If ever you wondered who in ages of ages first invented the art of skiing, this 4000-year old petroglyph from Rødøy ("Red Island") in Norway should leave little doubt.
That wily old Guy with the Horns: father of arts and sciences, wellspring of human culture. Is it not he who brought us Fire and instructed us in its use? Is it not he who taught us to hunt, and gave us the Old Law: to take no more than is needful, and to kill both quickly and ruthfully?
The story of how he taught us to ski has been lost to time. Can we doubt, though, that it was originally a hunter's tale?
It may be that the tale of the Horned One, the Two Serpents, and the First Skis is not, after all, lost beyond all recovery.
At one time, animal sacrifice was the most common form of public worship in the West.
So what happened to it?
We tend to think of Judaism as mother and Christianity as daughter, but in fact Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism are sister religions that arose at the same time in response to the self-same trauma: the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70 CE.
In ancient Hebrew religion, anyone could build an altar anywhere and offer up sacrifice there, but with the rise of the Jerusalem temple, a hard-fought process of centralization set in which eventually banned sacrifice anywhere else, on the logic of “one god, one temple.”