Ancient megalithic structures
One of the most intriguing names for the modern archaeologist of Göbekli Tepe. The name of the place in Turkey where there are excavations of the ancient megalithic structures. Directs the work of the German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt.
The history of Göbekli Tepe, which is Turkish for “hill with a navel”, began in 1964, when the American team of archaeologists has arrived in this remote province of Southeast Turkey. They drew attention to several hills that looked strange and were covered with thousands of broken flints. This is a sure sign of an ancient man. However, the Americans refused to conduct excavations.
In 1994, a local shepherd noticed a group of huge rocks in weird shapes that were obviously cut by man. Learned Director of the regional Museum in the city of Sanliurfa, located 50 miles from gobekli Tepe. Soon the news reached the ears of experts from the German archaeological Institute in Istanbul. Schmidt came to Gobekli Tepe in 1994. and stayed there forever. Now the excavations of the ancient structure – his life’s work.
Strange looking stones appeared flat megaliths. Some have the shape of the letter “T ohrannogo with the surface color. Obviously, this is a dye of plant origin, that kept the color over the millennia! Some of the boulders are carved images of animals and birds: wild boars, foxes, lions, gazelles, ducks, Scorpions, fishes.
On one stone is the image of a naked woman surrounded by snakes. The stones, apparently, symbolized the people, because it had a stylized “hand”, pressed to the sides. Currently 43 of the excavated stone, which form circles with a diameter of 5 to 10 m Around the circles are stone benches, small niches hollowed in the cliffs, and walls of mud bricks. The height of a brick wall – about three feet, the megaliths have a height of from 1 to 4 m. Archaeologists believe that the dig at gobekli Tepe is still a lot of megaliths. A few years ago, Schmidt found half-hewn stone, which the ancient work is not separated from the stone bed. It’s huge, has a length of 9 meters and is located one kilometer away from the main hill, where all the megaliths. Obviously, here was the quarry where the ancient builders extracted the material for his buildings. Nine-stone has a crack. In recent years, scientists have found a 250-hewn stones that still need to be dug up. Now the Göbekli Tepe called the “Turkish Stonehenge”. Carbon analysis has allowed to determine the age of the complex, he is 12 thousand years, was built about 10-9 thousand years BC. For comparison, Stonehenge was erected about 2,5 thousand years BC Before the discovery of Göbekli Tepe, the most ancient megalithic complex was considered to be complex in Malta Dating back to 3500 BC.
The structures at gobekli Tepe are the days when people still knew how to do the dishes from clay and graze cattle. It was a culture of hunters and gatherers. According to Schmidt, the builders of gobekli Tepe lived here continuously, but only during the periods between hunting seasons. Their dwellings consisted of tents covered with animal skins. To gobekli Tepe found many flint arrowheads, this confirms the assumption that the main occupation of these people was hunting.
Gobekli Tepe changed the view of scientists about the culture of hunters and gatherers. Actually, it was more advanced than previously thought, at least in this region of Turkey.
But what made ancient hunters to take Herculean efforts to build a huge stone complex? Schmidt thinks he knows the answer. Gobekli Tepe was not meant to live here. Remains one more hypothesis – religion. Gobekli Tepe – the oldest temple in the world. Schmidt believes that this is not just a temple and burial complex. Last year, archaeologists found human bones in the soil filling stone niche near the megaliths. Schmidt believes that the ancient hunters brought to the grotto of the bodies of their deceased relatives. The entrance to the grotto they were closing the large boulders.
Megaliths stacked in circles, and this proves the hypothesis that Gobekli Tepe ritual site. The images carved on rock surfaces, also confirm this hypothesis.
In the days of hunters and gatherers of this region of Turkey was not as deserted as it is now. Here grow green woods, where there were dozens of species of mammals, which allowed civilization to bloom hunters. The climate was soft and warm. A real Paradise!
Schmidt made an interesting hypothesis. To build the religious complex of boulders, in gobekli Tepe they gathered a lot of people. It was difficult for them to get enough wild game to subsist. In the district grew wild corn, which they, apparently, began to cultivate. It happened about 8 thousand years BC gobekli Tepe was one of the first places on Earth where people began to cultivate cereals.
Changed power changed and human physiology. The skeletons of people become less massive and reduced in size. At about the same time the climate became drier and hotter. The soil was poor. Food became increasingly difficult. Then people decided to leave these places. Before that, they buried the temple. As identified by archaeologists, a layer of earth, under which are covered with stones, was brought from other places. The hills at gobekli Tepe are artificial in nature. Why would ancient people have done it – it’s unclear! Meanwhile, Turkish scientists are convinced: the legend of the biblical garden of Eden is gobekli Tepe where in antiquity was located in a green Paradise with lots of animals, birds and fruiting plants. The Bible says that the garden of Eden is located where the rivers converge. Christians believe that this refers to the Tigris and Euphrates, in the bend of which lies the fertile valley. In the Book of Genesis States that the garden of Eden was surrounded by mountains. Not far from gobekli Tepe flow the tributaries of the Euphrates, and in the distance see the mountains. So it is possible that this was the biblical Paradise.
In the region were made, and unique archaeological discoveries. For example, was found a sculpture of a man created about 9-10 thousand years BC Striking the face like distorted horror. Reinforce the impression of the obsidian eyes of the statue. Apparently, this is one of the first on Earth the sculptural image of a person. It is now kept in the Museum in sanlıurfa.
Of course, the assertion that Eden was located in gobekli Tepe, it is highly controversial, but undoubtedly this is the greatest archaeological discovery made after the Second world war.