Researchers working in Ukraine are revealing a stunning find: a temple that's older than the invention of writing, LiveScience reports. The temple of wood and clay, which measures 197 feet by 66 feet, contains lots of animal bones—perhaps the remains of animals sacrificed on the building's eight platforms made of clay. The upper floor, which has five rooms, is "decorated by red paint, which created [a] ceremonial atmosphere," researchers say. They first spotted the temple in 2009 in a 1,200-building settlement that's double the size of the National Mall in Washington, LiveScience notes.
That settlement and others like it are associated with what's now known as "Trypillian" culture. And like similar sites, after inhabitants left the settlement behind, it was burned down, the researchers note. In addition to the bones, the temple contained pieces of pottery and the remains of human-like figurines, as well as what appear to be game pieces and golden hair decorations, LiveScience reports with images.