Atlantis Online
September 26, 2017, 04:56:05 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Underwater caves off Yucatan yield three old skeletons—remains date to 11,000 B.C.
http://www.edgarcayce.org/am/11,000b.c.yucata.html
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

Gobekli Tepe - The World’s First Temple - 7,000 Years Older Than Stonehenge

Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Gobekli Tepe - The World’s First Temple - 7,000 Years Older Than Stonehenge  (Read 8117 times)
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« on: April 23, 2008, 03:55:57 pm »






                                                                           


TURKEY

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MAP








                                                 7,000 years older than Stonehenge:



                            The stone circles of Gobekli Tepe - the site that stunned archaeologists





                       Circles of elaborately carved stones from about 9,500BC predate even agriculture






Nicholas Birch
in Istanbul
The Guardian,
Wednesday April 23 2008

As a child, Klaus Schmidt used to grub around in caves in his native Germany in the hope of finding prehistoric paintings. Thirty years later, a member of the German Archaeological Institute, he found something infinitely more important: a temple complex almost twice as old as anything comparable on the planet.

"This place is a supernova," said Schmidt, standing under a lone tree on a windswept hilltop 35 miles north of Turkey's border with Syria. "Within a minute of first seeing it I knew I had two choices: go away and tell nobody, or spend the rest of my life working here."

Behind him are the first folds of the Anatolian plateau. Ahead, the Mesopotamian plain, like a dust-coloured sea, stretches south hundreds of miles. The stone circles of Gobekli Tepe are just in front, hidden under the brow of the hill.

Compared with Stonehenge, they are humble affairs. None of the circles excavated (four out of an estimated 20) are more than 30 metres across. T-shaped pillars like the rest, two five-metre stones tower at least a metre above their peers. What makes them remarkable are their carved reliefs of boars, foxes, lions, birds, snakes and scorpions, and their age. Dated at around 9,500BC, these stones are 5,500 years older than the first cities of Mesopotamia, and 7,000 years older than Stonehenge.

Never mind wheels or writing, the people who erected them did not even have pottery or domesticated wheat. They lived in villages. But they were hunters, not farmers.

"Everybody used to think only complex, hierarchical civilisations could build such monumental sites, and that they only came about with the invention of agriculture", said Ian Hodder, a Stanford University professor of anthropology who has directed digs at Catalhoyuk, Turkey's best known neolithic site, since 1993. "Gobekli changes everything. It's elaborate, it's complex and it is pre-agricultural. That alone makes the site one of the most important archaeological finds in a very long time."

With only a fraction of the site opened up after a decade of excavation, Gobekli Tepe's significance to the people who built it remains unclear. Some think it was the centre of a fertility rite, with the two tall stones at the centre of each circle representing a man and woman. It is a theory the tourist board in nearby Urfa has taken up with alacrity. Visit the Garden of Eden, its brochures trumpet; see Adam and Eve.

Schmidt is sceptical. He agrees Gobekli Tepe may well be "the last flowering of a semi-nomadic world that farming was just about to destroy", and points out that if it is in near perfect condition today, it
is because those who built it buried it soon after under tons of soil, as though its wild animal-rich world had lost all meaning.

But the site is devoid of the fertility symbols found at other neolithic sites, and the T-shaped columns, while clearly semi-human, are sexless.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 08:13:46 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.

Social Buttons

Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2008, 03:58:31 pm »



http://www.soranfamily.com/









Gods



"I think here we are face to face with the earliest representation of gods," said Schmidt, patting one of the biggest stones. "They have no eyes, no mouths, no faces. But they have arms and they have hands. They are makers.

"In my opinion, the people who carved them were asking themselves the biggest questions of all. What is this universe? Why are we here?"

With no evidence of houses or graves near the stones, Schmidt believes the hilltop was a site of pilgrimage for communities within a radius of roughly a hundred miles. The tallest stones all face south-east, as if scanning plains that are scattered with contemporary sites in many ways no less remarkable than Gobekli Tepe.

Last year, for instance, French archaeologists working at Djade al-Mughara in northern Syria uncovered the oldest mural ever found. "Two square metres of geometric shapes, in red, black and white - like a Paul Klee painting", said Eric Coqueugniot, of the University of Lyon, who is leading the excavation.

Coqueugniot describes Schmidt's hypothesis that Gobekli Tepe was a meeting point for rituals as "tempting", given its spectacular position. But surveys of the region were still in their infancy. "Tomorrow, somebody might find somewhere even more dramatic."

Vecihi Ozkaya, the director of a dig at Kortiktepe, 120 miles east of Urfa, doubts the thousands of stone pots he has found since 2001 in hundreds of 11,500-year-old graves quite qualify as that. But his excitement fills his austere office at Dicle University in Diyarbakir.

"Look at this", he said, pointing at a photo of an exquisitely carved sculpture showing an animal, half-human, half-lion. "It's a sphinx, thousands of years before Egypt. South-eastern Turkey, northern Syria - this region saw the wedding night of our civilisation."


http://www.archaeologynews.org/story.asp?ID=281452&Title=7000%20years%20older%20than%20Stonehenge:%20the%20site%20that%20stunned%20archaeologists
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 10:19:43 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2008, 09:11:40 am »

Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2008, 09:17:18 am »

Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2008, 09:22:15 am »










                                                        G O B E K L I   T E P E





Göbekli Tepe (Turkish for "Hill with a Stomach") is a hilltop sanctuary built on the highest point of an elongated mountain ridge about 15km northeast of the town of Şanlıurfa (Urfa) in southeast Turkey.

The site, currently undergoing excavation by German and Turkish archaeologists, was erected by hunter-gatherers in the 10th millennium BC (ca 11,500 years ago), before the advent of sedentism.

It is currently considered the oldest known shrine or temple complex in the world, and the planet's oldest known example of monumental architecture. Together with the site of Nevalı Çori, it has revolutionised the understanding of the Eurasian Neolithic.



                                                                  


« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 10:53:32 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2008, 09:26:36 am »










Discovery



Göbekli Tepe had already been located in a survey in 1964, when the American archaeologist
Peter Benedict mentioned the site as a possible location of stone age activity, but its import-
ance was not recognised at that time.

Excavations have been conducted since 1994 by the German Archaeological Institute (Istanbul
branch) and Şanlıurfa Museum, under the direction of the German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt (University of Heidelberg). Scholars from the University of Karlsruhe are documenting the archi-
tectural remains. Before then, the hill had been under agricultural cultivation; generations of
local inhabitants had frequently moved rocks and placed them in clearance piles. Much archaeo-
logical evidence may have been destroyed in that process. The archaeologists recognised that
the prominent rise could not represent a natural hill.

Later, they discovered T-shaped pillars, some of which had apparently undergone attempts at smashing.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 10:52:45 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2008, 09:27:49 am »



A pillar with a carved relief of a fox








The complex
 


The massive sequence of stratification layers suggests several millennia of activity, perhaps
reaching back to the Mesolithic. The oldest occupation layer (stratum III) contained monolithic
pillars linked by coarsely built walls to form circular or oval structures.

So far, four such buildings, with diameters between 10 and 30m have been uncovered. Geo-
physical studies suggest 16 further structures.

Stratum II, dated to Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB), revealed several adjacent rectangular
rooms with floors of polished lime, reminiscent of Roman terrazzo floors.

The most recent layer consists of sediment deposited as the result of erosion and of agri-
cultural activity.

The monoliths are decorated with carved relief of animals or of abstract pictograms. These
signs cannot be classed as writing, but may represent commonly understood sacred symbols,
as known from Neolithic cave paintings elsewhere.

Some of the pillars, namely the T-shaped ones, have carved arms, which may indicate that
they represent stylised humans. The very carefully carved reliefs depict lions, bulls, boars,
foxes, gazelles, snakes, other reptiles and birds. Whether their creators wanted to portray
simply the local fauna or perhaps mythical beings remains unknown. The meaning of the picto-
grams is equally unclear.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 10:24:39 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2008, 09:33:31 am »









Dating



The PPN A settlement has been dated to ca. 9000 BC. There are remains of smaller houses
from the PPN B and a few epipalaeolithic finds as well.

There are a number of radiocarbon dates (presented with one standard deviation errors and calibrations to BCE):



Lab-Number Date BP Cal BCE Context

Ua-19561 8430±80 7560-7370 enclosure C

Ua-19562 8960±85 8280-7970 enclosure B

Hd-20025 9452±73 9110-8620 Layer III

Hd-20036 9559±53 9130-8800 Layer III



The Hd samples are from charcoal in the lowest levels of the site and would date the active
phase of occupation. The Ua samples come from pedogenic carbonate coatings on pillars and
only indicate a time after the site was abandoned- the terminus ante quem.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2008, 09:36:22 am »









Architecture



The houses or temples are round megalithic buildings.

The walls are made of unworked dry stone and include numerous T-shaped monolithic pillars of limestone that are up to 3 m high. Another, bigger pair of pillars is placed in the centre of the structure. The floors are made of terrazzo (burnt lime), and there is a low bench running along
the whole of the exterior wall.

The reliefs on the pillars include foxes, lions, cattle, wild boars, herons, ducks, scorpions, ants
and snakes.

Some of the reliefs have been deliberately erased, maybe in preparation for new pictures. There
are freestanding sculptures as well that may represent wild boars or foxes. As they are heavily encrusted with lime, it is sometimes difficult to tell.

Comparable statues have been discovered in Nevalı Çori and Nahal Hemar.

The quarries for the statues are located on the plateau itself, some unfinished pillars have been
found there in situ. The biggest unfinished pillar is still 6.9 m long, a length of 9m has been reconstructed. This is much larger than any of the finished pillars found so far.

The stone was quarried with stone picks.

Bowl-like depressions in the limestone-rocks have maybe been used as mortars in the epipalaeo-
lithic already. There are some phalloi and geometric patterns cut into the rock as well, and their
dating is uncertain.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2008, 09:38:08 am »









Finds



The buildings are covered with settlement refuse that must have been brought from elsewhere.

These deposits include flint tools like scrapers and arrowheads and animal bones.

The lithic inventory is characterised by Byblos points and numerous Nemrik-points.

There are Helwan-points and Aswad-points as well.

There is no evidence of habitation; the structures are interpreted as temples.

After 8000 BC, the site was abandoned and purposely covered up with soil.

Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2008, 09:40:38 am »









Economy



While the site formally belongs to the earliest Neolithic (PPN A), up to now no traces of
domesticated plants or animals have been found.

The inhabitants were hunters and gatherers.

Schmidt speculates that the site played a key function in the transition to agriculture;
he assumes that the necessary social organization needed for the creation of these
structures went hand-in-hand with the organized exploitation of wild crops.

Recent DNA analysis of modern domesticated wheat compared with wild wheat has shown
that its DNA is closest in structure to wild wheat found in a mountain (Karacadağ) 20 miles
away from the site, leading one to believe that this is where modern wheat was first
domesticated.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2008, 09:44:06 am »










Chronological context



All statements about the site must be considered preliminary, as only about 1.5% of the site's
total area have been excavated as yet; floor levels have only been reached in the second
complex (complex B), which also contained a terrazzo-like floor.

Excavations so far have revealed very little evidence for residential use.

Through the radiocarbon method, the end of stratum III could be determined at circa 9,000 BC
(see above); its beginnings are estimated to 11,000 BC or earlier. Stratum II dates to about
8,000 BC.

Thus, the complexes originated before the so-called Neolithic Revolution, ie the beginning of
agriculture and animal husbandry, which is assumed to begin after 9,000 BC.

But the construction of the Göbekli Tepe complex implies complex organisation of a degree of complexity not hitherto associated with pre-Neolithic societies. The archaeologists estimate
that up to 500 persons were required to extract the 10-20 ton pillars (in fact, some weigh up
to 50 tons) from local quarries and move them 100 to 500m to the site.

For sustenance, wild cereals may have been used more intensely than so far; perhaps they
were even deliberately cultivated. Residential buildings have not been discovered as yet, but
there are some "special buildings" which may have served for ritual gatherings.

Around the beginning of the 8th millennium BC, "Navel Mountain" lost its importance.

The advent of agriculture and animal husbandry brought new circumstances to human life in
the area. But the complex was not gradually abandoned and simply forgotten, to be obliterat-
ed by the forces of nature over time. Instead, it was deliberately covered with 300 to 500
cubic metres of soil.

Why this happened is unknown, but it preserved the monuments for posterity.

At present, the complex raises more questions to archaeology and prehistory than it answers.
For example, we cannot tell why more and more walls were gradually added to the interiors
while the sanctuary was in use
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2008, 09:48:34 am »










Interpretation and Importance



Göbekli Tepe can be seen as an archaeological discovery of the greatest possible importance,
since it profoundly changes our understanding of a vital point in the development of human
societies.

Apparently, the **** of monumental cult complexes was within the capacities of hunter-
gatherers and not only of sedentary farming communities as had been assumed hitherto. In
other words, as Klaus Schmidt put it: "First came the temple, then the city".

This revolutionary hypothesis will have to be supported or modified by future research.

Schmidt considers Göbekli Tepe as a central place serving a cult of the dead. He suggests
that the carved animals are there to protect the dead. However, no tombs or graves have
been found so far. Schmidt sees the site in connection with the initial stages of an incipient
Neolithic.

It is one of several neolithic sites in the vicinity of Mount Karaca Dağ, an area where geneti-
cists suspect the origins of at least some of our cultivated grains (see Einkorn).

Such scholars suggest that the Neolithic revolution, i.e. the beginnings of grain cultivation,
took place here. Schmidt and others believe that mobile groups in the area were forced to
cooperate with each other to protect early concentrations of wild cereals from wild animals
(herds of gazelles and wild donkeys). This would have led to an early social organization of
various groups in the area of Göbekli Tepe.

Thus, according to Schmidt, the Neolithic did not begin at a small scale in the form of indivi-
dual instances of garden cultivation, but started immediately as a large scale social orga-
nisation ("a full-scale revolution'"'.

Not only its large dimensions, but the side-by-side existence of multiple pillar shrines makes
the complex unique. There are no comparable monumental complexes from its time.

Nevalı Çori, a well-known Neolithic settlement also excavated by the German Archaeological
Institute, and submerged by the Atatürk Dam since 1992, is 500 years later, its T-shaped
pillars are considerably smaller, and its shrine was located inside a village; the roughly con-
temporary architecture at Jericho is devoid of artistic merit or large-scale sculpture; and
Çatalhöyük, perhaps the most famous of all Neolithic villages, is 2,000 years later.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2008, 09:51:11 am »










Mythological considerations



The excavator, Klaus Schmidt, has engaged in some speculation regarding the belief systems
of the groups that created Göbekli Tepe, based on comparisons with other shrines and settle-
ments.

He assumes shamanic practices and suggests that the T-shaped pillars may represent mythi-
cal creatures, perhaps ancestors, whereas he sees a fully articulated belief in gods only deve-
loping later in Mesopotamia, associated with extensive temples and palaces.

This corresponds well with the Sumerian tradition of an old belief that agriculture, animal hus-
bandry and weaving had been brought to humankind from the sacred mountain Du-Ku, which
was inhabited by Annuna-deities, very ancient gods without individual names.

Klaus Schmidt identifies this story as an oriental primeval myth that preserves a partial memo-
ry of the Neolithic. It is also apparent that the animal and other images are peaceful in charac-
ter and give no indications of organised violence.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2008, 09:53:02 am »









Bibliography



Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe (ed.): Vor 12.000 Jahren in Anatolien. Die ältesten Monumente der Menschheit. Begleitbuch zur Ausstellung im Badischen Landesmuseum vom 20. Januar bis zum 17. Juni 2007. Theiss, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-2072-8

DVD-ROM: MediaCultura (Hrsg.): Vor 12.000 Jahren in Anatolien. Die ältesten Monumente der Menschheit. Theiss, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-2090-2

David Lewis-Williams and David Pearce, "An Accidental revolution? Early Neolithic religion and economic change", Minerva, 17 #4 (July/August, 2006), pp. 29-31.

Klaus-Dieter Linsmeier and Klaus Schmidt: Ein anatolisches Stonehenge. In: Moderne Archäologie. Spektrum-der-Wissenschaft-Verlag, Heidelberg 2003, S. 10-15, ISBN 3936278350

K. Pustovoytov, Weathering rinds at exposed surfaces of limestone at Göbekli Tepe. Neo-lithics 2000, 24-26 (14C-Dates).

K. Schmidt, Göbekli Tepe and the rock art of the Near East, TÜBA-AR 3 (2000) 1-14.

Klaus Schmidt: Sie bauten die ersten Tempel. Das rätselhafte Heiligtum der Steinzeitjäger. München 2006, ISBN 3-406-53500-3

Klaus Schmidt: Göbekli Tepe, Southeastern Turkey. A preliminary Report on the 1995–1999 Excavations. In: Palèorient CNRS Ed., Paris 26.2001,1, 45–54, ISSN 0513-9345
 
Klaus Schmidt: Frühneolithische Tempel. Ein Forschungsbericht zum präkeramischen Neolithikum Obermesopotamiens. In: Mitteilungen der deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 130, Berlin 1998, 17–49, ISSN 0342-118X

K. Pustovoytov: Weathering rinds at exposed surfaces of limestone at Göbekli Tepe. In: Neo-lithics. Ex Oriente, Berlin 2000, 24–26 (14C-Dates)

J. E. Walkowitz: Quantensprünge der Archäologie. In: Varia neolithica IV. Beier und Beran, Langenweissbach 2006, ISBN 3-937517-43-X


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 09:55:26 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum | Buy traffic for your forum/website
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines