Archaeologists, working in Turkey, have unearthed an ancient adobe basement that could shed more light on the origins of state system and the secularization of power. Located in Aslantepe in the Malatya province, the site contains the remains of an adobe brick platform, elevated from the ground by means of three steps. According to the researchers, remnants of burnt wood, found in the area, points to a 5,000-year-old throne.
The discovery was made last month, by archaeologists from Rome-based La Sapienza University, while excavating a massive complex built in the fourth millennium BC (between 3350 and 3100 BC). Believed to have been a huge Neolithic palace, the complex houses two temples, storage rooms, several buildings, a centrally-situated courtyard and an enormous entryway. The walls, on the inteiror, are adorned with colorful embellishments, including black and red motifs and impressive geometric patterns. Speaking about the find, Marcella Frangipane, the director of excavation, said:
It’s the world’s first evidence of a real palace and it is extremely well preserved, with walls standing two meters high. In the past two campaigns we found a large courtyard which can be reached through the corridor. On the courtyard stands a monumental building… The burnt wooden fragments are likely the remains of a chair or throne.
It was inside one such building that the team found the adobe pedestal. Opening onto a wide courtyard, at one end, the room was likely a public area, for the common people to come and meet the king. The researchers have uncovered two other smaller, and slightly lower, platforms, near the main site. According to Frangipane, the significance of the discovery lies in the fact that it serves as the earliest evidence of a shift from a theocratic society to a secular form of state. She explained:
This reception courtyard and building were not a temple complex, they rather appear as the heart of the palace. We do not have religious rites here, but a ceremony showing the power of the ‘king’ and the state… The building is not a temple but a king’s building, which is important. A secular system started in Aslantepe with this palace system.
Via: Hurriyet Daily News