The most ancient temple complex in the world — Gobekli-Tepe
All of us at school remember that the cradle of civilization was Mesopotamia — the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Immediately come to mind the names of Mesopotamia, Babylon, Sumer, Assyria.
But few will be able to tell where exactly were these ancient kingdoms and what came to replace them. One of the countries whose lands once belonged to the area, is Turkey.
Recent excavations in the South-East of the country have become revolutionary from the point of view of ancient history and confirmed the fact that civilization was born here, on the territory of modern Turkey. Here was found a complex of buildings called Gobekli-Tepe — the oldest known on our planet.
How do we imagine the person is 12 thousand years ago? This is the days before agriculture, before the invention of the wheel and metal products and ceramics. That is, the ancient people in loincloths running around the fields and forests, hunt animals and collect wild fruits. And then they get together and erect something so monumental that it boggles the imagination to this day.
So, the IX Millennium BC, Göbekli Tepe (Turk. Pot-bellied hill) — masondarko the Turkish city of Urfa. Not even the pyramids at Giza, the Mayan civilization, only 6 thousand years will be built Stonehenge. And primitive people who lived on the territory of modern Turkey, first time in history, stop wandering, get together and start building. They erect the most ancient in the world temple complex, impressive for its scale. The complex, which was the place of development of culture, the birth of agriculture and pilgrimage for thousands of people.
Gobekli Tepe is a perfectly smooth circles, built of rectangular stone blocks, from which rise dozens of huge T-shaped pillars carved from limestone. Columns weighing up to 50 tons reach 5 m in height. They were brought and installed manually. Home after all, even the draft animals were unavailable.
The floors in the buildings made of limestone, and along the walls, apparently, are stone benches.
T-shaped pillars decorated with intricate carvings. They depict foxes, snakes, wild boars, cranes, lions, vultures and other birds and animals. Found and beings similar in appearance to humans, but they always exhibit without the eyes, nose and mouth. Most of the images carved on the surface of the pillars in the form of relief. But there are also the amazing three-dimensional sculptures. One of the most striking is the lion, descending down the column.
All these bas-reliefs are quite unique and show that primitive people had a high level of artistic taste and refinement of perception of the world. That is, were not savages, what we imagine them to, and understanding of culture and art.
And putting it all together — resource extraction, transportation of materials, construction management and high artistic skills, we get a complex and developed society that existed long before the birth of agriculture. It breaks all previously known assumptions of scientists about the ancient people and extends familiar to us the history of mankind twice.
Excavation length in half a century
Gobekli Tepe is a truly monumental structure. There is not one but many stone circles with columns. They are all located close by. At the moment, excavated a total of 4 buildings of 10 to 30 meters in diameter. Totally they is 40 columns. Geophysical studies indicate the presence of at least 16 of these circles of pillars 250 and under.
The first stone was dug by shepherd in 1994. For the next year to gobekli Tepe with a group of archaeologists arrived German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt, who has been heading the excavations. As Schmidt himself says: “When I first saw this place, I realized that I have two options: either to leave and not to tell anyone, or your whole life to explore this object”.
Archaeologists say that excavations on the hill will be going at least fifty years.
Mysteries of ancient temple
The mystery of Göbekli Tepe is not less amazing than the secrets of the pyramids, but much older. Scientists can only assume that it was a place of worship, but it is unknown what made ancient people to get together and build this truly enormous building.
Among researchers and enthusiasts appear very different assumptions: from mundane to incredible. Some believe that Gobekli Tepe was not a temple but a place where people lived, while others put forward ideas about the intervention of alien races in Earth’s history and the construction of this complex aliens. There are opinions that the Göbekli Tepe was the garden of Eden or a type of Noah’s ark.
The Russian historian Gennady Klimov believes that the Göbekli Tepe and similar buildings in Russia were built by the same race. He confirms his theory by the fact that in the IX century BC was not yet the Black sea and the Russian way of periglacial steppes in this region was free.
At Göbekli Tepe there is another big mystery. People not only left the complex, leaving it to the will of the winds and Sands. They deliberately buried Gobekli Tepe, completely burying ground. Why? Unknown.
The first in the history of the settlement
We are used to the idea that first came agriculture, then the settlement of Göbekli Tepe and in the matter of globally changing our perception of ancient people. Scientists have found that for the erection of this monumental structure it was necessary to simultaneously collect at least 500 people. So all these people lived together.
Scientists suggest that the construction of this temple played an important role in the transition to agriculture, and hence to the birth of civilization in the usual representation. As soon as ancient people gathered together, began to live at one point, it became difficult to feed so many workers and pilgrims. And perhaps that is what prompted them to domesticate wild plants and animals.
The first settlements of mud houses and granaries full of peas, wheat, almonds and pistachio nuts, found in the same region, also in Turkey. Based on these findings, the agriculture and livestock appeared in Turkey around 9 thousand years ago and from there spread eastward to Mesopotamia and westward to the Mediterranean sea. Settlements and then dispersed throughout Europe and 7 thousand years ago has reached its Western border. But that’s another story.