According to the Times of London:
Pythons were probably the first idols to be worshipped by man, archaeologists said after unearthing evidence of a ritual dating back 70,000 years.
A rock shaped like an enormous pythonâ€™s head, discovered in a cave in the Tsodilo hills of Botswana, puts back the date of the first known human ritual by 30,000 years, they say.
Equally interesting is the context in which the idol was found. It appears that even way back then, "the great and powerful Oz" was already behind the curtain:
Behind the rock, which was covered in man-made indentations, was a chamber that the archaeologists believed was used by a shaman who could have spoken without being seen, giving the impression that it was the snake speaking.
â€œThe shaman would have been able to control everything. It was perfect,â€ Sheila Coulson, from the University of Oslo, said.
The python photo comes from the Basel zoo via Rasch-Blog.