Of course, there’s a lot of speculation as to what this stone snake was actually for. Was it indeed the site of religious rituals? What kind of religion did humans have 70,000 years ago? What did they believe, and how did they express it? How much of a language did they have, to tell each other stories? Maybe language didn’t play a big part; still, the collective art of a giant snake is pretty good evidence of abstract thinking (because you have to imagine a snake before you carve it out of the rock)—as is the sacrifice of the spear points, which seem to have been deliberately burned or blunted, because you wouldn’t make a ritual out of it unless you expected something in return: good weather, good hunting, lots of children, or just the Snake God generally smiling upon you.
Actually, that reminded me of similar happenings in the bogs of Northern Europe. I saw an exhibit on them at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa a few years ago, including a bit on how precious objects were ritually “killed” (e.g.: a pot would have a hole punched through it) before being placed in the bogs.
And I’ll tell you something else: I’ll never look at money thrown in fountains the same way again.