number of artifacts including marked animal bones, stamp seals and clay idols with horns.
The actual divination process would have involved standing at the shrine while drinking wine and burning various substances in an effort to attain an altered state of consciousness.

"The logic of divination presumes that variable pathways articulate the past, present and future, opening the possibility that the link between a current situation and an eventual outcome might be altered," wrote study authors Adam Smith and Jeffrey Leon.

Evidence of three different divination practices were discovered at the site - osteomancy, which involves predicting the future using animal bones, lithomancy, which uses stones, and aleuromancy, in which a practitioner would attempt to determine the future using flour.

Source: Live Science | Comments (4)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by gailforce 7 years ago
if you take time as a depth than divination makes perfect seance infect many other things would make seance
Comment icon #2 Posted by Foil Hat Ninja 7 years ago
I knew you were going to say that.
Comment icon #3 Posted by GreenmansGod 7 years ago
BBQ and getting into an altered state, people really haven't changed much in 3000 years.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Mac E 7 years ago
I haven't heard of using flour to tell the future. That's an interesting one. Probably hard to clean up too.

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