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Rain Man 11-14-2008 08:08 PM

Cool archaeological find
Check this out. It's amazing what's buried out there.,2933,452365,00.html

Stone Age Temple May Be Birthplace of Civilization
Friday, November 14, 2008

It's more than twice as old as the Pyramids, or even the written word. When it was built, saber-toothed tigers and woolly mammoths still roamed, and the Ice Age had just ended.

The elaborate temple at Gobelki Tepe in southeastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, is staggeringly ancient: 11,500 years old, from a time just before humans learned to farm grains and domesticate animals.

According to the German archaeologist in charge of excavations at the site, it might be the birthplace of agriculture, of organized religion of civilization itself.

"This is the first human-built holy place," Klaus Schmidt of the German Archaeological Institute says in the November issue of Smithsonian magazine.

Schmidt and his colleagues say no evidence of permanent settlement has been found at the site, although there are remains of butchered animals and edible plants.

However, all of the bones are from wild animals, and all the vegetation from wild plants. That means the massive structure was built by a hunter-gatherer society, not a settled agricultural one.

Google Earth Lets You Tour Ancient Rome 4,300-Year-Old Pyramid Found in Egypt Golden Earring Found in Jerusalem Dates to Time of Christ Female Shaman's Grave Found in Israel 'Iceman' Alpine Mummy May Have Been Last of His Kind Yet the three dozen T-shaped standing limestone monoliths arranged around the site are 10 feet high, weigh several tons each and bear detailed, stylized carvings of foxes, scorpions, lions, boars and birds. The builders may not have been farmers, but they weren't primitive.

Massive amounts of manpower would have been needed to build the site, a logistical problem that may have spurred the builders to begin planting grain and herding wild sheep, Schmidt thinks.

Wild grain ancestral to modern wheat grows nearby, and the site itself is just outside the city of Sanliurfa, known as Edessa to the Crusaders and which locals say is the Biblical city of Ur, birthplace of Abraham. The Euphrates flows eighty miles to the west, putting Gobelki Tepe smack in the middle of the Fertile Crescent.

"This shows sociocultural changes come first, agriculture comes later," Stanford archaeologist Ian Hodder tells Smithsonian magazine. "You can make a good case this area is the real origin of complex Neolithic societies."

Ebolapox 11-14-2008 08:15 PM

hmmm. interesting. guess we can blame those bastards on our current problems.


el borracho 11-14-2008 08:16 PM

Oh, great, another Skip Towne thread.

Hydrae 11-14-2008 08:19 PM

I find it very interesting that humans were building massive monuments before we had agriculture or animal husbandry. I will have to think on that for a bit because at first look that doesn't seem like it makes sense.

JBucc 11-14-2008 08:19 PM

I was expecting something you found in your backyard. Instead I guess this "birthplace of civilization" crap? You're losing it Rain Man.

Fairplay 11-14-2008 08:20 PM

Good article. When i first read it, i thought it would be in Iraq somewhere. But geographically it makes sense the location.

The famed garden of Eden, perhaps?

Ebolapox 11-14-2008 08:23 PM


Originally Posted by Fairplay (Post 5219579)
Good article. When i first read it, i thought it would be in Iraq somewhere. But geographically it makes sense the location.

The famed garden of Eden, perhaps?

erm. except it's not a garden, but a temple.

Hydrae 11-14-2008 08:31 PM


Originally Posted by Fairplay (Post 5219579)
Good article. When i first read it, i thought it would be in Iraq somewhere. But geographically it makes sense the location.

The famed garden of Eden, perhaps?

Here is a link to the original 2006 article:,f...tory-in-turkey


But what is new, and what makes this season's dig at Gobekli so climactic, is the quality of the latest finds - plus that mind-blowing thesis which links them to the Garden of Eden.

The thesis is this. Historians have long wondered if the Eden story is a folk memory, an allegory of the move from hunter-gathering to farming. Seen in this way, the Eden story describes how we moved from a life of relative leisure - literally picking fruit from the trees - to a harsher existence of ploughing and reaping.

And where did this change take place? Biologists now think the move to agriculture began in Kurdish Turkey. Einkorn wheat, a forerunner of the world's cereal species, has been genetically linked to here. Similarly, it now seems that wild pigs were first domesticated in Cayonu, just 60 miles from Gobekli.

This region also has Biblical connections, tying it closer to the
Eden narrative. Muslims believe that Sanliurfa, a nearby city, is the Old Testament city of Ur. Harran, a town down the road, is mentioned in Genesis twice.

Even the topography of Gobekli Tepe is 'correct'. The Bible describes rivers descending from Paradise. Gobekli Tepe sits in the 'fertile crescent' between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. The Bible also mentions mountains surrounding Eden. From the brow of Gobekli's hills you can see the Taurus range.

ChiefaRoo 11-14-2008 09:41 PM

Unless they find something that allows humans to pass through a portal to distant planets, well, then, f(ck it.

Ultra Peanut 11-14-2008 10:43 PM

um i dunno wtf u think ur doin but the earf is only 6,000 years old

RJ 11-14-2008 10:56 PM

It seems to me that there is more knowledge about our ancestors of 100,000 years ago than of 10,000 years ago. Am I wrong, or is there a Neanderthal media bias?

Skip Towne 11-14-2008 11:06 PM

How many people even know the names of their great grandparents?

listopencil 01-18-2013 12:41 AM

Here's a fun little video about it:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

DaneMcCloud 01-18-2013 12:45 AM

I figured it was Te'o's girlfriend

listopencil 01-18-2013 12:48 AM


Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud (Post 9330019)
I figured it was Te'o's girlfriend

She's shown in bas relief at the 02:37 mark.

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