The fact that Ukraine's temple is 6,000 years old isn't even the most interesting fact about this discovery — researchers suspect the site was used for ritual animal sacrifices.
The 197' by 66' temple, found within a prehistoric settlement, contained "human-like figurines and sacrificed animal remains" in its courtyard, LiveScience reports. The researchers concluded that the two-story temple, which was made of clay and wood, was built before writing existed.
Nataliya Burdo and Mykhailo Videiko, from the Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, recently presented the archaeologists' findings at the European Association of Archaeologists' annual meeting in Turkey. The discovery is published in the journal Tyragetia, and an additional report on the site is published in the journal Antiquity.
The temple, which was found near modern-day Nebelivka, included eight clay platforms, which the archaeologists posit were used as sacrificial altars — one of the platforms contained burnt lamb bones. The researchers believe the temple belonged to the "Trypillian" culture, a modern name given to the culture of Ukraine's Trypillia village. Like other Trypillian sites, the temple was burned down with the rest of the settlement when it was abandoned.