Friday, December 23, 2011
Gobekli Tepe - Thousands of years Before Stonehenge and Sumer
Warning: The above movie is loaded with nonsensical narative, as is typical of the History channel.
Gobekli Tepe is right now the most fascinating archeological site on the planet, and like most of them, it’s in Turkey. By far the most interesting aspect of this site is its age—nearly 12,000 years old—making it many thousands of years older than Stonehenge, the Sphinx, and everything in the Mesopotamian Valley.
It’s appears to have been built by people of a hunter/gatherer culture and predates what we typically think of as civilized peoples. Until now it has always been assumed that it took great civilized societies to build such structures, so this discovery has completely changed the history books.
This was built even before any kind of metal tools had been invented, so it was all done with stone tools, yet there are elaborate carvings on most of the pillars ( as high as 19-feet and weighing several tons) which are laid out in several concentric circles over the hillside. So far less than an acre has been excavated, and that only represents about 5% of the site.
Not one tool has been found at Gobekli Tepe so far, nor has there been any evidence of people having ever lived at the site, therefore, it’s assumed to most likely to have been a place of worship. Over 100,000 animal bones have been uncovered, so it may have been a place of burnt offerings. Oddly, while the animal bones represent the typical animal population in Turkey (60% of the bones are from gazelles) the animals carved on the pillars are mostly things one wouldn’t eat but would consider scary and dangerous like lions, snakes, scorpions and so on. Some of the animals on the pillars are not even indigenous to Turkey. This is truly facinating.
Also check out the Smithsonian's Article about Gobekli Tepe.