When does a myth become truth? Pt9 - Gobekli Tepe - Buried for Millennia. - Could it be the site of the Garden of Eden?
Earlier posts in this series have revealed a lost ancient city under the ocean, another nuked in antiquity, onto amazing ancient engineered stonework from South America, an African tribe with incredible knowledge of the cosmos, and the story of an ancient civilisation that lived in antiquity who claim to have come from another planet and genetically created modern humans, a subject so in depth it came in three parts seen here Part 1, Part 2, and finally Part 3. Then we moved onto a pyramid complex in Indonesia that may possibly be 26,000 years old! and the most incredible underground city in Turkey.
Finally in the last two posts we revealed the on-going story of the Bosnian Pyramids. In Part 1 we looked at the history of the site, the evidence of it being more than a natural formation and touched on some of the unusual energy anomolies it appears to produce. And Part 2 dug deeper into those anomolies as well as looking at some of the artefacts found at the site.
Todays offering is a site that has pushed back the timelines of known human history. A site that pre-dates Stonehenge by 6000 years and has had some proposing that it could be the site of the mythical Garden of Eden.
The site is Gobekli Tepe.
Situated in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey sits the buried ruins of Gobekli Tepe. The site was first mentioned in a survey conducted by Istanbul University along with the University of Chicago in 1963, however for a number of reasons the site was mistaken for a Byzantine Cemetary. In 1994 Klaus Schmidt of the German Archaeological Institute decided to reexamine the site. Having found similar structures at Nevali Cori, Schmidt recognised the possibility that the rocks and slabs found here had the potential to be prehistoric.
Built around 9000BC apparently before the rise of agriculture, archaeologists believe Gobekli Tepe represents the earliest known temple complex in the world. The most interesting fact about the site though is that it appears to have been abandoned and buried around 8000BC with the site being filled in with dirt that contains human bones. This mystery of whether is was buried by man or natural occurrence is still being debated.
As with many sites that have sought to push back the timeline of known human history Gobekli Tepe has come up against resistance from the mainstream academics however excavation work has uncovered a series of limestone pillars set in circles which have depictions of a plethora of creatures such as donkeys, gazelles, lions, scorpions, bulls and spiders.
Many articles with amazing pictures from the site are available so let's take a look at what has been discovered and what it means for the true history of mankind.
Lets start with an article titled The Mysterious Gobekli Tepe written four years ago and published by ancient-origins.net.
The article starts with a brief overview......
Less than ten years ago, Professor Klaus Schmidt and his team made one of the most important archaeological discoveries of our century. In south Turkey, close to the city of Urfa, Professor Schmidt found the Gobekli Tepe, a temple that was built at about 12,000 – 13,000 years ago by the primitive Neolithic men. The time period (pre-pottery Neolithic A) was at about 9600-7300 BCE, an era that archaeologists claim mankind lacked metal tools. The site is very well preserved, as it appears that its creators entombed their temples under tons of earth in order to create artificial hills over them.
Gobekli Tepe, which is actually a complex comprised of many temples, may have been the first temple in the world made by man. Evidence found at the site shows that it was used for religious purposes. Most of the pillars located there are T-based, up to 6 meters high, and have different kind of animals (bulls, snakes, foxes, cranes, lions, etc) carved into them. The most astonishing thing is that each pillar weighs between 40-60 tons, causing speculation as to how it was possible for prehistoric men to have built such a monument when basic tools had not yet been invented.
According to archaeology, people of that era were considered to be unsophisticated hunters. The importance of Gobekli Tepe lies in the fact that the people who lived there were much more advanced than previously imagined. Proponents of Ancient Astronaut Theory maintain that beings from another planet could have aided mankind in these ancient times and enabled them to create impressive structures not just in Turkey, but in many countries throughout the world.
“Gobekli Tepe changes everything,” says Stanford University’s Ian Hodder. Furthermore, many have proposed that Gobekli Tepe can even be a temple inside the Biblical Eden of Genesis.
The article concludes with this statement....
Is it possible that what we know about the ‘uncivilized and primitive’ prehistoric men is not at all true? Is it possible that advanced civilizations existed before 6000 BCE and their tracks are simply lost in time? Or is it possible that extra-terrestrials interfered and helped men to build monuments throughout the history of humanity? The questions are certainly compelling.
The Ancient Alien theory was bound to get banded around in relation to this site, it is now a well known meme within popular culture however it seems to have become an convienient way to explain anomalies such as this. For me though I find this frustrating as it has the potential to dissuade legitimate archaeologists from researching the site for fear of ridicule. Besides I've not see any evidence suggesting extraordinary technology or abilities were used in the construction of the site, it's just much, much older than historians had previously thought possible.
This site has been proven to have been constructed pre-flood so serious study by the best minds is important to help piece together the fragments of evidence that abound here, hopefully the 'Alien' theories won't dissuade further study.
Continuing on with an article in the mainstream press from the Daily Mail titled, Do these mysterious stones mark the site of the Garden of Eden? The article is interesting and we'll cut to where Schmidt and others gives their thoughts on the finds so far....
A few weeks after his discovery, news of the shepherd's find reached museum curators in the ancient city of Sanliurfa, ten miles south-west of the stones.
They got in touch with the German Archaeological Institute in Istanbul. And so, in late 1994, archaeologist Klaus Schmidt came to the site of Gobekli Tepe (pronounced Go-beckly Tepp-ay) to begin his excavations.
As he puts it: 'As soon as I got there and saw the stones, I knew that if I didn't walk away immediately I would be here for the rest of my life.'
Schmidt stayed. And what he has uncovered is astonishing. Archaeologists worldwide are in rare agreement on the site's importance. 'Gobekli Tepe changes everything,' says Ian Hodder, at Stanford University.
David Lewis-Williams, professor of archaeology at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, says: 'Gobekli Tepe is the most important archaeological site in the world.'
Some go even further and say the site and its implications are incredible. As Reading University professor Steve Mithen says: 'Gobekli Tepe is too extraordinary for my mind to understand.'
So what is it that has energised and astounded the sober world of academia?
The site of Gobekli Tepe is simple enough to describe. The oblong stones, unearthed by the shepherd, turned out to be the flat tops of awesome, T-shaped megaliths. Imagine carved and slender versions of the stones of Avebury or Stonehenge.
Most of these standing stones are inscribed with bizarre and delicate images - mainly of boars and ducks, of hunting and game. Sinuous serpents are another common motif. Some of the megaliths show crayfish or lions.
The stones seem to represent human forms - some have stylised 'arms', which angle down the sides. Functionally, the site appears to be a temple, or ritual site, like the stone circles of Western Europe.
To date, 45 of these stones have been dug out - they are arranged in circles from five to ten yards across - but there are indications that much more is to come. Geomagnetic surveys imply that there are hundreds more standing stones, just waiting to be excavated.
So far, so remarkable. If Gobekli Tepe was simply this, it would already be a dazzling site - a Turkish Stonehenge. But several unique factors lift Gobekli Tepe into the archaeological stratosphere - and the realms of the fantastical.
The first is its staggering age. Carbon-dating shows that the complex is at least 12,000 years old, maybe even 13,000 years old.
That means it was built around 10,000BC. By comparison, Stonehenge was built in 3,000 BC and the pyramids of Giza in 2,500 BC.
Gobekli is thus the oldest such site in the world, by a mind-numbing margin. It is so old that it predates settled human life. It is pre-pottery, pre-writing, pre-everything. Gobekli hails from a part of human history that is unimaginably distant, right back in our hunter-gatherer past.
How did cavemen build something so ambitious? Schmidt speculates that bands of hunters would have gathered sporadically at the site, through the decades of construction, living in animal-skin tents, slaughtering local game for food.
The many flint arrowheads found around Gobekli support this thesis; they also support the dating of the site.
This revelation, that Stone Age hunter-gatherers could have built something like Gobekli, is worldchanging, for it shows that the old hunter-gatherer life, in this region of Turkey, was far more advanced than we ever conceived - almost unbelievably sophisticated.
The author of the piece continues the narratives.....
It's as if the gods came down from heaven and built Gobekli for themselves.
This is where we come to the biblical connection, and my own involvement in the Gobekli Tepe story.
About three years ago, intrigued by the first scant details of the site, I flew out to Gobekli. It was a long, wearying journey, but more than worth it, not least as it would later provide the backdrop for a new novel I have written.
Back then, on the day I arrived at the dig, the archaeologists were unearthing mind-blowing artworks. As these sculptures were revealed, I realised that I was among the first people to see them since the end of the Ice Age.
That's when a tantalising possibility arose. Over glasses of black tea, served in tents right next to the megaliths, Klaus Schmidt told me that, as he put it.......
'Gobekli Tepe is not the Garden of Eden: it is a temple in Eden.'
To understand how a respected academic like Schmidt can make such a dizzying claim, you need to know that many scholars view the Eden story as folk-memory, or allegory.
Seen in this way, the Eden story, in Genesis, tells us of humanity's innocent and leisured hunter-gatherer past, when we could pluck fruit from the trees, scoop fish from the rivers and spend the rest of our days in pleasure.
But then we 'fell' into the harsher life of farming, with its ceaseless toil and daily grind. And we know primitive farming was harsh, compared to the relative indolence of hunting, because of the archaeological evidence.
When people make the transition from hunter-gathering to settled agriculture, their skeletons change - they temporarily grow smaller and less healthy as the human body adapts to a diet poorer in protein and a more wearisome lifestyle. Likewise, newly domesticated animals get scrawnier.
This begs the question, why adopt farming at all? Many theories have been suggested - from tribal competition, to population pressures, to the extinction of wild animal species. But Schmidt believes that the temple of Gobekli reveals another possible cause.
'To build such a place as this, the hunters must have joined together in numbers. After they finished building, they probably congregated for worship. But then they found that they couldn't feed so many people with regular hunting and gathering.
'So I think they began cultivating the wild grasses on the hills. Religion motivated people to take up farming.'
The reason such theories have special weight is that the move to farming first happened in this same region. These rolling Anatolian plains were the cradle of agriculture.
The world's first farmyard pigs were domesticated at Cayonu, just 60 miles away. Sheep, cattle and goats were also first domesticated in eastern Turkey. Worldwide wheat species descend from einkorn wheat - first cultivated on the hills near Gobekli. Other domestic cereals - such as rye and oats - also started here.
But there was a problem for these early farmers, and it wasn't just that they had adopted a tougher, if ultimately more productive, lifestyle. They also experienced an ecological crisis. These days the landscape surrounding the eerie stones of Gobekli is arid and barren, but it was not always thus. As the carvings on the stones show - and as archaeological remains reveal - this was once a richly pastoral region.
There were herds of game, rivers of fish, and flocks of wildfowl; lush green meadows were ringed by woods and wild orchards. About 10,000 years ago, the Kurdish desert was a 'paradisiacal place', as Schmidt puts it. So what destroyed the environment?
The answer is Man.
As we began farming, we changed the landscape and the climate. When the trees were chopped down, the soil leached away; all that ploughing and reaping left the land eroded and bare. What was once an agreeable oasis became a land of stress, toil and diminishing returns.
And so, paradise was lost. Adam the hunter was forced out of his glorious Eden, 'to till the earth from whence he was taken' - as the Bible puts it.
Of course, these theories might be dismissed as speculations. Yet there is plenty of historical evidence to show that the writers of the Bible, when talking of Eden, were, indeed, describing this corner of Kurdish Turkey.
In the Book of Genesis, it is indicated that Eden is west of Assyria. Sure enough, this is where Gobekli is sited.
Likewise, biblical Eden is by four rivers, including the Tigris and Euphrates. And Gobekli lies between both of these.
In ancient Assyrian texts, there is mention of a 'Beth Eden' - a house of Eden. This minor kingdom was 50 miles from Gobekli Tepe.
Another book in the Old Testament talks of 'the children of Eden which were in Thelasar', a town in northern Syria, near Gobekli.
The very word 'Eden' comes from the Sumerian for 'plain'; Gobekli lies on the plains of Harran.
Thus, when you put it all together, the evidence is persuasive. Gobekli Tepe is, indeed, a 'temple in Eden', built by our leisured and fortunate ancestors - people who had time to cultivate art, architecture and complex ritual, before the traumas of agriculture ruined their lifestyle, and devastated their paradise.
It's a stunning and seductive idea. Yet it has a sinister epilogue. Because the loss of paradise seems to have had a strange and darkening effect on the human mind.
A few years ago, archaeologists at nearby Cayonu unearthed a hoard of human skulls. They were found under an altar-like slab, stained with human blood.
No one is sure, but this may be the earliest evidence for human sacrifice: one of the most inexplicable of human behaviours and one that could have evolved only in the face of terrible societal stress.
Experts may argue over the evidence at Cayonu. But what no one denies is that human sacrifice took place in this region, spreading to Palestine, Canaan and Israel.
Archaeological evidence suggests that victims were killed in huge death pits, children were buried alive in jars, others roasted in vast bronze bowls.
These are almost incomprehensible acts, unless you understand that the people had learned to fear their gods, having been cast out of paradise. So they sought to propitiate the angry heavens.
This savagery may, indeed, hold the key to one final, bewildering mystery. The astonishing stones and friezes of Gobekli Tepe are preserved intact for a bizarre reason.
Long ago, the site was deliberately and systematically buried in a feat of labour every bit as remarkable as the stone carvings.
Around 8,000 BC, the creators of Gobekli turned on their achievement and entombed their glorious temple under thousands of tons of earth, creating the artificial hills on which that Kurdish shepherd walked in 1994.
No one knows why Gobekli was buried. Maybe it was interred as a kind of penance: a sacrifice to the angry gods, who had cast the hunters out of paradise. Perhaps it was for shame at the violence and bloodshed that the stone-worship had helped provoke.
Whatever the answer, the parallels with our own era are stark. As we contemplate a new age of ecological turbulence, maybe the silent, sombre, 12,000-year-old stones of Gobekli Tepe are trying to speak to us, to warn us, as they stare across the first Eden we destroyed.
I must say I find the links to the Garden of Eden fascinating however I'm not convinced this site is it, Schmidt has had a fair bit of push back both from his backers in Germany as well as local Turkish authorities throughout the years and I wonder if the links have been made to ensure further interest in the site. There is no denying the factual evidence of the carbon dating of the site so it is as old as stated and therefore incredibly important, there is after all no other site on Earth created by man that academics agree is older.
Whether the site could ever be proven to be part of or related to the Eden story is neither here nor there in my opinion, the age, location and the mystery of why is was so carefully buried should be the focus of further investigation.
Could it have been simply to preserve the site for future generations from a predictable cataclysm?
This segways nicely into the last article from early 2017 found in the mainstream press, the article is called.....
Ancient stone carvings confirm how comet struck Earth in 10,950BC, sparking the rise of civilisations. The article was found at Telegraph.co.uk.
Ancient stone carvings confirm that a comet struck the Earth around 11,000BC, a devastating event which wiped out woolly mammoths and sparked the rise of civilisations.
Experts at the University of Edinburgh analysed mysterious symbols carved onto stone pillars at Gobekli Tepe in southern Turkey, to find out if they could be linked to constellations.
The markings suggest that a swarm of comet fragments hit Earth at the exact same time that a mini-ice age struck, changing the entire course of human history.
Scientists have speculated for decades that a comet could be behind the sudden fall in temperature during a period known as the Younger Dryas. But recently the theory appeared to have been debunked by new dating of meteor craters in North America where the comet is thought to have struck.
However, when engineers studied animal carvings made on a pillar – known as the vulture stone – at Gobekli Tepe they discovered that the creatures were actually astronomical symbols which represented constellations and the comet.
The idea had been originally put forward by author Graham Hancock in his book Magicians of the Gods.
Using a computer programme to show where the constellations would have appeared above Turkey thousands of years ago, they were able to pinpoint the comet strike to 10,950BC, the exact time the Younger Dryas begins according to ice core data from Greenland.
The Younger Dryas is viewed as a crucial period for humanity, as it roughly coincides with the emergence of agriculture and the first Neolithic civilisations.
Before the strike, vast areas of wild wheat and barley had allowed nomadic hunters in the Middle East to establish permanent base camps. But the difficult climate conditions following the impact forced communities to come together and work out new ways of maintaining the crops, through watering and selective breeding. Thus farming began, allowing the rise of the first towns.
Edinburgh researchers said the carvings appear to have remained important to the people of Gobekli Tepe for millennia, suggesting that the event and cold climate that followed likely had a very serious impact.
Dr Martin Sweatman, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering, who led the research, said: "I think this research, along with the recent finding of a widespread platinum anomaly across the North American continent virtually seal the case in favour of (a Younger Dryas comet impact).
"Our work serves to reinforce that physical evidence. What is happening here is the process of paradigm change.
"It appears Göbekli Tepe was, among other things, an observatory for monitoring the night sky.
“One of its pillars seems to have served as a memorial to this devastating event – probably the worst day in history since the end of the ice age.”
Gobekli Tepe, is thought to be the world's oldest temple site, which dates from around 9,000BC, predating Stonehenge by around 6,000 years.
Researchers believe the images were intended as a record of the cataclysmic event, and that a further carving showing a headless man may indicate human disaster and extensive loss of life.
Symbolism on the pillars also indicates that the long-term changes in Earth’s rotational axis was recorded at this time using an early form of writing, and that Gobekli Tepe was an observatory for meteors and comets.
The finding also supports a theory that Earth is likely to experience periods when comet strikes are more likely, owing to the planet’s orbit intersecting orbiting rings of comet fragments in space.
But despite the ancient age of the pillars, Dr Sweatman does not believe it is the earliest example of astronomy in the archaeological record.
"Many paleolithic cave paintings and artefacts with similar animal symbols and other repeated symbols suggest astronomy could be very ancient indeed," he said.
"If you consider that, according to astronomers, this giant comet probably arrived in the inner solar system some 20 to 30 thousand years ago, and it would have been a very visible and dominant feature of the night sky, it is hard to see how ancient people could have ignored this given the likely consequences."
The research is published in Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry.
If this premise is correct and the ancient builders/inhabitants of Gobekli Tepe could foresee an impending disaster then burying the site to preserve would seem to make sense and when you consider that underground cities such as Derinkuyu which I wrote about previously in this series are a stones throw away in Cappadocia you have a place that was purpose built to survive such a cataclysm.
Gobekli Tepe is an intriguing site, proven beyond doubt to be the oldest mad-made site yet discovered. However there is still no conclusive evidence as to who built it or why. We can speculate as to why it was buried however that's all it is at this juncture, speculation.
I'm not convinced it is the site of the Garden of Eden, although there are some interesting links to the story. Maybe more evidence will be uncovered as the dig continues that will add to that hypothesis, time will tell.
The potential for a link to the underground cities found not far away is an interesting theory I'd like to see investigated also, with a site carefully buried potentially to protect it from harm being so close to a series of underground cities built to withstand cataclysmic times is intriguing, again time will tell if they are linked.
The comet hypothesis is fascinating but again still not proven, I'm sure as the site is excavated in the coming years more tidbits of evidence with be forthcoming that will hopefully reveal the truth to us, filling in another gap in our lost history.