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12,000 year old megalith circles turn knowledge of ancient humans upside down

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Evo
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Mar1-12, 09:35 PM
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This is incredible. This archaeological find predates Stonehenge and the Great pyramids by 6,000 years and makes Stonhenge look like rubble in comparison to this 12,000 year old find. It's before stoneage man had agriculture, before the wheel, a time of hunter gatherers. This site brings up so many questions and completely undoes what we believed about early humans.

The National Geographic special will be repeated http://natgeotv.com.au/tv/cradle-of-.../episodes.aspx You should watch if at all posible.

You can see some of the site here, just click on the circles to advance.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/multim...0706129&page=1



Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey, Klaus Schmidt has made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: massive carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery. The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years. The place is called Gobekli Tepe, and Schmidt, a German archaeologist who has been working here more than a decade, is convinced it's the site of the world's oldest temple.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/histor...#ixzz1nvW5k281
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Astronuc
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Mar1-12, 09:45 PM
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Now seen as early evidence of prehistoric worship, the hilltop site was previously shunned by researchers as nothing more than a medieval cemetery.
Cool find, Evo.

Some peoples have revered vultures for carrying the flesh of the dead to the heavens.
Jains or Zoroastrians, for instance.


At death, great care is taken to avoid pollution from the body, and funeral services usually take place within twenty-four hours. The dead are then disposed of by exposure to vultures on large, circular "towers of silence" (dakhma ). Most rituals take place in the home or in special pavilions; congregational worship at fire temples is limited to spring and autumn festivals.
http://www.photius.com/religion/indi...strianism.html

It is an interseting potential tie between peoples of Anatolia, Persia and Gujarat.
lisab
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Mar1-12, 09:51 PM
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Wow. I'm reading the article now.

I want to know how they made the carvings - with what tools? They would need a material harder than the stone...do we have any geologists here ? Bone wouldn't be hard enough, would it? How about horn, or maybe even ivory?

If they used another kind of stone, wouldn't those tools be around?

Edit -

OK I read further:

Even without metal chisels or hammers, prehistoric masons wielding flint tools could have chipped away at softer limestone outcrops, shaping them into pillars on the spot before carrying them a few hundred yards to the summit and lifting them upright.
So it's soft limestone that they carved.

Evo
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Mar1-12, 10:08 PM
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12,000 year old megalith circles turn knowledge of ancient humans upside down

Quote Quote by Astronuc View Post
Jains or Zoroastrians, for instance.


http://www.photius.com/religion/indi...strianism.html

It is an interseting potential tie between peoples of Anatolia, Persia and Gujarat.
Oh, no, that has nothing to do with this find. This is unbelievable, if you can manage to watch the Nat Geo special, you will be stunned. It's unlike anything else on earth.
Astronuc
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Mar1-12, 10:18 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
Oh, no, that has nothing to do with this find. This is unbelievable, if you can manage to watch the Nat Geo special, you will be stunned. It's unlike anything else on earth.
I'm not so sure.

I'm interested in certain cultural practices that show up across central Asia.

My time frame is upper Paleolithic/Neolithic to Copper (chalcolithic) and Bronze Ages (Hittites) and the transition to the point from stone to parchment.
Evo
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Mar1-12, 11:07 PM
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Quote Quote by Astronuc View Post
I'm not so sure.

I'm interested in certain cultural practices that show up across central Asia.

My time frame is upper Paleolithic/Neolithic to Copper (chalcolithic) and Bronze Ages (Hittites) and the transition to the point from stone to parchment.
Watch the show and you'll see what this find involves.
arildno
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Mar2-12, 03:00 AM
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This is absolutely fantastic!
Also, it vindicates a point I believe Lewis Mumford once made in his book on "The City", namely that cities grew up around a site of pilgrimage or sensed holiness, rather than getting imbued with sacral meaning afterwards.
Of course, that doesn't mean that there cannot have been cities with more humdrum beginnings, but that we need to acknowledge that cities and sites could serve many different purposes, any one of which could be the starting point (rather than that it had to have a "crude" materialistic origin).
zoobyshoe
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Mar2-12, 04:41 AM
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Quote Quote by lisab View Post
Wow. I'm reading the article now.

I want to know how they made the carvings - with what tools? They would need a material harder than the stone...do we have any geologists here ? Bone wouldn't be hard enough, would it? How about horn, or maybe even ivory?

If they used another kind of stone, wouldn't those tools be around?

Edit -

OK I read further:



So it's soft limestone that they carved.
The type of sculpting is the most laborious possible: the figures stand proud from the background, which means the whole of the background had to be chipped back.

Generally, all the t-shaped slabs look "eyeballed" rather than carefully measured. There doesn't seem to be any particular knowledge of geometry, and it looks like the dimensions differ from one to the other. What bothers me about them is that they're top-heavy. Both visually and literally. It's hard to imagine why anyone would adopt that shape.

The diagonal strip of "ribbon" that's very noticeable on the one stands out for being neither geometric nor decorative, as if it's meant to depict something real (a leather strap maybe?)

The upside-down squirrel-with-teeth looking thing in the third photo looks extremely medieval in style to me, while none of the other figures do.

Except for the one slab with a lot of carving on it, all the others are sparsely carved. One slab, one animal, as if the point of the slab was dedication to that animal (or what it stood for).
thorium1010
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Mar2-12, 06:55 AM
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How did they come to the conclusion they were no metal instruments or other tools ?

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/20...tepe/mann-text
Dotini
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Mar2-12, 07:46 AM
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I've been following this dig for a few years. A while back I made this post regarding the possible meaning of the symbols depicted in stone: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthr...63#post3379763

Respectfully submitted,
Steve
Evo
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Mar2-12, 11:31 AM
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Here are some great shots of the excavation.

http://miscellaneous-pics.blogspot.c...ekli-tepe.html

If you can get Nat Geo, the show will be repeated tomorrow, Sunday, & Monday.

Saturday, 3 March 8:30pm
Sunday, 4 March 12:30pm
Monday, 5 March 9:30am

Check your local tv guide since they don't say which time zone.
arildno
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Mar2-12, 12:31 PM
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Quote Quote by Dotini View Post
I've been following this dig for a few years. A while back I made this post regarding the possible meaning of the symbols depicted in stone: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthr...63#post3379763

Respectfully submitted,
Steve
Thank you for republishing your post, Steve!
Ms Music
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Mar2-12, 04:50 PM
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Quote Quote by Astronuc View Post
http://www.photius.com/religion/indi...strianism.html

It is an interseting potential tie between peoples of Anatolia, Persia and Gujarat.
I agree with Astronuc that this could be a dakhma tower of silence. India is not that far from Persia. Has there been any DNA testing of those peoples to see if there are ancient ties?
Evo
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Mar2-12, 05:38 PM
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Quote Quote by Ms Music View Post
I agree with Astronuc that this could be a dakhma tower of silence. India is not that far from Persia. Has there been any DNA testing of those peoples to see if there are ancient ties?
They are circles of pillars, like stonehenge, except much more intricate. They are also 12,000 years old. That predates dakhmas by 9,000 years, as far as I can find.

Also, oddly, their descendants buried the circles of pillars completely, creating an enormous hill, so no one thousands of years later would even know about them, so I don't see how any knowledge could be passed down to descendents that might have moved to India so far in the future.
HowardVAgnew
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Mar2-12, 06:11 PM
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Not to dim the awe at all, but this reminds me of Carl Sagan's Cosmos series on PBS decades ago, and the remarks of the incredible amount of scientific knowledge and progress that was made /and lost/ in the ancient eras, that -- in some cases -- took millenia to re-learn.

For instance, among the scrolls was a collection recording an experiment in Egypt, thousands of years before Christopher Columbus, which proved the world is round, not flat. There was also a heliocentric model of the solar system, millenia before Galileo.

What if there had not been the setback generated by the loss of such knowledge, probably nowhere more dramatic than the destruction of the Great Library? Imagine how much farther along we could be today if we had not lost and taken so long to re-discover the world being round and the notion of the earth revolving around the sun instead of the other way around. Its mind-boggling ...
zoobyshoe
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Mar2-12, 06:28 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
They are circles of pillars, like stonehenge, except much more intricate. They are also 12,000 years old.
National Geographic Channel is not in the basic cable package. I can't watch the show.

How are they dating the things?
HowardVAgnew
#18
Mar2-12, 06:34 PM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
National Geographic Channel is not in the basic cable package. I can't watch the show.

How are they dating the things?
I don't have it either, but I copied and pasted the site name from one of the links in the OP, did a wikipedia search and found this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gobekli_Tepe#Dating

Which describes good old radiocarbon-dating as the leading factor used to derive an age estimate.


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