Strangely, the Cultural Heritage News thinks that this is news:|
Tehran, 28 September 2005 (CHN) -- Archaeological excavations in Gohar Tepe, in Mazandaran province in Iran, led to the discovery of the remains of the statues of some cows which were most probably used in religious ceremonies.So, what are they trying to tell us here? Is this the origin of the expression 'Holy Cow'? If so, they're on the wrong track. The article states:
The discovery of these sculptures indicates that the people of the region worshiped cows 3000 years ago.
Mazandaran is one of the most ancient provinces in Iran. Archaeological excavations indicate that the province has been inhabited by human beings since 400,000 years ago until the present time, and that around 5000 years ago, urbanization flourished in the area. Gohar Tepe is a proof to this claim.
“Some cow statues have been discovered in the archaeological excavations of Gohar Tepe, one of which is left almost intact. These sculptures which are in shape of rhytons were being used in religious ceremonies,” says Ali Mahforouzi, head of the excavation team of Gohar Tepe, Mazandaran, who is undertaking the forth season of excavations in the historical site.
[...]I've got a better example for evidence that the people of [a] region worshiped oxen and humped cows . In some regions, cows are regarded even today as symbols of hard work, fertility, and...
Mahforouzi believes that rhytons reflect the beliefs of the ancient people of the region. These statues are evidence that the people of the region worshiped oxen and humped cows 3000 years ago. “Even today we can see some kind of respect towards the animals in the region,” added Mahforouzi, referring to kinds of cows being regarded as symbols of hard work and fertility.
(Thanks to Free Republic for original link)