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Gobekli Tepe (Ice Age Civilizations)

An Ancient Shamanistic Civilization in Turkey

One day in 1994, a local Turkish shepherd noticed the tip of a stone sticking out of the tilled fields. Underneath was perhaps one of the greatest archaeological discoveries that reshaped our understanding of the ancient Neolithic Age. A sophisticated ancient shamanistic civilization of "primitive hunter-gathers", was capable of building grand architectural monuments. Perfectly sculpted T-shaped columns over 20 feet high, and 15 tons each, soon emerged from the earth, with beautifully carved friezes of strange Ice Age creatures, and anthropomorphic humans. The obvious question is, how could such an ancient culture build and organize such an ambitious megalithic ancient monument?

The Eden of Ancient Turkey (Dawn of Civilization)

C 14 carbon dating of the lowest layers containing charcoal suit, dates the site to the 12th millenium BC, over 8000 years before the conventionally accepted date for the emergence of ancient civilization in the fertile crescent. And yet, no stone tools, or agricultural implements were found at the site, suggesting that a large civilization of hunter gathers, people originally thought incapable of such constructions, created the oldest known stone temples in the world. According to archaeologists at the site, led by German Klaus Schmidt of the University of Heidelberg, only 5% total of the site has been uncovered, which itself has taken over 15 years to dig. A possible 20 circles at Gobekli Tepe are thought to exist underneath tons of sand, which has prompted archaeologists to think that the original architects actually buried the site intentionally under 300 to 500 cubic meters of soil, as if to preserve it.

The Ice Age animals carved on the columns are indicative of a time of plenty, when animal fauna and food had a much greater carrying capacity for large populations to thrive, thus explaining the appearance of Gobekli Tepe's central organization. When temperatures radically shifted at the end of the last glacial period, environments in modern Turkey and the middle east drastically changed, and the area became as arid as it is today. As a result, the inhabitants which revered the animal temple symbolizing their once plentiful "Eden World" probably saw less value in the structure, and decided to bury it.

Shaman Temple City

Klaus theorizes that the T-Shaped columns are representative of shamanistic practices, and ancestor worship. A partial memory of the people of Gobekli Tepe is thought to correspond with Sumerian myths, which told of a sacred mountain called Du-Ku, inhabited by nameless spirits called the Annuna, also mythologized as the Nephilim "watchers" in the book of Enoch and Genesis. Little domestic remains are found at the site, so it is thought that the center served primarily as a cult center that provided a place of ancient pilgrimage for numerous sites throughout the region nearby.

Kortik Tepe artifacts


Kortik Tepe

Satellite Towns

Three of those sites are thought to be Nevali Cori, a village which houses a shrine with identical looking T-shaped columns, Kortik Tepe, and Cayonu Tepe. At Kortik Tepe, elaborately decorated stone vessels are seen, as is proof of agricultural technology and permanently settled stone houses.

Nevali Cori

Nevali Cori Court

Nevali Cori within the same time period possesses over five architectural levels. Excavations revealed long rectangular houses containing two to three parallel flights of rooms, labeled "magazines". The domestic housing style is characterized by thick, multi-layered foundations made of large angular cobbles and boulders, the gaps filled with smaller stones so as to provide a relatively even surface to support the superstructure. The foundations are interrupted every 1-1.5m by underfloor channels, at right angles to the main axis of the houses, thought to serve as drainage channels, aeration or the cooling of the houses. Overall 23 such structures were excavated, they are strikingly similar to others found at Çayönü Tepe.

Cayonu Tepe structures