What appears to be one of the oldest throne rooms in human history has been discovered in Turkey's eastern region of Aslantepe, Discovery News reports. Located in a 5,000-year-old adobe basement, the charred evidence of what excavation director Marcella Frangipane believes is "likely the remains of a chair or throne" was unearthed in a complex that dates back to the fourth millennium B.C. The throne, Frangipane suggests, sat on an adobe platform at the top of three steps in a small room that opened into a larger courtyard. It was probably from this throne room that the society's leader would address the public; two low adobe platforms might have sat in front of the throne, for people to stand on when they approached the king.
"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," Frangipane explained to Discovery News.
Unlike older cultures, where leaders would exercise their power from within temples, the Turkish throne room suggests a non-religious expression of the king's power, signaling an important break from religious authority to a state government.
"It's the world's first evidence of a real palace and it is extremely well preserved," Frangipane said.