Saturday, November 15, 2008

So, You Think the Pyramids and Stonehenge are Old?

Oldest known civilization: so far
  • "Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple?"
    Smithsonian Magazine (November 2008)
    • "Predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years, Turkey's stunning Gobekli Tepe upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization
    • "Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey, Klaus Schmidt has made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: massive carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery. The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years. The place is called Gobekli Tepe, and Schmidt, a German archaeologist who has been working here more than a decade, is convinced it's the site of the world's oldest temple...."
  • "Digging for history in Turkey "
    The First Post (OCTOBER 17, 2006)
    • "I am standing above an archaeological dig, on a hillside in southern Turkey. Beneath me, workmen are unearthing a sculpture of some sort of reptile (right). It is delicate and breathtaking. It is also part of the world's oldest temple.
    • "If this sounds remarkable, it gets better. The archaeologist in charge of the dig believes that this artwork has connections with the Eden story. The archaeologist is Klaus Schmidt; the site is called Gobekli Tepe...."
  • "Göbekli Tepe"
    (Göbekli Tepe (türkçe))
    German Archaeological Institute
    • "An early Neolithic mountain sanctuary in the foothills of the Taurus in southeast Turkey
    • "The early Neolithic Göbekli Tepe, a mound some 300 m in diameter with an accumulation of 15 m, is situated on the highest point of a mountain ridge. It stands out from afar, a feature dominating the landscape. From the site one can see the great Taurus range and Karadağ to the north and the east, and to the south the Harran Plain stretching away to Syria. Only in the west is the horizon blocked by high spines that rise nearer by, cutting Şanlıurfa off from the Euphrates Valley further westward...."
Several takes on what is (for me) a very exciting new chapter in humanity's story. One of the big questions is: Just who were these people?

Another is: Why did they bury their temple? We may never know, but odds are that some very interesting details will come out as people try to find out.

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