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 on: Today at 02:35:54 am 
Started by Valerie - Last post by Valerie
Göbeklitepe: The world’s oldest sculpture workshop

ŞANLIURFA – Anadolu Agency
Twenty years have passed since archaeological excavations started in Göbeklitepe. Findings so far have revealed that the ancient site was the world’s oldest sculpture workshop

Göbeklitepe has also the oldest known sculpture workshop, new excavations have shown.

Göbeklitepe has also the oldest known sculpture workshop, new excavations have shown.
The world’s oldest discovered temple, Göbeklitepe, is also the oldest known sculpture workshop, according to excavation findings at the site, which have been ongoing for 20 years.

The excavations at Göbeklitepe, which is located in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa and is described as the “zero point in history,” are being carried out by the German Archaeology Institute and the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry. German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt, who died a few months ago, had been the head of the excavations.

Associate Professor Cihat Kürkçüoğlu from the nearby Harran University’s (HRU) Arts and History Department, said works in Göbeklitepe had revealed human sculptures from the Neolithic age, wild boar, fox and bird limestone fossils, as well as many arrow heads made of tinderbox.

Kürkçüoğlu said these findings revealed that the art of sculpture and stone relief dated back to 12,000 years ago. “These are the oldest monumental sculptures in the world,” he added.

He said they had found small sculptures from between 10,000 and 20,000 B.C., called the “Venus sculptures,” but the stone reliefs on T-shaped stelas in Göbeklitepe and in the Nevali desert are “the oldest sculptures in the world.”

A 1.80 meter-high limestone sculpture, known as “Balıklıgöl Man” or “Urfa Man,” which was found during the excavations close to the Balıklıgöl lake in 1995, dated back to 10,000 B.C.

“This shows us that Göbeklitepe is the birthplace of plastic arts. It is a temple but at the same time it’s the world’s oldest sculpture workshop. You expect primitive examples of stone sculptures but you find very improved, aesthetic and artistic sculptures. This surprised us greatly. Some compositions in Göbeklitepe are even good enough to make today’s graphics jealous. As the archaeological excavations progress, I believe we will find older prototypes,” he said.

Kürkçüoğlu added that he had asked university groups visiting the ancient site to teach their students that the history of sculpture started at Göbeklitepe. “Just like the alphabet starts with A, the history of plastic arts starts with Göbeklitepe,” he said.


 on: Today at 02:28:02 am 
Started by Valerie - Last post by Valerie

Olmec type head. Image: INAH

“We know that there was a Pre-Olmeca (1300 BC-1100 BC) stage that developed toward the Gulf Coast; later in the period Apogee-Olmeca (1100 BC-900 BC) present in the Gulf Coast and in the Basin of Mexico, while in the Epi-Olmec (900 BC-600 BC) it radiated out to much of Mesoamerica. “
Linear trade route

It now seems more likely that the people from Guerrero were on the fringes of the main Olmec regions of La Venta and Tres Zapotes (Tabasco), and were integrated via trade routes. This speaks of a macro-regional interaction from the Gulf to the Pacific.

The archaeologist said that “Guerrero is like a time capsule in which the features of the Olmec religion are preserved in many of the rituals that are still practised in the state, such as the cult of water, the hill, the caves and the jaguar. “

A linear trade route was first proposed in the 20th century, but it was not until 2006 when archaeologists began to encounter the recognisable Olmec figurines in Costa Chica, indicating that all rivers, including the Nexpa and Santa Catarina, were being used as part of a redistribution centre of commerce and information. These small settlements were always situated near tributaries and low hills, so it is possible that there are many more Olmec sites in the region, suggested Pérez Negrete.

He added that the route went from the Highlands and Gulf Coast; linking Mexico with Central Oaxaca, Chiapas, Veracruz and Tabasco. The Olmecs appeared to be highly organised and controlled access to coastal resources. Later, the Aztecs followed the same routes as part of their trading network.

Source: INAH
More Information

    “Estado de Guerrero Historia” [State of Guerrero History]. Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México (in Spanish). Mexico: Instituto Nacional para el Federalismo y el Desarrollo Municipal. 2005. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
    Olmec Culture
    BBC audio file. Discussion of Olmec culture (15 mins) A History of the World in 100 Objects.
    Grove, David C. (September 1976). “Olmec Origins and Transpacific Diffusion: Reply to Meggers”. American Anthropologist, New Series  (Arlington, VA: American Anthropological Association and affiliated societies) 78 (3): 634–637. doi:10.1525/aa.1976.78.3.02a00120. ISSN 0002-7294. JSTOR 674425.

Cite this article

INAH. Figurines provide clue to Olmec trading links in Mexico. Past Horizons. September 1, 2014, from

 on: Today at 02:25:27 am 
Started by Valerie - Last post by Valerie

Olmec type figurine. Image: INAH

 on: Today at 02:22:52 am 
Started by Valerie - Last post by Valerie

Mezcala (or Balsas) River in Guerrero, Mexico by krebsmaus07 - Bundesstaat Guerrero. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Figurines provide clue to Olmec trading links in Mexico

Article created on Monday, September 1, 2014
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Specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in Mexico, have identified eight new sites where figurines, greenstone axes, jadeite, white ceramic bowls and gourds have been found. These sites are located in the Grande and Chica districts of the Guerrero coast (southwestern Mexico), and confirm an Olmec influence in that region.
Olmec figurine. INAH archaeologists identified eight new settlements of the ancient warrior culture, bringing the total to 30 registered in that state. Photo INAH

Olmec type figurine. Image: INAH

There is ongoing debate as to whether the earliest peoples in this area were actual Olmec who had migrated, or an indigenous group who were heavily influenced by that culture, especially in the Mexcala River area. Olmec influence can certainly be seen in their cave paintings such as those found in Juxtlahuaca as well as stone tools and jade jewellery.

Eventually however, the peoples of the Mexcala River area developed their own distinctive culture, known as Mezcala or Mexcala, producing unique sculpture and ceramics, distinguished by its simplicity. Olmec influence did though remain in the villages by way of constructional techniques of the ceremonial centres and a government dominated by priests.
Olmec influence

Over the past decade over 50 distinctive Olmec artefacts have been recovered which seems to point towards the possible trade routes, connecting Central Mexico to the Pacific Ocean.

The investigator, leading the team of specialists who created the Archaeological Atlas of Guerrero reported that Olmec material culture has now been located within the communities of San Marcos, San Luis Acatlán, Acapulco, Atoyac, Ometepe and Petatlán.

 on: August 30, 2014, 11:40:11 pm 
Started by Allikas - Last post by Allikas

 on: August 30, 2014, 11:36:23 pm 
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Researchers search for evidence of earliest inhabitants of Central Great Plains
Aug 29, 2014 by George Diepenbrock

Researchers search for evidence of earliest inhabitants of Central Great Plains

A team led by University of Kansas Distinguished Professor Rolfe Mandel in July excavated a northeast Kansas site in Pottawatomie County seeking to find artifacts tied to the Clovis and Pre-Clovis peoples, the founding populations of the Americas.

The team is awaiting the results of dating of sediment samples tied to recovered artifacts, and if the sediments are confirmed to be more than 13,500 years old it would open the door to a discovery of the earliest evidence of people inhabiting this part of the state and the Central Great Plains.

"If we want to know about the history of the arrival of people in the Great Plains, this is the sort of work that's going to unravel that," said Mandel, who in addition to his appointment with the Department of Anthropology is also a senior scientist with the Kansas Geological Survey. "We all have inherent interest in history, so this tells us something about the early occupants of the Great Plains and this part of the Great Plains. It will tell us a lot about the history of the peopling of the Americas and in particular the peopling of the Great Plains, especially the Central Great Plains, where it's been pretty much a black hole in terms of unraveling that story."

The 20 days of excavating a bank on the north end of Tuttle Creek and the Big Blue River—known as the Coffey Site —this summer was part of KU's ODYSSEY Project, which Mandel directs, and it gives KU undergraduate and graduate students archeological field experience. ODYSSEY team members have made the only other discovery of Clovis period people inhabiting Kansas or Nebraska when they discovered a stratified Clovis-age site at Kanorado, which is near Goodland in northwest Kansas on the Colorado border.

Mandel was hopeful the recent dig at Tuttle Creek would yield evidence that Clovis people inhabited the site in northeast Kansas at least 13,500 years ago, but he said based on the depth of the artifacts in the bank, it's possible their findings could be associated with the earlier Pre-Clovis people.

"There's no question that there's something there. It's a matter of getting a handle on the age of it," Mandel said.
Researchers search for evidence of earliest inhabitants of Central Great Plains

Items recovered in July included portions of two projectile points—that were likely tied to spear points—and a hafted drill. Although the spear points and drill found this summer are considerably younger than Clovis, a spear point and another artifact found at the Coffey site last summer represent the immediate successors of Clovis. Mandel said that below these items are artifacts that may be the material remains of Clovis or Pre-Clovis people. A key test in attempting to date the artifacts is determining when the sediments containing them were last exposed to light before being buried.

Another key in trying to verify the age of artifacts is whether they are found to be resting in horizontal or vertical positions. Mandel said artifacts in vertical positions are less likely to be associated with the age of the sediments containing them because it's possible the items could have fallen down a crack in the sediments, for example.

"If you're going to have an extraordinary hypothesis that this could be tied to Pre-Clovis, you have to have extraordinary evidence, and so it has to be done extremely systematically," Mandel said. "It has to be done in a very meticulous way."

As they analyze the materials, including the tools recovered from the bank to try to tie them to Clovis or Pre-Clovis people, Mandel said the Paleoindian population was known to bring items from long distances, so it may help scholars map population movement in early America and the Central Great Plains.

"We're talking about small family units, hunters and gatherers," he said. "It's a group of five or six, maybe a little bit larger wandering across the landscape. They're following herds of animals. Of course, at that time, the assemblage of animals looked a lot different than what it does today."

 on: August 30, 2014, 11:33:21 pm 
Started by Allikas - Last post by Allikas

 on: August 30, 2014, 11:33:07 pm 
Started by Allikas - Last post by Allikas

Some historians have argued that the ring of sarsen stones at Stonehenge never formed a complete circle

 on: August 30, 2014, 11:32:21 pm 
Started by Allikas - Last post by Allikas

The parch marks were seen during hot, dry weather in July last year

 on: August 30, 2014, 11:31:56 pm 
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