Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ancient Temple Found

I am just so fascinated by things like this. Follow the link for details and photos. I hope that more images and news about this site comes out soon. I would love to see more detailed pictures of the stone carving.

The hill seems to be layers upon layers of stone circles, covered in dirt and built atop of one another.
Unlike the stark plateaus nearby, Gobekli Tepe (the name means "belly hill" in Turkish) has a gently rounded top that rises 50 feet above the surrounding landscape. To Schmidt's eye, the shape stood out. "Only man could have created something like this," he says. "It was clear right away this was a gigantic Stone Age site." The broken pieces of limestone that earlier surveyors had mistaken for gravestones suddenly took on a different meaning.
You will find reference to the belly or "navel" of the world in many religions, and many places have been called these names over time. Some religions/cultures have said that the navel of the world is the point through which humanity, at the least, is supposed to have emerged through to this world. The designation is reserved for the most sacred and important sites within a religion/culture.
The abundant remnants of wild game indicate that the people who lived here had not yet domesticated animals or farmed.

But, Peters and Schmidt say, Gobekli Tepe's builders were on the verge of a major change in how they lived, thanks to an environment that held the raw materials for farming. "They had wild sheep, wild grains that could be domesticated—and the people with the potential to do it," Schmidt says. In fact, research at other sites in the region has shown that within 1,000 years of Gobekli Tepe's construction, settlers had corralled sheep, cattle and pigs. And, at a prehistoric village just 20 miles away, geneticists found evidence of the world's oldest domesticated strains of wheat; radiocarbon dating indicates agriculture developed there around 10,500 years ago, or just five centuries after Gobekli Tepe's construction.

To Schmidt and others, these new findings suggest a novel theory of civilization. Scholars have long believed that only after people learned to farm and live in settled communities did they have the time, organization and resources to construct temples and support complicated social structures. But Schmidt argues it was the other way around: the extensive, coordinated effort to build the monoliths literally laid the groundwork for the development of complex societies.

(Bold added)

Of course... this hill may have been called "belly" because it looks like a round belly... but the name may be very fitting if we come to find that it truly is in the area that developed agriculture.

Update: Another article on the site, pointed out to me by No new images, though.

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