Alignment of Göbekli Tepe Suggests That It May Have Been Built to Worship Sirius

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Image via National Geographic (C)

Somewhere, Philip Coppens is smiling.

Via New Scientist:

THE world’s oldest temple, Göbekli Tepe in southern Turkey, may have been built to worship the dog star, Sirius.

The 11,000-year-old site consists of a series of at least 20 circular enclosures, although only a few have been uncovered since excavations began in the mid-1990s. Each one is surrounded by a ring of huge, T-shaped stone pillars, some of which are decorated with carvings of fierce animals. Two more megaliths stand parallel to each other at the centre of each ring (see illustration).

Göbekli Tepe put a dent in the idea of the Neolithic revolution, which said that the invention of agriculture spurred humans to build settlements and develop civilisation, art and religion. There is no evidence of agriculture near the temple, hinting that religion came first in this instance.

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  • Juan

    ALIENS!!!!!

    • Anarchy Pony

      I concur.

  • Orlando Green

    As usual – it’s aliens is a convenient answer when we don’t want to admit that Black and Brown folks built complex structures without a European anywhere. Ancient Alien theory = more racism in disguise.

    • nozodurendozuuo

      Wow you are thick. All of these comments, really. We are, as a culture, in denial to a pathological degree.

    • Matt Staggs

      I yield the floor to the gentleman from Non-Sequituria.

    • Calypso_1

      You must have never encountered the Ambassador from the Intergalactic Regions of the Council of Outerspace.

      • The Well Dressed Man

        Saturn’s contribution to Earth Jazz is so often overlooked. Happen to know of any good sites connecting Mr. Ra with the Moorish Orthodox current?

        • Calypso_1

          Not off the top of my head. I know it’s been postulated he had contact with those currents in Chicago.

          • The Well Dressed Man

            Back in the 90s, there was this lookalike who seemed to be following me. He appeared all over the west coast, at least once a week, for almost a year, wearing a purple cape and silver helmet.

      • Orlando Green

        Sun-Ra is an exception! lol. Thanks for that one!

    • atlanticus

      *cough* …um…

      Gobekli Tepe…it’s in Turkey…literally just outside of the region known as “Caucasus” or “Caucasia”, from which the term “Caucasian” came to be…just sayin’.

      • Calypso_1

        Is it just me or is the Maestro of the Blue Universe Arkestra hanging with a galactic Glaucus atlanticus in that pic?

  • InfvoCuernos

    So, what would 10,000 year old evidence of agriculture look like? If it took us this long to find big ass stones, how long would it take to find discarded agricultural equipment, if we could ever find it? I’m not arguing that the supposition that religion came before agriculture is wrong, just saying that this isn’t the proof they say it is. Also, not so sure about the Sirius connection.

    • jd

      Stones are difficult to find because they are often buried, though sometimes in tells. Once a site is found, finding other things inside of it is just a matter of slow, dedicated work. Evidence for agriculture can come in many forms. Middens (veritable dumps containing discarded foodstuffs) are typically found nearby. Some sites, particularly those near coasts where shells are discarded, can be 10’s of yards wide and 100’s of yards long.

      At many sites the hearth is easily distinguishable from surrounding area and material culture as it discolors the ground and is often surrounded by stone. Generally there will be carbonized bits of grain and other food near the hearth which not only give evidence of what they were eating, but is carbon-datable as well.

      Another ringer is the stone tools found at the site. A mortar and pestle are a dead giveaway that grain was being processed at the site. I don’t recall if there were animal bones found, but the evidence at GT points to a hunter-gatherer society. There was no evidence that any cultures lived anywhere in the vicinity — this site was a destination, which is extraordinary considering the amount of work put into it and the fact that the labor force had to be fed and wouldn’t have had time to hunt for themselves.

      Hunter-gatherer societies are, in principle, less stratified than complex agricultural societies, so it is difficult to organize such a force as the one needed to build a stone structure like GT. The fact that so many were willing to work so hard without having been forced or payed illustrates that the construction was of dear importance to all involved. History and cultural anthropology tell us that humans are rarely so motivated without something profound to inspire them. Religion seems the likely bet in this case.

      It was not aliens.

      • InfvoCuernos

        Thanks for the information. Certainly food for thought.

  • Yūgen

    If only bob was around to hear this

    siriusly

  • smooth_operator

    I don’t care about alien theories or anything else at this point. The only thing I care about is that Göbekli Tepe completely throws the standard human historical model into disarray and mainstream apparatchiks haven’t even attempted an explanation. Assumedly most of them probably wish the site would just disappear and go away.

    • http://skadhiblog.wordpress.com/ skadhithjassisdottir

      Not really, if there was abundant enough food around without agriculture the people who built Gobekli Tepe could even supported slaves, like in the Pacific Northwest.

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