One of the greatest challenges with studying the origins of
religion is that there are no detailed records of the emergence of religion.
However, it is possible to learn from the prehistoric religion of Mesopotamia
through archeological sites and findings. Prior to the fifth millennium,
religious sites, like temples, were very rare and almost non-existing. One of
the few religious sites, however, was Tell es- Sawwan, which has contributed
greatly to our rich knowledge about prehistoric religion now. Tell es- Sawwan
consists of two levels/floors, on the first level many infant graves were found
and an extensive number of alabaster grave goods. From these findings, it can
be concluded that this site specifies as religious. However, not all findings
necessarily mean that they are religious, a T-shaped building at Tell es- Sawwan
was first labelled and recorded as a religious site, but later they were
discovered to be places of living and houses. Rituals can be easily observed
through patterns at religious sites, especially burial sites. There are various
burial practices which can be observed. Most evidence on burials and burial
practices come from Tell es- Sawwan, because many burials have been discovered
under the buildings in the first level. Inside the grave, many goods have been
found like alabaster bowls and many female shaped figurines, the figurines all
had head-dresses and eyes. Other findings included animal figurines as well as
other materials. Another thing that can be observed from Tell es- Sawwan is
evidence of social hierarchy. A size difference in the graves can be noted and
a great number of them are designed the same way and include a number adult

Another example of documented burial sites are the Halaf sites. An
example that stands out the most on Halaf is the findings of a collective
burial site, which had many individual skulls inside vessels. The skull of a
teenage girl was found that was cremated in a specially customized oven for
her. During the process of cremation, clay and stone vessels were broken into
small pieces and then put in the oven with the body. Other materials were also
thrown into the oven such as gypsum or rock crystal.

At the burial site of Yarim Tepe II, a similar procedure can be
witnessed, where stone vases were broken during cremations. Therefore, it can
be concluded that breaking objects was a funeral rite through many different
cultures. There are many possible reasons for the breaking of objects, one of
them is that when breaking an object a spirit within it will be released that will
accompany the dead to the next life. Another reason for it is that it
supposedly should prevent fights among the remaining family of the deceased. At
Yarim Teppe II, animal bones and other random objects were also found on the
burial sites, such as clay figurines. Clay figurines are a common finding at
ritual sites, baked or unbaked clay in the shape of women as well as animals
can be found at sites such as Jarmo.