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World's Oldest Temple Discovered In Turkey, 6,000 years old than Stonehenge

 
 
Reply Sun 9 Nov, 2008 09:29 am
World's Oldest Temple Discovered In Turkey
Smithsonian Magazine
by Nicholas Graham
November 9, 2008

A German archaeologist by the name of Klaus Schmidt has claimed discovery in Turkey of the world's oldest temple. Called Gobekli Tepe, it predates Stonehenge by six thousand years, and Smithsonian magazine writes that "the find upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization:"

Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey, Klaus Schmidt has made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: massive carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery. The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years. The place is called Gobekli Tepe, and Schmidt, a German archaeologist who has been working here more than a decade, is convinced it's the site of the world's oldest temple...

...Schmidt points to the great stone rings, one of them 65 feet across. "This is the first human-built holy place," he says...

...And partly because Schmidt has found no evidence that people permanently resided on the summit of Gobekli Tepe itself, he believes this was a place of worship on an unprecedented scale--humanity's first "cathedral on a hill."

Scroll down for photos of the site from the Smithsonian magazine. (More photos here, full story here.)
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/gobekli-tepe.html?c=y&page=1#

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Type: Discussion • Score: 9 • Views: 4,963 • Replies: 20
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Nov, 2008 10:02 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
could have been a zoo...or an animal shelter...
0 Replies
 
Deckland
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Nov, 2008 01:16 pm
Quote:
Schmidt points to the great stone rings, one of them 65 feet across. "This is the first human-built holy place," he says...

...And partly because Schmidt has found no evidence that people permanently resided on the summit of Gobekli Tepe itself, he believes this was a place of worship on an unprecedented scale--humanity's first "cathedral on a hill."


Never ceases to amaze me. Invent a great story to fit a find. I suppose after more than 10 years work you couldn't admit it was a zoo or animal shelter. I don't mean to belittle this man's work, but I do get sick of the claims that are made with no facts to base it on.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Nov, 2008 01:24 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
It's a great find. It'll be interesting to see what further exploration will turn up in the region.
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Nov, 2008 01:53 pm
@ehBeth,
Regardless of what they call it, it is a great find. I too would like to see what else transpires.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Nov, 2008 01:56 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Actually, this is older news.

First findings were published in 1998 in Mitteilungen der deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 130, 1998, 17-49.

The preliminary report on his 1995-1999 excavations was published by Schmidt in Palèorient 26/1, 2001, 45-54.

In 2006, he published a hardcover book about, "popular science".

In 2007, there was an exhibition about the findings in Karlsruhe State Museum.

(The 2006 publication is offered now as a cheap special edition as well as in an paperback edition.)

Deckland wrote:

Never ceases to amaze me. Invent a great story to fit a find. I suppose after more than 10 years work you couldn't admit it was a zoo or animal shelter. I don't mean to belittle this man's work, but I do get sick of the claims that are made with no facts to base it on.



I suppose, you might be wrong since no-one really doubts the findings .... for more than a decade now.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Nov, 2008 02:07 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
The original post notes that the dig's been ongoing for about a decade.

That someone has held an opinion for a decade doesn't really tell us anything, other than that they have held that opinion.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Nov, 2008 02:08 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Quote:
During the 12th campaign, which ended on 20 October 2006, excavation concentrated on widening the surface area to enable a complete exposure of the four great pillar-structures A through D; in the previous three seasons excavation had focused on the very center of the site. Outstanding among the 2006 discoveries are the sculpture of a wild beast in Structure C and a pillar with particularly ornate relief in Structure D.


Results

Paleozoological and paleobotanical studies running parallel to the excavation indicate that the population whose achievements we see at Göbekli Tepe represented an economic stage of development still dependent upon wild prey. The economic motor of the Neolithic village, forerunner of the oriental city, still lay far beyond the horizon. Only a collection of hunters who assembled on the mountain as if to attend an "Olympic council" could have been responsible for the outlay of labor necessary to erect this architecture. "First came the temple, then the city" would seem descriptive of the phenomenon we see here. It remains the role of future excavation either to confirm or discredit this conclusion.
The most recent building phase at Göbekli Tepe (Level II) has been dated both comparatively and absolutely (C14) to ca 8000 BC, with an earlier primary building phase (Level III) ending as early as 9000 BC. The age of the earliest occupation cannot yet be determined; the depth of the deposit, however, would suggest a period of several millennia, which signifies that the site had already existed in early Paleolithic times. Level I refers to the accumulation of sediment on the lower slopes of the rise, often considerably deep, occasioned by natural erosion and recently intensified by agriculture.




Source:
German Archaeological Institute
0 Replies
 
Deckland
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 12:59 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:


I suppose, you might be wrong since no-one really doubts the findings .... for more than a decade now.


Quote:
crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery

Quote:
And partly because Schmidt has found no evidence that people permanently resided on the summit of Gobekli Tepe itself, he believes this was a place of worship on an unprecedented scale--humanity's first "cathedral on a hill."


I was wondering, if these people had no metal tools or even pottery, it would be pretty hard to prove that they resided anywhere permanently. I think because no evidence was found of permanent residence, it is a giant leap to then suggest it was a place of worship on an unprecedented scale. Of course Walter, that's just my opinion for what it's worth.
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 04:11 am
There's nothing to really suggest that Stonehenge isn't more than an elaborate astronomical construction. Yes, the druids could have used it as a temple - maybe they didn't hold with those 'new-fangled' ideas about looking at lights in the sky for guidance. Maybe they preferred to just stab some poor bastard in the back and see what his death-struggles revealed. Yes, the used to do this. The probable result of this process was something like: Prognosis for the future. Possible rain and some poor fuckers' funeral tomorrow morning.

Bollocks to that. I reckon I could rustle up some New World or Asian sites that predate this site and that are most probably of a religious nature.
iamsam82
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Aug, 2009 04:32 am
@Mr Stillwater,
Quote:
There's nothing to really suggest that Stonehenge isn't more than an elaborate astronomical construction. Yes, the druids could have used it as a temple


Stonehenge predates the druids by about 3000 years.
There's no eveidence they ever used the site. That's a romanticised 19th century notion.

Also, while the monument is almost certainly aligned to the soltices, the whole prehistoric observatory thing is now no longer widely supported. Most experts now agree that the stonehenge site was linked to a site a few miles upriver, which has a very similar layout but was made of wood rather than stone. There is evidence of great feasting and processional walkways that lead to the river at both sites. Stone phalluses have also been found at the site. Also evidence of domesticated pigs being released at the site and then hunted and shot with bows and arrows, and then butchered and eaten on site.

From this collection of facts, and observations of the beliefs of "primitive" cultures in Malasia and other parts of the world still extant, a theory which fits is that early neolithic farmers celebrated the journey from life (which is temporary and represented by the wooden structure) to death (which is permanent and represented by the stone structure). The festival was celebrated at a significant period in the year which heralded the height of winter. Life was about to come back to the world in the form of spring. So te idea of life death and fertility was being celebrated. Hence the phalluses. And also the conspicuous consumption of these heavily fatted pigs. The people knew they could afford to slaughter a great number of valuable animals because they had faith in the seasons changing and the weather improving. The ancestors were also worshipped at the stone (death) site, hence a number of burials there.

But there are no druids in the story at all.
iamsam82
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Aug, 2009 04:35 am
http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/T/timeteam/2005_durr_t.html

http://heritage-key.com/review/stonehenge-mystery-solved
0 Replies
 
John Howell
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Dec, 2010 01:30 am
@Deckland,
Why is it that the people of this present time period feel so sure that peoples from our past couldn't have been more technologically advanced? Most of the items we now produce will be unable to survive the the test of time after ten thousand years. The stone structures may be the only survivors of our own civilization. Most of our information will not be written in stone. All of our information will also have been lost or destroyed by cultures that won't understand the significance of our technology. The molten rocks could have melted a miles of our vehicles to produce a "vein" of metal in future sedimentary layers ten thousand years from now.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Dec, 2010 06:03 am
You're being rather naïve. Modern societies don't build megalithic structures because they are inefficient, and don't serve our purposes as well as poured, re-inforced concrete. There is nothing in the archaeological record to suggest that our ancestors were technologically superior to us, nor that their engineering was superior. There's no reason to assume that they were less intelligent than we are--they simply had not accumulated and stored the amount of information to which we have access.

There is also nothing in any megalithic inscription which constitutes a library of technical knowledge. Monumental inscriptions are almost exclusively devoted to religious iconography or to extolling the virtues of whatever autocrat had commissioned the work. About the only really significant finds in inscriptions have been things like the Rosetta stone, which only served to allow us to decipher the Egyptian monumental inscriptions which were, unsurprisingly, devoted to religious iconography or to extolling the virtures of the autocrats who had commissioned them.

Predicting the future is a fool's game. The passage of time in literate societies has almost always shown that "prophets" of the future fail because they simply cannot conceive of either the limitations which bind us, or the products of imagination which will characterize the future. When i was a child, prognosticators were telling us that we'd have huge video phones and private helicopters--no one then imagined debit cards and cell phones.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Dec, 2010 06:07 am
@Setanta,
silly, everyone knows the aliens helped us Razz
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Dec, 2010 06:11 am
@djjd62,
Oh yeah . . . silly me!
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Dec, 2010 08:47 am
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:

silly, everyone knows the aliens helped us Razz


True. But that's only Bush's fault!
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Sat 18 Dec, 2010 09:20 am
@John Howell,
If they were so smart, why didn't their plastic BigMac containers survive? Ours will.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Dec, 2010 09:31 am
@Green Witch,
if they were so smart, how come they're dead?
0 Replies
 
CarbonSystem
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jan, 2011 10:40 am
@iamsam82,
iamsam82 wrote:

Also, while the monument is almost certainly aligned to the soltices, the whole prehistoric observatory thing is now no longer widely supported.


Isn't it possible, and to me, most probable, that the stonehenge circle served more than just one purpose.
Surely, creating and building those megalithic structures is difficult enough. There better be a damned good reason to create something so lasting and of such size. If it was strictly ceremonial, I would expect the sizes of the stones used to build the site would have been overall of a smaller scale. Why build them absurdly large?

And most importantly, does mainstream archaeology truly now believe that the site was lined up with the solstices on accident or for relegated and unimportant purpose?

We must remember, When the summer and winter solstices are evidently aligned in the circle they can be used to measure other astronomical (mostly solar and lunar) dates as well.
http://www.tivas.org.uk/stonehenge/images/fig1.gif
http://www.tivas.org.uk/stonehenge/stone_ast.html
The size and magnitude seems quite significant when we begin to speculate on why the builders created this awesome place.
 

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