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Göbekli Tepe – Stone age mountain sanctuary (wikipedia.org)
57 points by vinnyglennon on April 26, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 9 comments



I know he was writing about the far greater timescales involved in geological deep time, but this reminds me of what John Playfair wrote of the discoveries of his friend and pioneering geologist James Hutton:

The mind seemed to grow giddy by looking so far back into the abyss of time


This and many other sites feature in a great book I'm reading, After the Ice: A Global Human History 20,000-5,000 BC by Steven Mithen. http://www.amazon.co.uk/After-Ice-Global-Human-History/dp/07...


Worth noting that this excellent book looks like it might be rather dry - it is also dauntingly large. However, the author takes a novel semi-fictionalized approach which actually makes it quite easy to read.


Amazing to think a hunter/gatherer type culture from more than 10,000 years ago could still manage to figure out how to balance huge stones on each other and plan ahead to carve the reliefs into them. That assumes a lot of though went into the design and people learned enough to become experts at carving animals. Even today without all of our knowledge most people could not manage to accomplish this without power tools.


I believe the site was mentioned in the BBC's History of Art series as one of the earliest roughly dated examples of pictographic representation. IIRC, the art was presented as co-occuring with early social/professional specialization resulting from dietary plenty derived from similarly early evidence of organized, settled agriculture.


No, the very significant part of this discovery is that the massive co-ordinated efforts to raise the stones and build the 'temple' appears, from the wild game bones that have been found in great quantities at the site and the later early agricultural settlements found nearby, to have both pre-dated agriculture and possibly have contributed to the invention of agriculture.

This theory, which is the inversion of the conventional theory that the invention of agriculture led to complex society as you describe, is covered in a 2008 Smithsonian article [1] and the Interpretation section [2] of the submitted wikipedia article.

[1] http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/gobekli-tepe-the-world...

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe#Interpretatio...


I read that also, but IIRC that's not how the BBC presented it. Either way, we know that both early pictographic art and settled agriculture happened around the same time and around that area of Turkey. Which one came first is unlikely to establish a purely causative relationship anyway, so while more information is always interesting, worrying about the ordering is basically hair-splitting.


I heard about it on Joe Rogan's podcast with Graham Hancock (especially the oldest one) and the stuff is mindblowing. Having animal bones not from the region and deliberately bury the entire site about 10 000 years ago (making it intrusion-free for so long) is a glympse of how civilization goes much farther than what was believed.

It also blows my mind that a farmer found it, can't wait until technology can scan the ground and look for human-like construction in a massive scale.


if you guys think this is cool, check this out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yonaguni_Monument




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