Religion

Ancient burial

In term of the interment of the corpse, there is a custom which habitually be carried out by the Upper Paleolithic peoples that is they often buried the deceased in the earth along with the grave or burial goods such as stone tools, numerous ornaments like ivory bracelets, necklaces of drilled animal teeth and perforated shells and sprinkled red ocher.

The grave goods were set surrounding the corpse and the position of corpse itself was either flexed or extended. Sometimes they also put a large stone below the head like as a pillow. In addition, the anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines were often present as a burial goods. The famous upper paleolithic figurine is Venus figurine found in Kostenki (Rusia), Willendorft (Austria) and from Lespugue (France).


This customs or culture deal with the corpse accompanied by the burial goods lasting since upper paleolithic period around 40-10 kya (in the range of Late Pleistocene) and continuously exist in Neolithic period (Holocene), especially found in the Europe. The example of Upper Paleolithic burial goods cultures among others St Germain-la-Riviere in France, Grimaldi cave in Italy and Moravia in Czech.

Such kind of Upper Paleolithic culture also existed in the Middle Paleolithic period before c.40-50 kya (Late Pleistocene) but whether the existence or occurrence of the burial goods surrounding the skeletal remains were either intentionally or accidentally, still became the subject of debate among the archaeologist.

Neolithic is also known as period of transition from hunter-gathering to agricultural culture. In this period the burial goods are more varied compared to Upper Paleolithic among other the appearance of numerous earthenwares or ceramics. However the arrival of numerous earthenwares are not always concomitant with the appearance of agricultural culture (for example in Jomon culture of Japan).

One of the interesting points of the customs putting of grave goods including the anthromorphic or zoomorphic figurine both in Upper Paleolithic and Neolithic period, whether these are relevant to such kind of offering to supranatural power; whether it is mutually inclusive with the idea of hereafter. If the anthromorphic or zoomorphic figurine can be recognized as representative of adored idols custom or paganism thus this custom might be firstly appeared since the upper paleolithic period.

So far, the custom of Upper Paleolithic peoples buried the grave goods haven’t known in Asia as yet. But it was recognized in Neolithic period like in Java (Indonesia), Perak (Malaysia). However, the oldest Neolithic culture is the Jomon culture lasting in Japan in 10,000-300 BC.

The Jomon are the native community existed during Neolithic period in Japan. They had own culture so called Jomon cultures that distinguished by the appearance of skillful making earthwares although they were hunter-gathering subsistence. In addition, the Jomon’s earthware was the oldest known ceramics in the world.

The oldest ceramics came from southern Japan dated 10,750-10,000 BC. The making figurine appeared since intial Jomon period (7500-5000 BC) especially in the eastern Japan and increased in the middle Jomon period (3500-2500 BC). In the final Jomon period (1000-300 BC) large figurines with distinctive faces were common. As a whole, most of the figurine represented human female and may symbolize pregnancy or feritility like Venus figurine from Upper Paleolithic culture in Europe.

Penang, 31 August 2002
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Ustinova, Y. 2009. Caves & the ancient Greek mind. NY: Oxford University Press [19-3-18Sn vbm]

NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES (p.41)
Near-death experiences are profound subjective events reported in contemporary studies by a quarter to one third of people interviewed who have been on the verge of death or were believed or pronounced clinically dead—but ultimately survived.In the modern Western world, a growing number of dangerously ill patients are treated successfully in hospitals or resuscitated [menghidupkan, membangkitkan, menyadarkan dr pingsan], hence given an opportunity to report their experience. During earlier epochs and in other parts of the world, the number of such accounts was naturally much lower, since most near-death experiences ended in death
=>Pengalaman mendekati kematian merupakan peristiwa subyektif yang dilaporkan oleh beberapa orang yang hampir mati atau diyakini mati secara klinis – tapi akhirnya bertahan (tdk jadi mati).Di Barat, semakin banyak pasien yang sudah sakit parah dirawat di rumah sakit tetapi pada akhirnya bertahan hidup dan mereka menceritakan pengalamannya. Pada waktu dulu, cerita semacam ini sangat jarang karena hampir semua pengalaman menjelang kematian berakhir dengan kematian (Ustinova, 2009:41)

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