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Just caught news of this temple from Newsweek and thought I’d share. I don’t know much about it, in fact this is the first time I read about it. But I am asking my friend and colleague in Turkey about it… so I’ll fill you in with any additional details as they come. The Newsweek article portrays this as a newly discovered finding but in fact research and excavations started in 1994. Göbekli Tepe

Bottom line, it is 11,500 years old. g  That’s 7,000 years before the Pyramids of Giza and 6,000 years before Stonehenge. I’ve posted before how some of the first evidence of animal domestication and pottery occurred in Turkey, but these sophisticated pillars were assembled before those prehistorical landmarks… in fact they predate villages, pottery, domesticated animals, and even agriculture.

Archaeologist Klaus Schmidt comments on the significance of the site,

“definitive proof that a huge ceremonial site flourished here, a “Rome of the Ice Age,” as he puts it, where hunter-gatherers met to build a complex religious community. Across the hill, he has found carved and polished circles of stone, with terrazzo flooring and double benches. All the circles feature massive T-shaped pillars that evoke the monoliths of Easter Island…

…Schmidt’s thesis is simple and bold: it was the urge to worship that brought mankind together in the very first urban conglomerations. The need to build and maintain this temple, he says, drove the builders to seek stable food sources, like grains and animals that could be domesticated, and then to settle down to guard their new way of life. The temple begat the city….

This theory reverses a standard chronology of human origins, in which primitive man went through a “Neolithic revolution” 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. In the old model, shepherds and farmers appeared first, and then created pottery, villages, cities, specialized labor, kings, writing, art, and—somewhere on the way to the airplane—organized religion.”

Check out the site on Google Maps if you wanna poke around and do some exploring on your own. Have you ever heard of the site before? If so tell me what you know, I’m curious to find out more…

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