Göbekli Tepe Temple in Turkey Predates the Pyramids of Giza

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…

110 thoughts on “Göbekli Tepe Temple in Turkey Predates the Pyramids of Giza

  1. This is fascinating material. I think it reinforces many previous findings that man developed far earlier than the majority of scientists are still contending to this day.

  2. Hi, Kambiz.

    We discussed extensively Göbekli Tepe at Stonepage’s forum in 2008 and I have been re-reading that discussion now in order to recall the details and give an informed opinion.

    Most important is that the dates are consistent with the earliest Neolithic: the end of the first construction phase is dated to c. 9000 BCE (9550 BP uncalibrated) and that is approximately the same as the dates for the earliest domesticates in the region (c. 11,000 years ago).

    So, yes, it’s extremely old, without doubt the oldest such monumental structure known, but it’s probably already Neolithic.

    I even suspect that one of the engravings represents a plough, though guess these are from the later construction period, dated to c. 8000 BCE, i.e. 1000 years after the first works.

    And, btw, Urfa is part of Kurdistan. ;-)

      1. Actually, you can find Kurdistan on the maps! But not as a country because of the British coloni before in Kurdistan, they erased the “land of kurds” from the map. So I think you should check this out more =)

      2. Sanliurfa is officially in SE Turkey, the site is a few km NE.

        I think there are some interesting anomalies with this site. 1. carvings on the stones are partially hidden by the retaining wall, suggesting originally the wall was not there. 2. As props for a roof, just doesn’t ring true for me. 3. Carvings are in relief, not indented, which means the stones were larger before the carvings were done. 5. there are similar symbols to those found in Sumerian carvings. 6. As a site that was added to over time, I think we should be wary of dating it.

        Very drawn to visiting there. :)

      1. Want to start a political discussion or what?! Ethnographically there is a Kurdistan. It even has a page in Wikipedia and it corresponds more or less with the ancient land of the Hurrians and also with the center of the Fertile Crescent at the time of the Neolithic Revolution, playing a key role in it.

        1. maju, you might be interested in a new paper that I have written about the “T” shaped pillars:


          These bring Klaus Schmidt’s ideas and mine a bit closer together.

  3. Smithsonian Magazine ran a story on Gobekli Tepe in November 2008:
    They put it’s age at 11,000 years old – comparable to 11,500. Fascinating site and subject. It is interesting that, as we view humanity and homo evolution and disbursement patterns, our concepts of ritual centers, monuments and temples change. The recent discovery that an enclosing ring of shrubbery once secluded Stonehenge presents us with another consideration: vegetation as well as earth, timber and stone was in use to mark ceremonial sites. I am looking forward to news of a mammoth tusk temple find!

  4. That Newsweek article is not exactly great; it has mistakes starting from the fact that this temple complex has nothing to do with human biological evolution, but with cultural evolution; and there’s nothing strange in a temple complex that is older than the Pyramids (Eridu’s earliest temple dates from almost 3000 years before the Pyramids), but the age of this is still staggering, even if the very oldest dates for Göbekli Tepe are assumptions and not yet based on dating.

  5. An excellent post from Reddit commenter xenofon,

    The story both overhypes and under reports Gobekli Tepe.
    All this nonsense about “overturns the applecart” and “changes everything” and “rewrites history” is pure baloney. It does nothing of the sort. In fact, it fits in well with lots of other evidence about how humans transitioned to agriculture.
    On the other hand, the story doesn’t take the trouble to explain in depth just why Gobekli is so fascinating.
    Gobekli Tepe is a hilltop in southern Turkey, near the Syrian border. On top of that hilltop are the remains of massive stone structures. The amazing thing is that they were built almost 14,000 years ago. That makes it twice as old as ancient Sumeria, over twice as old as the pyramids.
    These aren’t dinky little tombs either. They are pretty damn massive. Some of the columns weigh as much as 20 tons, and must have taken a fair amount of effort and coordination to quarry, transport, and erect. The site flourished for about 2000 years, and then it appears to have been deliberately buried.
    Now let’s look at it with a little bit of context. Humans had started to develop signs of culture and organization in Asia and Europe for the past 40,000 years. The oldest cave paintings are 30,000 years old. Small objects, such as “venus” figurines, bone flutes, and miscellaneous carvings go back 40,000 years. These were not backward people. They had a fairly sophisticated culture, though they were hunter gatherers.
    As far back as the early to middle Magdalenian, people had been living in pretty large settlements, at least for part of the year. There are remains of Magdalenian villages by riversides, 15,000 to 17,000 years old. There is evidence that some had 500 people or more, and that there was some specialization of labor.
    In other words, people had been organizing in large groups for a very long time. Given their hunting/gathering lifestyle, perhaps it was not continuous settlement (you have to move on before you exhaust the food resources of an area), but it was recurrent settlement, with large groups meeting, living together for a while, breaking up, then perhaps repeating it the next year.
    Some areas were richer than others in natural resources. The sites of these early villages tend to be along rivers, where you had a second source of food in the water. The area of Gobekli Tepe was similarly very rich at the time. Thousands of arrowheads have been found in the surrounding parts, showing that there was rich game, and the area was capable of supporting many people.
    Gobekli has survived because the monuments were made of stone, and because it was deliberately buried. Other sites may have been destroyed, or may yet to be found. As such, it is a treasure for archeology, but by no means some unexplained enigma.
    Many signs point to this area being one of the starting points for settled life in Asia/Europe. Wheat genetics shows that it was first domesticated here. The earliest corrals and pens for sheep and pigs are found in this area. The earliest grave in which a woman was buried, apparently with her pet dog, is found not too far at a natufian site. The oldest life size human statuary was found at Bakliki Gol, a few miles from Gobekli.
    To put it simply, this was at the time, a very resource-rich area, where hunter gatherers congregated in relatively large numbers. It’s no wonder that they left signs of their culture behind. Gobekli shows just how advanced that culture was.
    The relationship to farming is not unexpected either. No archeologist seriously believes that humans just went from hunting to farming all of a sudden. There were no “discoveries” that led to farming. Hunter gatherer people knew long ago, way before farming, how plants grow and how seeds produce plants. None of this is a secret to anyone who spends some time in nature, and it wasn’t a secret to them.
    Nor was early farming sufficient to accommodate a sudden switch in lifestyle. Early crops had poor yields. Farming methods were primitive. Methods to deal with pests had not been invented. Fertilizing the land was unknown. Methods to preserve food at harvest, to last through non-growing months, had not been developed. Early farming would not have provided sufficient calories to allow for any sudden transition.
    The more likely scenario is that humans knew all about farming, it just wasn’t worth their time to stay in one place to plant, watch over the crop for months, then harvest. However, with the growth of early hunter gatherer villages, farming may have started as a way to supplement food. If you’re going to stay put in one place for a while anyway, then it doesn’t hurt to plant some food nearby. Over time, if game becomes scarce in your area, you may get to rely more and more on farmed food.
    This is probably what happened at Gobekli, and none of it shakes our worldview. Gobekli is indeed a wonderful and amazing site, but only because it shows how much our early ancestors were capable of.

    1. Agree with the above; humans have been around for a long time. A Einstein is reputed to have said if the next war is fought with nuclear weapons, the one after that will be fought with rocks.
      If we can view history without the anthropoism, it seems clear that we have achieved in the past much more than we have achieved in this go-round. And it also seems clear that science knows this; what is left to understand? Well, were their any survivors of high tech? Did they get off the planet when survivability was problematic? Where did they go?
      The Stupe valley outside of Lima Peru now has a 10,000 year history. Ditto the Harappan civilization in the Indus. The scraps of the Sanxingdui in southern China discovered ritually burnt and buried. The whole world is screaming re-do. Maybe it is too scary to see. Particularly since the guys who had the high tech didn’t manage to avoid the melt down. How can we, the inheritors of the world of the Second Law, do so?

    2. Let’s see, you don’t have enough resources to keep a group of people together, where you have to disband every year, then rejoin each other. But you can build massive structures with elaborate carvings, all the while trying to figure out where your next meal is coming from. Then after you finish this monumental task, just for fun you bury it under tons of sand. Yeah, that makes sense to me. Nothing worth noting.

    3. all the things you mention beyond the concept in early agriculture: ‘pest control, fertilising, and preservation otoh are evident in nature;) (wheat eg originally grew at muddy watersides) i would guess during the transition fear for food insecurity was the strongest motivator for any relatively slow implementation.

      and.. what about rice? are we suffering from a cultural bias a bit perhaps? it has been recently suggested dogs have first been domesticated in china, i don’t remember how far back is the history of polinesia and pigs.

      my impression is once people were completely dependend of their (agri)culture it started dominating huntergatherers quickly and in that is the significance of gobekli

  6. He makes some interesting comments but also says stuff that I would discuss. For example: sure that Europeans of earlier times left widespread evidences of art but that (1) has no comparison with the huge cooperative effort needed to build GT and (2) Australians Aborigines or Bushmen are counter-examples of modern peoples who had lots of artistic expressions and are still considered “backwards” or at least (more objectively) lived all the time on hunter-gathering, some still do.

    So art and “civilization” are not strictly related (I’d say they are not related at all). It’s monumentalism what is related with “civilization” in the not too precise sense of being able to gather lots of people to do collaborative work, such as the one expressed at GT, the pyramids or Stonehenge.

    Also I have said above that the REAL dates for GT are coincident with the earliest dates of domestication (not of dogs, which were domesticated in the UP, but of plants and livestock). So for me it’s no hunter-gatherer phenomenon nor it could ever be, because HGs can’t muster the numbers for such a feat.

    I do agree that farming and herding did not begin overnight but still there was a relatively short transitional period which certainly had its heart at that area of the Zagros-Taurus mountains. When we admire GT we are probably admiring the first cooperative monument of the first farmers, after the economy already allowed them to muster large numbers of people seasonally, as can only happen in Neolithic societies.

  7. Check out this book I recently discovered called Catastrophobia by Barbara Hand Clow- she makes the case that “Civilization” is actually wayyy older than our modern scholars will have you believe, and her arguement is pretty lucid and convincing…worth a look if you find this latest discovery interesting.

  8. Göbekli Tepe appears to be the earliest known megalithic site. The interesting question to me is whether the culture that produced this site is in cultural continue with the megalithic tradition that continues until Bronze Age collapse (3200 years BP) in the Atlantic area, with the Minoan palace culture, or with the Sumerian ziggarat cultures, for example.

    It wouldn’t have to be. We’ve seen these kind of structures arise independently in Central America, for example. But, if it were, that would suggest that there may be only a single pre-Indo-European cultural layer in the Neolithic.

    1. you have a valid point my friend, and I most confess I to would like to know exactly what happened to these people. It is also possible that this culture only flourished for a short time and completely died out, and has no relation to the later civilizations at all. Unfortunately it takes years to answer these questions and its hard to wait that long for the answers

      1. they have the vulture burial, a tradition still existing all the way to pakistan and maybe further. interesting if these cultures associating with the vulture were colonised or colonisers, my guess is colonised, by agriculture.

  9. I want to find out more.Always been interested in stuff like this. While not a student nor scholar I think this is way cool.
    Ya know jus FYI to most all make these discovereies more fun and less academic,my opinion anyway.
    Cheers James

  10. …check out some of my entrys on matilda’s
    gobekli blog, google, buzzard priests, and
    scroll down, or, just put my name in google.
    ah, for neander, try my entrys on zme science. matilda is a good site, she pooh-
    poohs some of my stuff but publishes it.
    she’s a good sort, also expert on haplo
    groups which you have to study as it is
    the key to migrations of peoples. good luck.

  11. I don’t know about the above, but I have used Google maps and I found 3 real pyramids in Turkey 1 half submerged on a sandy mountain side (does not look like the above).

  12. …using the date 2.6k bc for saqqara, first egyptian
    pyramid, and, let’s say, 2.2k bc for the mayan
    2d coming of quetzalcoatl, keeping in mind the
    oldest mayan date, the beginning of the 5th sun,
    naui ollin, at 3.3k bc, presumibly before pyramids
    and probable date for first quetzalcoatl embassy
    to amerindia, what date do you have for these
    turkish pyramids and where are they in turkey?
    note, 1st quetzalcoatl expedition is at the
    level of the solar gnomons, stonehenge and
    storonway on lewis/t/lauiz(N)=daw(n) island.
    i wonder if your pyramids would be older than

  13. …wonder what gobekli’s real name was.
    i know the language they were using,
    there’s only one, 4waters/4rivers=nau-atl(N),
    some partial form of it. belly-button hill
    is its name in turkish, coined by the locals.
    there are 4 circles=c/kirk/cles=churches,
    and 16 more ground radar has found.
    that’s 20=the basic unit of fingers and
    toes used for body-counting found in the
    deer calendar, whose ago began in 40k bc
    euro-glaciation when tlaloc greened the
    entire sahara/mideast belt, all the
    way to the altai(mts)=altia(N)=altar(E).
    çatal hüyuk is still to come at 7k bc,
    people slowly leaving their caves,
    tlaloc no longer raining, nomadism breaks
    up but still no cities, so gobekli was the
    intermediate stop between nomadism
    and urban, horse society not harnassed
    until 5k bc.
    buzzard priests at gobekli. some sort of slavery
    going, sheep, human sacrifices but what
    predominates is blackbirds, 40% of all sacrifices
    if i read it right. buzzard is the incipient writing
    sign later in the tonalamatl, based on fingers
    and toes 20.
    they ran a hunting preserve,
    must have had rules for congregation, aha,
    those benches going around the churches,
    that’s where the hunters sat with their catch,
    then went in to make tax sacrifice?
    blood religion all right.
    the key may be the blackbirds,
    fire worship, e.g., raven=r/l/tlatla-ven/uen-tli=
    flame/tlatla-uentli/offering. well, mideast
    people are fire worship, their bibles say
    so: torah=to-r/l/tlatla(N)=to-/our flame/-tlatla.
    tlatla is the old cave goddess, btw, her animal
    the ocelotl/ocelome, who is root to Elohim(H).
    the Koran=k/co-r/l/tlatla=come to the flame,
    the -n is tributary. btw, tribe=tribu(sp)=
    tepulli(N)=male member, tepilli(N)=female.
    now for a complete wingover, say the letter,
    T in your mouth=mo-h/ch/cam(m)ad/t/tl=
    priests are in charge of the spirit and spirit
    is the word. the little i know of Islam,
    they are deft grammarians, text still evolving.
    ok. your tongue flattens at the top of the palate
    like a cross-bar then the tongue drops straight
    down, writing a T, if your tongue were a pencil.
    later the Islam says the body is truth=haqq=
    tlaca(N)=tlatla-ca(N)=flame being/body.
    now the first letter, behind T=TL(N). there’s
    lots of kneeling in praying, before, during, and
    after hunting. the word=Tlaza(N), which
    means to throw down, also, taza(sp)=tax(E),
    and forms the word t/plaza(sp) later on.

    gobekli also a way-station for the nomadic,
    like the caucas-us mts, which is 2 words in
    nauatl: cau)htiquiza(N) and cas)xitl(N)=
    make a stop/squeeze=quiza(N)=quizá(sp)=
    perhaps, in the road to refresh/repair shields/
    as all good things, this was Eden after all,
    before the fall, people flocked to it,
    it ended in drought.
    a religious government of flame worship
    set up, controlled by ritual and
    topilli(N)=top toptli ritual police.

  14. …noma/nomatca/nomatzinco(N)=still, always,
    forever, spontaneous=nomad(E).
    gobek(turk)=hub, belly dance, wild with joy=
    gobekli adi(Turk)=name given child after unbilical
    is cut. ok. the circles were for dance=d/t/tlatlaca=
    flame being(cf., youtube, fire dance, the deer
    dancing of scotland and ireland).
    let’s look at the word, orgy, with letra:
    secret rites, dancing and singing=itotia(N)=
    dance=itoa/itta(N)=see and say=mitotiani(N)=
    dancer=naua(N)=dance giving hand over hand=
    teo/theo/deo, also, fishing reel=rod/rood/reed=
    rheod(OE)=rh/r/l/teotl/t/d=acatl(N/13 tona)=
    gobek(turk)=navel/belly button, heart, middle,
    gadabout, prostitute(sacred then, now scared).
    the natick=na/4 tick/white varnish, medicine,
    doctors midwifes, indians of nan-tuck-et=
    had round brush enclosures where girls
    were penned, bucks visited at night, and
    everybody sorted themselves out.
    gobel(turk)=mound marker, george gobel, bastard(a belly-button child).
    gobelek(turk)=mushroom. aha, the phalloi
    at gobekli. deer/tlaloc time was mushroom
    time. they like the damp. hallucinogens,
    bowl-like depressions on pillars used as mortars,
    stone picks used for quarrying.
    ma(N)=hunt land/water with net=matlatl(N)=
    net=no-ma-tzinco(N)=my saintly net=mazatl(N)=
    deer(taken by n-et/s-na-re). weaving, also feather
    working which has fine netting to hold feathers together, making capes, wings for the priests. wings are a motif in old iranian stone
    carvings, dances of simulated flight.
    in any case, ecstasy, psychotropic and physical,
    dance, song, done in rings with central dancer
    too, as in fire dance(you tube). where people
    were able to lift out of themselves into the great
    sky of being by their use. it’s always there.
    at 8k bc, the Finns had reached finland, took
    over the neander bear, who descends
    and ascends through the pinetree=pinaua(N)=
    to redden, be ashamed, the proto-chinese are
    breeding dog/pig together in compounds for
    the first time, possible at gobekli too, breeding
    station for animals and humans. çatal huyuk
    had one, also ocelotl/cheetah=chitoni(N)=
    spark dances with animals around waist.
    at gobekli there would have been all sorts of
    opportunity to dress up for the dance as the
    mayans used to do in fantastic ways,
    cf., mural bonampak. all’s connected,
    the current is forever on, dance/singing may go
    for days. all this implies ilpia(N)=iluicatl pia=
    sky piety=skyknot=hilpan(goth)=help from
    sky watching. ilpia(N)=to tie, i.e., the stars
    were first charted by knotting their place on
    a matrix(the beginning of weaving by neandra,
    along with nets).
    haqq(arab)=truth=h/th/t/tla-tlaca(N)=flame bee. our truth/troth/trow(E)=believe, =
    the intermediary for fire=tletl(N)=t/let/l=
    let(a divine word leading to ecstasy)=dejate(sp)=let yourself(what a boy will say to a virgin novia).
    ca-il(N)=sky being=ilitl(N)=birch, =kaede(Jap)=
    maple,=keadar(basque)=column of smoke=
    whittle(E), and on it goes, al-qaeda=HQ.
    as water/atl begins life, makes altar, provides
    tealtia(N)=t/reality, which produces ue altia(N)=
    bealte(OE)=beauty and beatitude, so does fire/
    tletl(N) give us t/let/l/letter, leer(sp) tl/red/tl
    read=t/ler(n)ian(OE)=learning, as does lion=
    leon(sp)=leo(r)nian(OE)=learning, one of the
    animals at gobekli.
    oh, the word for priest, not pitli(N)=older sister=
    briton/older sisters of the tona/sun, but,
    tlamacazqui(N)=priest, minister, whose ultimate
    root, according to rémi simeon/nauatl dicc., =
    maca(N)=hand-be/give. however, tlama(N)=
    it’s obvious that nauatl is history, a continuum,
    e.g., na-ua-tl=lang-ua-ge=ua(N)=own=wa(mont
    kmer rouge language)=wa(chi-na)=yue=
    yuhti the (N)root=from the beginning/cave
    oz time=yeti(nepal)=neander.
    the aztec amerindians say we come from
    chicomoztoc(N)=the 7 caves=7=mazatl(N)=
    red deer, our sustenance in frigid europe
    when the 40k bc glaciation drove non-arctic
    bodied afro eve’s dna(72k bc) out, but not
    neander and his crosses at beginning of
    deer time. and i believe it’s the case, at
    least 7 interconnected neander hotels=
    hostel=host(religious as well)=hostia(sp)=
    communion wafer=ua petla(N)=own(stone)
    throw(cavebear sacrifice).
    gobekli is the last glimmer of dance time.
    at 8k bc haplo-group T begins, look up
    haplo T(google) to find out where they went.

    1. Beginning of weaving: neandertals? Nope, all great apes weave open bowl nests, so wicker weaving is before neandertal or sapiens, likely H erectus.

      Soft fiber (linen/hemp) nets perhaps neandertal/sapiens?

      al qaida – base

      krk – krak/kirk/karak – walled enclosure

        1. PIE dog: kwon, probably k(weak “wr”)hound -> hound/hont/hunt-wound (both woo-nd and waund/round to encircle prey and drive it to hunter).
          So kar + wolfhound perhaps? The Shahra of Oman keep cattle in caves or dome huts, dogs were dome-sticated much earlier and often dragged/carried shelter materials (travois/sled), probably slept in doorways as guards/gates.

  15. Throughly enjoyed comments/speculations. I’m just a novice, but for such large structures(tons) to have been built isn’t necessary to have a stable long term settlement, a large well fed population in order to conduct such a time consuming building project, and technological sophistication. Am I to believe that this was achieved by HG or a nascent flora/fauna domestication great enough for these people to achieve this endeavour? Sans horse, cattle and barely on the edge of fauna domestication.? I agree the structures and dates purported are impressive, but what is the year gap before anything else approaching this accomplishment? Just lost? Again I am just a curious novice, and await cogent replies. THank You.

    1. hard to tell. in turkey, in the region there are more ancient things, catal huyuk etc. but jericho that is the oldest city in it’s region (indus valley culture is a bit older i think) would still take 6k years before they build a wall.
      really big things i know of are fragmentary for perhaps 2000 or more years to come. among other things like settlements somewhat like catal huyuk, earliest ironage finds, there are remnants of a few more T shaped stones. if it was a performance and symbol of a pre-agraric community , it would have been defended (perhaps even burried for that reason in effect a only cultic, because at first it would have served a purpose of making an impression, secret to agriculture) and somehow the megalithic tradition continues after that, it seems quite possible there is somewhat of a gap at first, the symbolic value would not immediatly encourage agraric people to copy the style. (gobekli has no depictions of even elements of the agraric lifestyle, rather like they shunned them, otoh, hunter sentiments and natural values are strongly represented.)

  16. …what precedes gobekli is the upper stone age, 45k-10k bc,
    spanning the nomad deer age of tlaloc=t/l/rar/log/c=rarog,
    which begins blood religions as we know them by offering=uentli(N)=wendy/venus/venado/venison/venir/windy. we leave the cave
    of fire worship and by metaphoric extension, sun=tonatiuh(N)=
    anthony worship=tonalli(N)=soul/sol=tone/tune, and follow
    the nimbus of a christ figure, tlaloc/rarog, who has disciples of
    rain dwarfs, wizards=quia/uiz(tec)at/l/r-d(letra)=wizard, ascends
    to heaven evaporating and returns as greening rain in endless cycle.
    eurasian population bottlenecks as we nomad, everyone learns
    what paradise is, we live off drops from trees(orchard culture)and
    sky and mazatl(N)=maz(OHG)=meat(E)=ce uentli(N)=one offering=
    se-ven/se(r)ve/cerf/ciervo/(re)ve(r)en/ce=ce-ven. after the
    frugality=f(r)/pu/oca/ga-l(letra)=po-poca(N)=smoke of cave
    time we are free and grateful, our spirit opens out to blue planet
    and its bounty to us.
    gobekli is the last celebration of this life, but settled=cetilia(N),
    still tribal but circumscribed by a writing or marking system to
    keep track of the hunter-gathering going on, the religious rites,
    the inner clans/totems=to-/our descent/-temo(N).
    once hunter-gatherers are deprived of space, their nomadism,
    use has to made of language, number, accounting, calendrics
    (the tonalamatl(N)=sunpapers)comes to the fore, sky-watching,
    as always, but local=tloc(N)=beside. there is a compression of
    talents required for close living, topilli’s, to-police=topol(rus)=
    poplar/popular enforcement, form to inform and enforce,
    priest-class formalizes and develops it’s tealtia(N)=the altar=
    t/theatre=t/reality show, offering the people=pipil-tin(N)
    ue altia(N)=bealté(OE)=beauty/beatitude for the price of
    their contribution to otli(N)=odos(gk)=o(r)der=idol=odol
    the little red school house/hill of fire worship, the fixed altar
    of noma(N)=still, forever, always, spontaneous=nomad life,
    its last glow before that energy transfers itself to citys,
    manumission of its slaves to build them, e.g., grodi(polish)=
    first towns=g(r)/co-tli/ti/di(letra)=tla/cotli(N)=slave=
    dakota=la(s)co/ut-x(my basque name), from, coua(N)=to buy.

  17. (I’m a little late to the Göbekli Tepe party having stumbled upon this and related sites just today so if I’m a wee bit out of date, you now know why.)

    “First came the temple, then the city,” Dr. Klaus Schmidt

    Why? Why must this site necessarily be a religious complex? Why is religion the default raison d’etre for this or any ancient structure?

    I suppose that all too often, we ‘moderns’ simply assume that ‘primitive’ hunter-gatherers were incapable of anything other that coalescing around mystical beings and gods. Perhaps there are other reasons to build that are practical or communicative. Meeting places can be just that – meetings places. Places to exchange goods and ideas. Places to learn and grow. Places to meet, mingle and broaden the gene pool beyond the shallow confines of a hunter-gatherer tribe.

    I would posit the idea that it’s less of a ‘temple’ of worship and more a remarkable meeting place, visible from afar, to gather and exchange food, information, ideas, basic technology, experience and DNA. At some point later, it may have become a religious site but proto-agrarians and hunter-gatherers probably filled too may hours of their day growing plants and searching for game, learning the basics of animal and plant domestication to worry about gathering to worship a distant deity. Religion grows from a societal tendency toward structure and hierarchy and a desperate desire for humans to understand the amazing world and phenomena they see around them daily WHEN THEY HAVE THE LEISURE TIME TO WONDER. There’s precious little leisure time when your existence depends upon a daily search for sustenance. Religion organizes and divides communities into specialized systems. It’s illogical to propose that structure, order and hierarchy predate communal living. Ergo, to assume that Göbekli Tepe was begun as a religious site seems counter-intuitive to me.

    Just my opinion (I’m not an archeologist) but I would be interested in other thoughts on the matter.

  18. There is a 1400+ years book that speaks of great civilizations of past amongst. It even speaks of a pre-human inter dimensional civilization that occupied earth.

    Make what you like of it. After all knowledge is better than ignorance.

    [40:21] Have they not travelled in the earth and seen how was the end of those who were before them? Mightier than these were they in strength– and in fortifications in the land, but Allah destroyed them for their sins; and there was not for them any defender against Allah.

    [11.82] So when Our decree came to pass, We turned them upside down and rained down upon them stones, of what had been decreed, one after another.

    [20.128] Is it not a guidance for them (to know) how many a generation We destroyed before them, amid whose dwellings they walk? Lo! therein verily are signs for men of thought.

    1. …archy=a(r)chy=aci(N)=to concentrate/hacer(sp)=do.
      tlamcazque(N)=flame priests are clever.
      the first mention of Allah i can find in Nauatl
      is the ultimate reverential of water/atl(N)=altia(N)=
      Alaua/oalauh(N)=annoint=Alabar(sp), from which words
      derived are: allow/hallow/hello/hallelujah, besides
      the name of Allah. this leads me to conclude that Allah=atl/altia=tealtia/theatre=t/reality=ue altia(N) =big altar=bealté(OE)=beauty/beatitude=Alaua/oalauh.
      other words from Alaua(N)=lavar/lab(r)ar(sp=wash/work,
      and, oalauh(N/preterit)=laude(Fr)=praise.
      so, when you say, and one can say it, Allah destroyed, it was through water/Allah or lack of
      water/Allah, as both rain and drought are linked
      conditions of Allah.

  19. Great conversation. Here’s what I can add to it: GT was
    definitely a religious site and we know this because of the
    carvings on the stone: vultures were a symbol of heaven to
    primitive shamanists who used excarnation instead of burial; this
    practice was widely used in the northern hemiphere 10 to 20,000
    years ago. To understand why you have to look at the sky during
    that time period, circa 15,000 years ago. There was no good pole
    star, instead there was an entire pole constellation- Cygnus, which
    we know as the Swan, was seen as a giant, celestial vulture because
    it seemed to circle the north pole the same way that vultures will
    circle over a carcass. When someone died they would be placed on
    one of these platform topped stones so that vultures would come
    down from the sky and take them back to heaven. The act of bringing
    vultures down was seen as a supernatural ritual act. The reason
    Cygnus was once close to the pole (but is not now) is due to the
    precession of the equinoxes. The earth wobbles around the pole over
    a period of 26,000 years. 15,000 years ago Cygnus circled the pole
    like a vulture . The fact that this was no longer true 11,500 years
    ago opens the door to it being even older. Radiocarbon dating of
    bones from the site are the source of the 11,500 figure and are by
    no means limiting; only about 5% of GT has been excavated and older
    bones may yet be found. Now that I have become interested in this
    site I have many more questions of my own; if anyone knows the
    answers to any of these please drop me a line jggii@aol.com. 1.
    Does anyone know if usable DNA was found in the human bones dated
    to 11,500 years ago? 2. Was this site also a calendar like
    Stonehenge? there are tantalizing suggestions that it might be. One
    of the platforms has a scorpion on it. 12,000 years ago Scorpio
    would have been the constellation that would rise in the spring
    (instead of late fall as it does now). Decoding the calendar (if
    there is one) would tell when it was actually built, and whether
    agriculture was being practiced before the temple was constructed,
    or after. 3. Are there any symbols on any of the monoliths? Aside
    from the carvings of animals( and probably shamen dressed as
    vultures), as far as I can tell there are none, but I’m not

    1. …vulture is the writing sign in the tonalamatl,
      the circling=ollin(N/17 tonalamatl)=holy/m(o)ve,
      which is the reverential in such words as, tetl(N)=
      stone=tletl(N/o(ll)in)=fire/letter/red, and, te(o)tl(N/(o)llin)=teo/theo/deo/the-other. note the beginning
      for both deity and fire deity=tetl(N)=(s)te-in=in tetl
      (N/reversal)=the stone=(s)tone=tona(N)=solar/Tonatiuh.
      holy scripture=(s)c(r)ip(ac)t-ure/ole=Cipactli(N/day one tonalamatl). buzzard’s position in the tona=16,
      which is 4×4, 4=Naos(gk)=highest greek temple, in
      basque=lau=oahlauh(N/preteret of alaua/annoint, and
      the annointing was done to uena=big4 directions=the wind/the sun=to-na=our4, we are/=uan(N)=juan=own4).
      the early and original basque rite uncovers the verb
      from which naui(N)=4 is made=oa-lau-h(N), and that
      is sealed in later languages by the, n=4=nauatl.
      there had to be writing and calendar at gobekli,
      combined with tlatla-uentli(N)=flame offering linked
      but outside cave time as the books Torah and Koran=
      rah/ra(n)0r/l/tlatla(N)=flame(and deity)=t/l/raven,
      the most frequent offering at gobekli, 40%.
      excellent point on cumulative building at gobek, meaning we can say it was the first temple
      city if it had longevity since 15k bc.

      1. Thanks for replying. I have to admit I couldn’t follow most of what you were saying, though. Could you spell it out a little more, for us lay people? Also, an update: there is at least 1 symbol on the ‘liths. It looks something like the letter H. Do you have any insight into its meaning?

  20. Further thoughts on GT: The timing of construction doesn’t
    sound right to me. The astronomical configuration that generated
    the illusion of the circling vulture was unique to the time period
    centered around 15,000 years ago and would not have been visible
    11,500 years ago. While it is not unreasonable to suggest that the
    practices were still in use at that time, they were fading away-
    other cultures were already beginning to bury or cremate their
    dead, as we do, still today. It seems unlikely, therefore, that the
    temple was built near the end of the practice, and not while at its
    height. My own evolving hypothesis: This temple was very well
    built, which suggests that this isn’t the first one they built. And
    we already know it wasn’t the only one. Whover built GT had done
    this before as evidenced by the terrazzo floors and the general
    lack of mistakes. Mistakes tell us a lot about the people who built
    ancient structures- the first time you do something you make a lot
    of simple mistakes that are not easily corrected. Learning from
    these early errors allowed them to design better structures. GT
    unmistakably shows its builders were too sophisticated to be first
    timers. The terrazzo floors are the clincher. Until now we thought
    they were invented in ancient Rome- some 9000 years later. If they
    knew how to make hardened, fired clay floor tile, they almost
    certainly knew how to make pottery, which is much simpler, and in
    fact is the root technology that terrazzo comes from. All this
    makes me wonder if these people were indiginous to this region, or
    new comers. This period of time, as well as the preceding 6000
    years was one of global climate change. As the ice caps melted
    away, starting 18000 years ago, rain patterns changed as areas that
    were once covered with ice now provided lots of fresh water lakes,
    marshes and swamps that fed other areas with increased rainfall.
    This area in Turkey would have been a lush new habitat created, and
    then later wiped away, by climate change. The other pressure on
    people of that time would have been of course, rising sea levels;
    which brings us back to terrazzo floors. If the builders of GT were
    forced to move by rising sea levels their earlier efforts may be
    lost beneath the waters of the Mediterranian or Red Sea. If I’m
    correct so far there are 3 times that would have been candidates
    for settlement and they would give us a clue about whether they
    were locals, or the first refugees of climate change.

    1. terrazzo floors .. thinks, another secreted and ancient innovation of oral history from the prehistory?

      i am not so sure about rome tho. in the early middleages fundaments of brick only started to be used when the natural stones ran out overhere, you would also expect terrazo to emerge somewhere where some kind of slate was in use. i would think, there are older examples than rome.mosaiques, eg. didn’t kreta have them? also the difference with brick floor is rather minimal and i assume they had these everywhere they used bricks.

      1. Onix, just do the research; that’s where I got the fact that Rome was the first known place to use terrazzo.

  21. For a site (GT) that’s only been 5% excavated, people sure have a lot of theories about it. Ten thousand B.C. Think about it, 10,000 B.C.! The discovery of GB makes people, like Dr. Robert Schoch, NOT look so crazy. I’m a life long student of Hebrew Biblical Theology. For many of us (those that truly study Theology), the discovery of GB is no surprise. It just verifies what we’ve always known about pre-Adamic civilizations. To understand what I’m saying, you must exhaustively study Bereshit (Genesis) chapters 1 & 2. And (Yirmeyahu) Jeremiah 4:23-29. And to do that, you need to learn the Hebrew language. Not teying to be “preachy”…but this whole “a time before Ada” thing is old and boring. But the discovery of GT is still exciting.

    1. …ada=ad/t/lamati(letra)=atlamati(Nauatl)=presume one has the protection of a powerful person=
      yes, Hebrew would be a good language to know,
      but Hebrew’s root language, Nauatl, is indispensible.

      1. Adam: from Chad lake region/Darfur mtns to Chadramite/Hadrumaut of Dhofar/Zuhar(-us?) mtns (Ad people of Iram = Ad-iram/At-lama-t?/Abd-ram/Adom(Yemen/Oman) traded frankincense/myrrh/balsam/cattle as part of tribal rituals to AkKad (of Taurus mtns)/ArCadya/Ar-am|Ar-menia/Al-Chaldea (Ad-am -> Ab-ram) Asshur/Assyria/Zyrianian (their Komi language cognate to Akkadian words)) of Yenesei River near (A)(U)Rus/Ur-al mtns. (Ch)Ad-am-ites to (A)(b)-ihram-ites to Jacob/(Y)Isra-el-ites.

  22. For my previous post, please replace “GB” with “GT”. For some reason I had the letters “GB” stuck in my brain as I was typing.

  23. …from what i can tell of words for language, e.g.,
    waa(china(khmer rouge)=wa(japanese)=circle/unity/harmony=lang-ua/waa/wa-ge/ce=t/la(n)c/g=
    tlacatl(N)=body, i.e., language comes from the body,
    is ua(N)/wa(J)/waa(china/khmer=own(E), is owned/ua(N)
    by the body, and is, -ge/ce(N)=one, or, language one
    body is owned/owed?, to which, language(is)one body=
    na-ua-tl. isbn 968-23-0573–x=nauatl dicc., rémi
    simeon, siglo xx1. for the tonalamatl, aztecs of mexico, vaillant, george, penguin pb, chap. on ritual religion. the 2 key books, simeon is in spanish but that’s good as it’s closer to nauatl than english in
    some ways.
    from what we know of fire worship, it begins with
    the solstice bear cult of neander. iueli(N)=powerful=
    iberia/hibernate hibernia inverness invierno hiver
    ivery/ivory ember/e/i(m)b/vel/r=iueli(N)=iv/be(a)r/l,
    solstice cave bear to push the sun/Tona-tiuh around
    on its weakest day.
    let us pass through the nauatl words for gens and
    language that refer to cave bear worship:
    first let’s establish neander: yuhti(N)=from the beginning=just justice=yuh’di(Hebrew)=yu(r)t(deer
    time upper stone age 45k-10k bc)=yeti(nepalese)=neandertal. hebrew=h/th/tep/b(r)ewa/ua=tepeua(N)=
    mountain/tepee/temple owners=neander habitat=mountain.
    now, from east to west: ca(n)ton-ese=ca tona(N)=sun being=calli(s)to(gk/myth)=calli tona(N)=sunbeing=
    ka(r)th/tunen(Finnish first bear clan)=ka/ca tona(N)=
    sunbeing=katonah(new york state)=ka/ca tona(N)=sunbeing. now to link up cantonese with yuhti(N)=
    cantonese=yue=jyut/jyu=juh’di(hebrew)=judy. i am not saying cantonese=hebrew, what i am saying is that
    cave bear worship, ca tona(N), links them all.
    what this link=wa(japanese) means to gobekli tepe
    is that the fire worship probably has come from the east, certainly that they spoke nauatl, as i have
    the rémi simeon version of nauatl intact at 3309bc,
    nauatl pie stayed together that long, reached its
    peak so to (s)peak, then as the rope age of metis,
    first deity of wisdom, mother of athena, matured
    and the globe laced together by trade and spread of
    nauatl into every corner, the Babel/babble began,
    with sumer, japanese, omotic(ethiopia).
    H is an aspirant, can be any consonant, e.g.,
    c/ch/h p/ph/h t/th/h. it has become a sound symbol,
    but very much doubt it was in use before the decay of
    nauatl i mention, e.g., he(ar)t=h/th/te(ar)tl/t=
    tetl(N)=stone, better, h/th/t/tle(ar)tl=tletl(N)=fire,
    hell=h/th/tetl, or, hel(germ)=h/th/t/tletl(N)=fire.
    note, heart=hearth=hear(stone deaf/burning ears).
    wouldn’t mind seeing letter(H)in question, not a gammadion is it? as the cross=symbol for 4/naui.
    otzi, tyrolean man/3k bc, had one on his leg=
    naui ollin(5th age).
    from the Oera Linda book, misused in many ways,
    come the idea that egyptians were from the orient,
    certainly they were deer tribe(we all went through
    that bottle neck). the egyptian deer tribe proof
    is the scarab, whose habits became their funeral rites. scarab=caribou

    1. This is mindblowing: not only are there several symbols on the ‘liths, the more you delve into it, the clearer it becomes that the animal carvings themselves have specific meaning that we are just beginning to understand! I wonder why no one is talking about this? Think about it. How could hunter gatherers have symbols that communicate whole concepts, and where would they learn them, at HGU? Check out these two sites: http://www.timothystephany.com/gobekli.html
      The 1st one has some very intriguing info that suggests that the animal carvings are representations of how these people saw groupings of stars- in other words, their version of the constellations. The 2nd will be of particular interest to you, Carlos, as it gives a detailed breakdown of how the symbols evolved into later languages that we already know!

  24. …ah, post script: let me say that ca tona(N)=
    cave dwelling sun worship links them all and
    is the one (source of) language, Nauatl, i.e.,
    which is to say hebrew and cantonese derive
    from Nauatl, as does every other language on the planet, therefore, hebrew=cantonese, as shown in
    the yuhti(N)=yuh’di(H)=yue/jyut/jyu(cantonese)

    1. Does anyone know what Carlos Lascoutx is on? If he’s not taking his meds, his doctors should be informed. If he’s self-medicating, perhaps someone should send him something a little more soothing to dampen the manic behaviour evident in his writing.

      1. At first I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but after doing some research on “Nauatl” I don’t think he has anything to add to the conversation. In this case first impressions are probably correct.

  25. I believed Robert Bauval, Graham Hancock, John Anthony West, and Dr. Scoch the whole time. And they went through some serious BS because of the “establishment”. Must feel good for those guys to finally be proven to be correct. It must really piss off Zahi Hawass to be shown as the stooge that he is. Well…this bell can never be unrung so I look forward to watching professors (all over the world) in: Egyptology, Archeology, Anthropology, and History squirm. My daughter will be starting college in a few years. Had to tell her that I’ll be paying for classes that are teaching her the wrong information. But at least she knows about Gobekli Tepe and she’ll be applying the “Gobekli Tepe Rule” whenever her teachers start spewing out nonsense. If “the world” has only known about Gobekli Tepe for the past two or three years, you can bet that it won’t change the textbooks for many MANY years to come. Thanks, Guys, for all your work and sacrifices. It was not in vain.

    1. Hi Chris, re: Hancock, Bauvall et all, whilst they do present some interesting ides and bring to light anomalous data to be ex[lained , be careful in swallowing the lot whiole. There are some issues with their allegedly ironclad theories, based mainly on physical evidence. A good entry level precie of this is the Stargate conspiracy (I know, I know but get past the title and the reasearchers will have saved you significant time and point to easily checkable references)Likewise some of the wor4k by the new egyptologist ie Rohl, uhndermines prior theory. That GT is so old and so organised nicely shakes up what is “Known” and hopefully will force scholars to stop being so lazy. For what its worth there is no reason I can see why it shouldnt be religious in nature and research has shown the one universal characteristic of man is the ability to try to form patterns of understanding from observation, which would reinforce the thoughts that this served a “religious” purpos-depending on how you define religion, which as a christian I am very careful about!

  26. …i’m not on anything, it’s the material talking,
    heady stuff. language believes everything is connected
    and it’s got me convinced too. i would be interested to know what sort of research you did on nauatl as
    i’ve gotten pretty far with it. is there anything wrong with believing there is one language for the planet? it certainly is a lot of work, but rewarding
    as it will solve many problems in education and
    communication. i don’t think i’ll abandon it just
    because in your consdered opinion you think i’m crazy, that’s such an easy slur for the research
    challenged. enjoyed the forum or whatever it was.
    i don’t think you’ll get much further than where you
    are, however, as breaking words in the one language,
    nauatl is the key to the past, a comparison between
    it and derivative languages is like lifting the invisible ink of history off the page. i wish you luck in the consensus approach to knowledge, you’ll end up with a great-looking camel. off i go on my
    arabian thoroughbred, happy trails.

    1. Carlos,

      While I appreciate commenting, I don’t appreciate this sort of nonsense. I don’t understand a fraction of what you are saying nor do the majority of the people in this thread.

      Please write coherently and on topic. I’ve asked you before and you continue to comment in a incomprehensible manner.


      1. I think the discussion on root words is valid as all peoples would have started with the same principles. Have you tried making just all the possible noises with your mouth or counting in ones (1) to accumulate 2, 3, 4 etc. then creating simple shapes like a triangle, square and circle? It is just this lateral observation that can get into the minds of people from so long ago.
        Le’s not rule out the obvious. The T-shape is one of the earliest forms of a cross – the ‘tau’ – and animals have always been used to represent the psychology of Nature. Sacred geometry and numerology became sacred because it came from the ‘sacred’ world of Nature.

        1. i don’t wade through all of it, but the thought that prehistoric language was far more universal and patterned in various symbolisms if even from the individual actions of it’s contributors (us all) than we usually think of has fascinated me for a long time. for example differences in grammar and words between slavic and saxon languages suggest slavic languages were a reaction rather then a seperate concept for a huge part. that is only 3000 or perhaps 1600 years ago and lost in history. still some of it can be ‘reverse engineered’ the outcome of that, with juxtaposures of meaning and sounds for example suggests that language used to be easier to exchange rather than harder.

          for one thing i like his texts in the context of archeology because that is the context of the old language, gobleki seems as if it has been a very significant site at it’s age and location, if that happens to be the case it would have possibly been witness of one of the earliest (big) diversifications in linguistic systems. with the lifelong interesse he apparently has in the topic it would be fascinating to no end.
          somewhat of a pitty that even if he gets technical, it is in between so much rather raw and not overly convincingly unbiased data, the lot of it is impossible to read in a coherent manner. i still don’t mind, read it like poetry a bit.

        2. I have spent many years working with native American designs on pottery. I came to the conclusion that such design is not art but rather an organized system of written sign language. I never spent much time on artifacts from outside the Americas. But recent I inadvertantly came across Gobekli Tepe and was quite surprised to find so many signs that are the same. The “T” shape is the sign for “beneath the surface or ground.” Its opposite is an upside down “T.” The particular “T” at Gobekli is made of rectangels which is the sign for a place. Thus , places beneath the surface, The arched form ot eh Fox like animal is the sign for ascending and I believe it ends with a Hand at the edge of the stone. The hand was the sign for a Sun-priest –the Hand of the Sun. I have several examples of this sign from Peru to the Southwest US. All such use was related cosmological related.

          i tis a bit too complicated to write about here but I have published a paper on sign language at:

          There is also a paper at this site that shows some relationships between the European Neolithic and the Native American pottery compositions. Much more needs to be learned about sign language and its spread around the world but at least this is a beginning. It tends to leap frog the diffusion debate and the need for direct contact between the peoples using the signs.

        3. Very interesting what you say, Cliff, but there is already a theory by the lead researcher (I believe his name is Klaus Schmidt), suggesting that the T pillars area actually gods, the hands are present in all pillars, what he interprets as the pillar being the body and the top being an abstract head. The animals and other symbols would be “heraldry” of sorts for these gods, I guess.

          Could you conciliate your view with this one?

          Also I recognize in your T meaning underground theory a very Native American interpretation of the symbol of the cross, which is perceived as vertical (the horizontal bar is the soil and the vertical bar the rain, right?). However in West Eurasian pre-Christian conception, the cross, I understand rather tends to mean the four cardinal points and is perceived as horizontal and representing Earth and matter, so maybe both meanings can’t be conciliated.

          As an apart I’d like to mention, as I don’t believe anybody has mentioned, that the other place where similar T shaped pillars exist is in the two main Balearic islands in the Iron Age period. They are known nowadays as “taulas” (tables) and the main difference is that the horizontal pillar is placed flat (hence the similitude with a gigantic table of sorts). No apparent connection exists across so many millennia and kilometers but I find the similitude intriguing in any case.

          A famous one is the Taula of Torralba, which has an uncanny resemblance to other megalithic sites like GT itself, with smaller pillars around and what not:


        4. I don’t think I could, completely, conciliate my views with Schmidt’s. I think that previous to Christian times most people were animists and thought in terms of spirits rather than gods. I know many animists here on Mindanao and they tell me they do not so much pray to spirits but rather try to sway them with gifts and promises. However I do think that some leaders in the past were idolized and their spirits held in great reverence as ancestors. Some animals served as clan signs and this was related, as far as I can tell, to the spirit (essence) of the animal being adopted by the clan. For example, among the Maya the Jaguar had an essence of being one that hunted at night while the Eagle’s essence was that it hunted in the daytime. Thus their images reflected that meaning for warriors who specialized in fighting at night or in the daytime. Hand imagery coupled with Eagle imagery would indicate a hand of the nighttime sun. The meaning of the hand being one who served the sun-priest. If an arm was attached to the hand this would indicate a warrior-priest. This might result in imagery of an Eagle with human arms and hands. Such odd juxtapositions are often interpreted as gods.

          There were several forms of crosses in Native American signs. Whether one saw a cross as vertical or horizontal would have depended on other related signs that served as topographical cues. Sign language was very sophisticated and based on a different spatial assumptions as opposed to today’s linear alphabets. Because many groups had utilized sign language both in terms of gesture signs and drawn signs many different cultures understood its principles. Therefore the appearance of the same or similar signs across widely separated geographic regions does not mean direct contact between their cultures. There were thousands of years available to the different cultures to communicate with each other and stabilize the meaning of the signs. If this were not the case sign language would have become useless as a means of communication and trade for those cultures speaking different languages.

          In regard to the similarity of the table you describe would it not depend on how they were viewed? If the flat table design was viewed from the side a “T” shape would still be in evidence. If viewed from the top it would be either a square or a rectangle.

        5. @Cliff: Eastern Asian and Native American cosmologies may well be different in some key aspects from those of the West. We know a lot about pre-Christian beliefs (Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Sumerian, even today’s Hinduism as India is closer in general to the West than to the East) and it’s neither Siberian shamanism nor the “atheist” animism you mention for SE Asia, although of course there could be elements of connection with either the bulk of the system seems to be different.

          We know that ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Etruscans, Celts, Germanics, Sumerians, non-Jewish Semites… had gods within specific albeit eclectic mythological frames to whom they built temples, made sacrifices of animals or even some times even people, prayed to or asked for oracular advice, and who constituted as a whole a cosmological frame that generally gave imaginary meaning to their lives and societies.

          You can’t deny that.

          Even in America, many native peoples like the Aztecs had gods, temples, priests and sacrifices.

          “If an arm was attached to the hand this would indicate a warrior-priest.”

          Not sure if it means what you claim but the hands have carved arms for what I have seen and that’s about all the anthropomorphic they get.

          “There were several forms of crosses in Native American signs. Whether one saw a cross as vertical or horizontal would have depended on other related signs that served as topographical cues”.

          This I take as interesting because it might be the case also in the West (although I can’t be sure). Early religions, specially those with apparent roots in West Asia, were often chthonic or had retained a major role for chthonic deities (although in general I get the impression that sky, “heavenly”, deities were replacing them overall by historical times, as you can for example perceive in the Kronos-Zeus change, ).

          It could also make good sense burying a temple (as happened with the various avatars of GT) as offering to the chthonic gods.

          “In regard to the similarity of the table you describe would it not depend on how they were viewed? If the flat table design was viewed from the side a “T” shape would still be in evidence. If viewed from the top it would be either a square or a rectangle”.

          The taulas? Make an image search (enough online images to satisfy your curiosity) and let the facts answer your doubt (you always see it from the sides, or the bottom because they are quite tall, never the top). The concept is the most similar I’ve ever seen to GT designs however they are separated by many many thousand years and the whole length of the Mediterranean with nothing in between, so it may be a conceptual resurfacing or a mere coincidence (or a mix of both).

        6. Maju,

          I am at a disadvantage discussing Greco-Roman, Egyptian, etc because all of my research has been focused on the Americas. It is only recently that I noticed the similarity between the American and the ancient pre-Christian cultures. The animists here also make sacrifices of animals to the spirits. I agree with your statement about the cosmological whole. On the other hand most of the cultures you mentioned are not as old as Tepe. It may be a mistake to correlate them with later civilizations in terms of their cosmological beliefs. I tend to think that many of the cosmological concepts among the Native Americans were part of the sign language tradition –in other words brought with them to the Americas over 12,000 years ago. Of course, it would be a mammoth undertaking to attempt to trace the actual roots of sign language.

          As far as the Aztecs and even Maya were concerned I have found no sign language reference to gods, only nature spirits and the spirits of their deceased. The Aztec and Maya “temples” were not like Greek temples but rather artificial mountains that replicated earlier natural mountain sites in the lowlands and plains where the larger populations were centered. Also much of the information we have about these cultures has been filtered through the Spanish conquering groups that had a vested interest in portraying a negative image of the Native American. There really was not much interest in Native American cosmology but more an interest in destroying it whatever it was. Perhaps some of this also happened in Europe as the Christians toppled the pagan cultures.

          The Mayans, Aztecs and others did bury their “temples” at certain times to begin a new time cycle over the earlier temples. I don’t know if this applies to Tepe and if so there may have been some event that prevented them from rebuilding.

          I am not sure I understand your comments about the Taulas. I did a search and did not find any that were not “T” shaped. I did find a few where the top slabs were beveled. In sign language the bevel would relate to a compounding of signs (such bevels are found in the Native American signs also). The rectangle would indicate a horizontal-place and the bevels, on-its-sides. This was usually a reference to the edges or sides of the earth. To me it is significant that the one image of arms and hands that I have seen had the arm diagonally across the flat surface of the lower stone while the hand was on the edge or corner of the stone. The meaning would be, the warrior-priest (his spirit) on the side of the earth. This was usually a reference to the warrior-star, Venus. I am not saying here that the Tepe “T” stones were based in sign language but just that there are many similarities that need further investigation. Sign language does offer some hope of obtaining a greater understanding of prehistoric thought.

          Regarding the hands and arms, I have a paper on the meaning of the severed legs and feet found in Moche pottery depictions. In this paper I also show ceramic models of severed legs and feet as well as arms and hands. This tends to demonstrate that such depictions were actually words and phrases and not just a morbid interest in severed body parts.

  27. …well, my grand objective in commenting is to show
    by inter-idiom wordstrings, such as the yuhti(Nauatl)
    wordstring, that we are dealing with only one language
    on blue planet, that it was the language of gobekli
    trip, however fragmented, cf., my post on Omotic, etc.
    this discovery opens the door to the other side of
    archeology, the linguistic. already i have discovered
    the tlaloc deer age, or at least given it more definition, then opened up the rope age with Metis,
    connected her to the japanese nawa(j)=rope=nauatl,
    discovered they were the olmec, the wizards are first
    water wizards, that the britons were the older sisters
    of the sun. sure it’s unsettling to realize that the
    story of jesus existed before he did as japanese
    vaudeville, the Allah is water/alaua/annoint, but
    for a scholar to say he is a scholar and then cling to
    the mainland rather to swim in the chop of knowledge
    is cowardly, i guess cows swim, but when someone
    reports he’s checked out nauatl, why he doesn’t even
    know report=tepotia(N)=the uniting, from, potia(N)=
    potian(OE)=put, then the noun, potli(N); which is
    the last half of djibouti=saintly Punt(we’ve found the
    land of Punt)=potli(N)=both. a report is put, involves
    both sides, and is not a unilateral veto.
    i am not talking out of thin air or a cloud of
    smoke, i am using a new discipline for knowledge
    which radiates to archeology, comms, teaching, myth,
    religion, you name it. the medium of language itself
    has the key to past and will mold the future in a more
    positive way than present. knowledge is not just at
    the tip of the shovel, it’s in the 2d envelope of air
    called language. letters are not just letters, the are
    the reverential of stone called fire which becomes learning.
    the whole idea of education is based on received
    knowledge, skinning a cat only one way as old testbooks way out of date would have it. let’s
    break our addiction to stale knowledge and move
    into that something new called reality, break the
    intellectual fantasy that has us in thrall to the
    past like almonds in aspic and find new ways.
    Nauatl is the highway to all that, wa(J)=peace,
    harmony, unity, link, circle. away with the old
    perceptions handed down to us over the backs of
    generation after generation of bored teachers.
    religion needs an update also, and the language
    we use needs a good shake to get the dust and mold
    out of it. if you don’t believe me, cast a glance at
    the us congress or the world at large.
    i’m not a savior. i’m just as challenged by this
    new material as you are, how to use it, but i have
    made the leap forward and can break any word back
    to nauatl, struggling like laocoon to save his
    children from wise?snakes is the metaphor that come
    to mind. the real struggle is to separate knowledge
    from politics, and i’m afraid that’s not done in
    countrys with strong political bent, which steers
    them off course to follow the ersatz charts of
    their selfish cultural fantasy.

    1. Carlos, from your blog:

      Orogen Altai …immortal pillar/piloa(N), referring to their central tent pole of tipi/Tepetl(N), more specific=Oro/olo/Ollin(N/17)=rolling

      olo links strongly to (Chinese) wheel: gulu, (Polish) kolo: wheel, PIE kwon: wolf
      and to wool and felt. I think in Altai area, Felt was made first by beating (“taw”)hemp strands & kemp (original long sheep hair, not wool) and twirling/rolling them into a rope (“wolp/woof?”). Later this wool was spun along a axle behind a wolf/dog (later horse).

      1. My last sentence corrected: Later (5ka?) sheep wool (the curly inner coat grown by sheep for winter cold, in wild sheep grown in autumn but domestic sheep grow it earlier in summer) was plucked/sheared and wrapped around a pole/axle (a cross-piece of a travois, the bottom pole of an A frame of poles pulled (cf pulk of Lapps) by a wolf-dog (cf incipient dog of Altai), the wool pelt became felt after revolving/bouncing/wetting/meshing in morning dew, felt was used for yurts/clothes and reed mat rugs (horse domestication resulted in carts/wagons from same process).


  28. I’ve written a short story about Göbekli Tepe almost as soon as I’ve heard of it – in 2008. I’ve translated it to English for a literary event, and since there is no other venue for me to publish it that would have so many readers, I just put it up on the internet.

    Here it is, as a google document.

    It’s a bit more on the philosophical side – investigating the discord between instinctual practices and the recognition of the symbolic form, and it also touches the Schmidt aspect of the new interpretation of standard marxist staple – first came the city, then the temple. It really seems that it was the other way around, which is all kinds of amazing in my eyes :) The superstructure drives the economic base forward – that makes art the most important of human practices.

    Thanks for your time!

  29. I just watched a program about ancient structures that featured this site. I found it interesting that they mentioned “The Great Flood” and said that there were at least a thousand myths/legends about the flood, including the biblical myth and they opined that the animals on these pillars may have been an attempt to tell the tale. If that’s so, then the biblical flood happened long before the time in which it is represented in the bible. Of course, there could be lots of reasons why these pillars are decorated with detailed etchings of animals…but I thought that was an interesting seque.

  30. While it’s all good and well to quote by how many years this site predates the Pyramids of Giza, surely no one on this thread is suggesting that this complex is even in the same league as the Pyramids. The manpower, coordinaton of supplies, management of workers/slaves and design of the Pyramids is mind boggling when you consider the lack of powered machinery. If the Pyramids are to be considered the greatest construction ever by humanity, which I consider them to be, then surely this site is just a steeping stone on the way to such a construction. yes, these are cool, and yes it make us rethink what was exaclty going on back then, but it all fits into a timeline, and considering this timeline has only really been given serious global thought for the past 100 odd years, then the timeline itself is in a state of flux. There is no archeological conspiracy here and there was no advanced civilisation that left the planet either. Give enough people a task and enough time and generally it will be accomplished.

    1. I think you’re missing the point, Stu. At the time the pyramids were built, 4500 years ago, this site was already 7000 years old. In other words, when the pyramids were built this site was already much older than the pyramids are now. The comparison is one of age, not scope.

  31. I love Gobekli Tepe – because it is challenging us again, and that is good for pushing us away from the old accepted ‘facts’ and making us search for new paradigms. First up, we have not necessarily progressed upward or forward. Second, it is hard to imagine the unimaginable, but we could stretch our imaginations to take in something more interesting than ‘slaves’, ‘lifting stones by hand’, and ‘political hierarchy’ or ‘pagan worship’. Is it conceivable that the ancients actually agreed, willingly, with knowledge of what and why they did something? That they actually knew what they were doing and that it was for some benefit for more than the selfish few, as today? To solve a problem, one has to get outside the known way of doing something and imagine the easiest, as opposed to the longest and most tiresome way of doing it. It is possible that the benefit outweighed the effort involved, as motive and incentive are the two main drivers of intent. As Stu says – ‘give enough people a task and enough time, it will be accomplished.’

    Imagine, in the meantime, chiseling out a relief figure of a reptile, of a possible depth of (ball park figure) 6 inches, from a slab of stone. That is, removing all the stone around the figure to a depth of 6 inches. In a slab of stone 10 feet tall and 3 feet wide, that would be….? (more than a weekends worth, between coffee breaks.) Unless… they knew how to grind stone into a ‘cement’ and mould it into a figure and adhere it onto the stone invisibly :)

    Is anyone going there?

  32. For your consideration. The latest news regarding this fascinating site.
    The current issue of NatGeo has a cover story on the Gobekli Tepe(GT). It is very well done and updates the discovery and places it in perspective regarding the other discoveries/excavations in Anatolia/Mesopotamia. “Revolution of symbols”, speculation(that organized religion came before agriculture) about these hunter-gatherers, foragers, and nascent farming communities. Checkout the video and photo array. There’s a caption below each photo. Unfortunately the excellent map presentation is not available here. I saw it in the current NatGeo ‘zine at the bookstore. GT is a work in progress with much excavation yet to be done since its discovery 17 yrs. ago. It has energized the searches in the entire region, and is dated at 9600BCE. The speculation is that it ceased approx. 8200BCE. Major megalithic structures begin to reappear(Malta & Western European) approx. 4K yrs. later(see link below for list).
    Archeo Diomedes

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/06/gobekli-tepe/mann-text > NatGeo

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megalith > History and list.

  33. The T shaped monuments: stele, derived from ancestral cave/quarry rituals including the resemblance of stalactites with mammae, dripping “milky” water, note similarity of galact-ose & stalact-tit-e.

    Note the similarity between the 2 images, the early G. Tepe and the much later (4xT & bench steps) Egyptian Djed: http://the-arc-ddeden.blogspot.com/2011/06/steps.html
    wherein the single T unit (cumulated ringwise around a pair of mammae) has accumulated vertically into the central vertebral column.

  34. Who filled in the whole system with dirt and small rocks, and why? I don’t think it was filled in by outside conquerors because those pillars would have been knocked down by enemies. So, that would leave the people who built them to have filled them in. And they weren’t just filled in, they were camoflaged and the entire landscape was changed and smoothed over to conceal its location. Why would somebody do that? What a great mystery for modern man.
    By the way, Edgar Cayce predicted that the Atlantis civilization would be found in the 1960’s. He didn’t say it would be excavated, just discovered. This was found, when??

  35. It is important to note, from what I have read, there are no depictions of Gods or deities or any “Leaders”. Most if not all the art depicts animals. This would kind of rule out a religous motive, unless they were worshiping nature for natures sake. Isn’t it just as likely that they were honoring the wildlife that made their lives so rich? Perhaps this is nothing more or less than a grand nature park? Just a thought.

    1. Most of the Zodiac is animals as well. Animals were (or embodied) the gods of the Egyptians as well.

      I suspect the structure could be a Zodiac, hence an astronomic observatory, hence a temple. But I do not know enough of the disposition and drawn animals to tell.

      Also I’d like to emphasize that not all religions worship (totally submit to gods), many just venerate (respect them without becoming their slave).

      “Isn’t it just as likely that they were honoring the wildlife that made their lives so rich?”

      Also, probably also, but they were honoring it by using it to represent some sort of cosmology. Animals, spirits, symbols, constellations, gods… all these categories are very fluid and overlap with each other. Have you ever heard of shamanism?

    2. Eric:
      Look again at the figures of vultures. You will notice that their knees bend , not like birds, but like human beings. These are interpreted to be shamin performing a ritual excarnation, while wearing a vulture costume. Since we already knew that excarnation was practised at this time and at this place, and the significance of vultures to the practice, it was an easy leap to to conclude that this is a religious site.

      Edgar Cayce specifically said that Atlantis would reemerge in the Carribean.

  36. Still awaiting comments on my earlier posting. Some of the recent comments dance around my points.

    “First came the temple, then the city,” Dr. Klaus Schmidt

    Why? Why must this site necessarily be a religious complex? Why is religion the default raison d’etre for this or any ancient structure?

    I suppose that all too often, we ‘moderns’ simply assume that ‘primitive’ hunter-gatherers were incapable of anything other than coalescing around mystical beings and gods. Perhaps there are other reasons to build that are practical or communicative. Meeting places can be just that—meetings places. Places to exchange goods and ideas. Places to learn and grow. Places to meet, mingle and broaden the gene pool beyond the shallow confines of a nomadic, hunter-gatherer tribe.

    I would posit the idea that it’s less of a ‘temple’ of worship and more a remarkable meeting place, visible from afar, to gather and exchange food, information, ideas, basic technology, experience and DNA. At some point later, it may have become a religious site but proto-agrarians and hunter-gatherers probably filled too may hours of their day learning the basics of horticulture and searching for game, and learning the basics of animal husbandry to worry about gathering to worship a distant deity. Religion grows from a societal tendency toward structure and hierarchy and a desperate desire for humans to understand the amazing world and phenomena they see around them daily WHEN THEY HAVE THE LEISURE TIME TO WONDER. There’s precious little leisure time when your existence depends upon a daily search for sustenance. Religion organizes and divides communities into specialized systems. It’s illogical to propose that structure, order and hierarchy predate communal living. Ergo, to assume that Göbekli Tepe was begun as a religious site seems counter-intuitive to me.

    Just my opinion (I’m not an archeologist) but I would be interested in other thoughts on the matter.

    1. natural people have a lot more time to wonder. for me it is not a temple either, rather it is a ceremonial place with no set meaning, totems and persons may be the ones responsible for individual stones, i do think it served as an assemblee also for live people, and i suspect it was build as a material show of ‘why don’t you just hunt?’ (like this or that possibly at one point locally reknown totem or predator), and ‘what is so innovative about sedentary living’ (we know yet more). it may seem farfetched but i interprete it as a focus of huntergatherers defending against growing (still semi) agricultural settlements.

      alltho i am reluctant of merely symbolic interpretation it is interesting that ‘settlement’ at this ‘symbolic place’ was undone. it seems the site served rites related to death/burial , through the vultures and perhaps some other symbols, and initiation , through the suggestion of totems, ‘clan-animals’. however they could also be related to the diseased, in memorial or as these have a totem themselves.

      the repeated burials of the site suggests ‘noone should lay hands on it’ and as such hostilities. that it returned in a mostly more primitive way thereafter may be more than only a coincedentual sign of new territorial succes for the huntergatherers. at one point the agriculturalists could get a laugh out of what remained of the older culture(s).that however is speculation.

  37. Well firsty let me just comment from personal expeirence. This season while I excavated at the Moorehead circle inside Fort Ancient south of Oregonia south west Ohio we saw signs of the decomision of the site everywhere. The Hopewell for whatever reason decided that the site was no longer useful or a part of their belief system, so they pulled every post and pulled down what may be a structure in the circle filled in the posts covered it all with gravel brought two hundred and forty feet below the plateau from the river, and never built anything there again. There is no sign of stress or warfare, no invasion by a foriegn power, it appears that they live ways changed and the structure was no longer a part of it. You don’t need something catastrophic to explain what happend there, it may merely be a change in belief and the site was ritually decomissioned.

  38. Imagining that these ancient people were worshipping formal religious gods is a bit premature; more likely it is a typical hunting & gathering (& fishing and scavenging etc.) totemism at a significant seasonal gathering & crossing place. Totem poles (upright carved logs, stone pillars) are common among pre-agriculture peoples, just as later monuments and stele signs and statues appeared with early agricultural towns and cities.

    Why bury? Social form changes require signaling changes, the later temples were more square-based, just like the housing and town plans, due to increased concentrations.

  39. You are just throwing your sectarian and ideological prejudices here. I understand that primitive peoples can have spiritual lives at least as full as modern people, not the least because they are immersed in nature and not in artificial cities and towns.

    1. Who are you referring to Maju? (Which comment is your response to?) I said nothing about “spiritual lives”. Formal = artificial = highly derived ritualised social behaviours.

      1. You said: “Imagining that these ancient people were worshipping formal religious gods is a bit premature; more likely it is a typical hunting & gathering (& fishing and scavenging etc.) totemism”.

        You are defining here what these people can believe or not. You seem to have preconceptions about the timeline of religious evolution and these “totems” (????) do not match your scheme. That is what I am criticizing.

        “Totem poles (upright carved logs, stone pillars) are common among pre-agriculture peoples”…

        AFAIK they are/were only common in some areas of North America, specifically among the Chinook and culturally related peoples. There are no totem poles among any other know culture anywhere on Earth.

        1. Maju, please insert a better word than ‘totem pole’ to describe common pre-agric. or proto-agric. semi-sedentary societal traditional upright pillars (wood/stone/ceramic/metallic) containing carvings/drawings of animals/humans in ritual postures. The Chinook totem poles were simply one example.

        2. Menhir, standing stone, column, pillar…

          Wikipedia of sorts maybe? I can imagine that, somehow their collective knowledge was gathered in such images. Why not? At least to some extent it is probably correct.

          I do not know why these megaliths would have anything to do with other expressions that you happily clump together into the category “totem pole”.

          I question your notion that these decorated pillars are better compared to Native American totem poles than to carved columns in a Gothic cathedral or whatever else you may compare with. Should we also consider cathedral pillars as totem poles or should we consider that a gargoyle and an eagle head may symbolize very different things? Is a pantocrator the same as a hieroglyph? Is the Venus of Mile the same as the Venus of Lespulgues?

          Totem poles are specific of NW North American Natives, shamanism is specific of Siberian peoples and other practices that only vaguely resemble them cannot use the name at risk of extreme confusion.

        3. i and perhaps deden do not experience a believe in ‘gods’ very compatitive with ‘rich spiritual life’ …
          also, totem poles may be a simplification but to me it says it all (menhir obelisk carved stone/ceramic metal statue(ette) etc)
          surely totemist understanding of gobleki tepe appears helpfull.

  40. The t-shape could well be a mere pillar. It could be symbolic but I’m personally suspicious that those Ts held ceilings and were not just isolated pillars.

    Anyhow the swastika or lauburu is probably older and I remember being it mentioned already in Gravettian contexts and appears again in Samarra culture platters soon after, where the arms of the cross are antelopes, maybe orices. The regular, static, cross appears also in the Neolithic of that area, in Tell Halaf culture (same area as GT, but some time later). T shapes in symbols appear later in the Aegean either as speculated “anchors” or as the famous double axe. But I would not say that T symbols and + symbols are the same concept, at least not necessarily so and I know of no reason to think so (except the Christian hybrid variant, which is just a peculiar late development but is probably what brought you to make that association, Avia, right?)

      1. I think they are tombstones arranged in family or tribe groups. Circular arrangement suggests a goddess/matriarchal culture. Covering with soil to form a mound suggests returning to the earth in a womb-like structure. ‘Gobekli Tepe’ means ‘Belly Hill’.

        1. It was just an observation, not a definitive statement of fact. All round the globe, one finds evidence of goddess/matriarchal influences sometimes in a singular form and sometimes shared with god/patriarchal structures. It is too simplistic to say that one period was one thing and another period was the opposite with clearly defined starting/stopping points in time. Logically, there would have been a blurring through slow change, sometimes, or sudden change with a new ruler of the kingdom (Akhenaton) at other times. Some edifices were aligned to the Moon and some to the Sun, even within the same cultural period (Malta). It is difficult, but possible, to project one’s mind back these vast expanses of time to imagine their thinking around their belief systems. We have the whole of history to date, to base our theories on; back then, they only had what came before them and there are gaps with no surviving evidence. I think like a woman and round shapes are feminine; taller, straight, or square shapes tend to be masculine by comparison – symbolically. The Aryan cultures span millenia and migrated and morphed over time; it is only conjecture as to where they started and with what. I have an opinion – that they were not all patriarchal, for what it’s worth. Gobekli Tepe demonstrates quite nicely the round female form and the tall male form – together, but even men know they came from a womb and could, quite conceivably wish/think/believe that they could return to one. Goddess worship doesn’t eliminate men, as God worship doesn’t eliminate women, except politically and under persecution. I hope that is clearer – but thank you for your prompt :)
          PS the female form of a pyramid is a cone and there are rectangular and circular doorways.
          It would be so much easier if we could time-travel! It certainly is a place to excite the imagination.
          btw, does anyone know if any bodies have been found?

        2. apparently there are at least some human remains, there is c14 for it, aryan is largely a myth, an eurocentric imperialisation of sanskryt (holy)*skript, writing”.

          celtic cultures eg. suggest a stronger position for women than the clichee, and so do many ‘germanic’ and baltic, round structures are suggestive of that, as, i assume is the burial of them, cromlechs etc. were an effort of whole communities (some megalithic european monuments feature stones that have probably been carried in and placed by children) not coincedentually it is mostly the periphery of graves etc. that is round.

      2. “The t-shape could well be a mere pillar. It could be symbolic but I’m personally suspicious that those Ts held ceilings and were not just isolated pillars.”

        Maju, I think they may have held (wooden plank?) floors, not ceilings. Holding floors would parallel the function of tent stakes (being ground-held).

        Humans first dwelled in round dome huts in rainforests (which evolved from ancestral open bowl woven nests in forest canopy cf all great apes), wicker pole “pillars” were completely integrated into the dome roof and stuck into shallow postholes. Much later, animal hides were draped over domes to dry & tend (remove fat/flesh, taw/tan), in cool climates these hide-domes became the normal dwelling, some evolving into tipis. Bowl boats developed from wicker woven hide domes (Tigris qufa, Mandan bullboat). Tent stakes and poles developed where wicker was rare (dry plains acacia?), straight poles used with rocks/stakes to hold the hides.

        I tend to avoid imposing later religious symbols for early functional artifacts.
        Stakes/poles probably indicated symbolic local land ownership patterns (MY HUT!) and threatened later state powers.

        1. In my understanidng, even if the ceiling would also be a floor on its own right (plausible), there would still be a space between the T-shaped pillars, which are, mind you, decorated, so they must have been visible.

  41. Amazing hos many thoughts and ideas that exist around GT, I wonder, have any of you been there?

    I have, in march 2010, and there is no doubt that it is a religious site. The pilars, The carvings and The main complex at least give some hope for explanation as to their function and usage. But noone seems to be able to give any clue as to The many football sized round carvings in The ground at The bottom, or entrance, to The complex. To The large basins(?) That are at The same location. And The Even more mysterious carvings with an appearant altar and flowing grooves also in The rockface some hundred meters lower than The temple!

    I have been to several of The historic cultural gathering sites in western europe, in egypt, greece, England, turkey and Syria, but no place can compare to GT. After leaving there we really felt like we’d visited or taken part in something significant.

    The city of sanliurfa, urfa, closest to GT claims after Local traditions to be The place where Abraham was born, there is a large abrahamittic cultus in The area, absolutly facinating! You would recognize so many of The myths/stories from The old testament. Even Local tales tell that after The flood Noah ended his journey here, that GT is mount arrarat. Thus explaining, in This tradition The presens of The extencive fauna reliefs on GT.

    And The mulbery tree…. Epic!

    1. There’s nothing like an eye-witness report – thanks Anne.

      “no place can compare to GT. After leaving there we really felt like we’d visited or taken part in something significant”

      – sometimes feelings are more important than conjecture.

      There is obviously far more to this site than has been mentioned in the official reports.
      And there seems to be much more yet to be excavated.

      PS I don’t think ‘tau’ cross can be applied to these pillars, as the ‘tau’ was essentially a Greek symbol of a much later date and was tapered, not square? So any pre-conceived ideas about ‘crosses’ need to be put to one side, I think.

    2. There was never any real “Noah’s flood” or anything like that. That the people of Urfa have retained the vague notion of the place being religiously important doesn’t meant that later mythologies fit there like a glove. Not at all: they are just replacement myths.

      It’d be interesting if we could gather which myths existed in the pre-Christian period but it’s still probable that new mythologies (Indoeuropean, Semitic, even Sumerian before these) had replaced the original ones.

      What is very interesting anyhow is that the place is fully buried. Recently a Norse temple was unburied near Trondheim, Norway, and it had also been buried intently, just like Göbekli. Why? Fleeing Christian religious persecution.

      If I translate that correctly in space-time to GT, by the end of the GT period, there must have been a shift in religious paradigms and hence persecutions and intolerance towards the “old worshippers”, who maybe decided to protect their ancestors’ heritage from desecration by systematically burying it.

      Only vague yet persistent myths, jumping from one mythological paradigm to the next one at convenience, have persisted.

      1. In regard to your insight about the reason for burial of GT, I just want to say that this struck me as the right answer as I was reading it. Whether it is or not, of course, no one knows. But the idea of protecting the site, perhaps from an invading army, seems to agree with the evidence, since the site was not destroyed prior to burial. If such an army were victorious and ruled over the area for several generations or more, the site would have been forgotten by the time it was safe from destruction.

    3. The “flowing” signs are exactly that indicating flowing water. it seems that many cultures world wide used spring sits and streams as sites for their cosmology. Apparently this was in response to a cosmology that percieved such sites as portals to the sky and stars –the abode of the ancestors. I wonder if any evidence of a hillside spring has been found?

  42. “… there is no doubt that it is a religious site”

    In the absence of knowledge and understanding of the true religious practises and traditions of the people who built Göbekli Tepe, how can you say there is no doubt? Until facts indicate otherwise, there is always doubt. ‘Feeling’ that it’s a religious site is one thing. Knowing it is quite another.

    1. I just want to note this: It is possible that the GT site was buried repeatedly, eg. it might have been excavated in summer and used during a harvest season (possibly with temporary wooden pavillion-like structures atop the pillar foundation), then buried it over winter, and opened again the next summer. Perhaps at some point they chose to start a new site and left the old one buried.

  43. I think that the so called academic community’s of our world need to open their eyes alot more and stop being so closed minded, things just are not so cut and dried as we have been led to believe and in every scientific profession, this has been shown time and time again to many for me to put down here. Instead of hiding information that they find and cant explain put it out there for everyone to see and just maybe someone will actually figure it out professional or not lets move forward and see what this incredible earth and life has in store for us, just a novel thought.

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