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


by Evo
Tags: ancient, circles, humans, knowledge, megalith, turn, upside
zoobyshoe
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#55
Mar5-12, 08:25 AM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
It's hard to say, but they did find piles of animal bones that show signs of having been butchered by humans. I would assume that the piles of bones would not have been from piles of dirt moved there. They have also done testing on the pillars, but the tests only show when they were buried. Carbonate layers only begin to form after the burial.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...20134/abstract
I couldn't understand that abstract, but thanks.

I would be interested to find out the most recent possible date for the site. That is, if all the parameters were weighed in favor of the most recent date, what would that give us? Would it still predate any similar site by thousands of years?
SimsStuart
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Mar5-12, 08:35 AM
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I recently communicated with Dr Schmidt on this topic of Dakhmas. Here is the email --

Dear Dr. Schmidt,
>
> I have followed with great enthusiasm your excavations in Turkey. It has
> potentially changed my entire conception of the Neolithic Revolution. I
> recently came across a verse in the Zoroastrian text of Zend Avesta
> that you
> may find interesting. It could help explain the cultural purpose of the
> Gobekli Tepe structures:
>
> “With regard to Dakhmas, see Introd. V, 10. 'Nor is the Earth happy at
> that
> place whereon stands a Dakhma with corpses upon it; for that patch of
> ground
> will never be clean again fill the day of p. 25 resurrection' (Gr.
> Rav. 435,
> 437). Although the erection of Dakhmas is enjoined by the law, yet the
> Dakhma
> in itself is as unclean as any spot on the earth can be, since it is
> always
> in contact with the dead (cf. Farg. VII, 55). The impurity which would
> otherwise be scattered over the whole world, is thus brought together
> to one
> and the same spot. Yet even that spot, in spite of the Ravaet, is not
> to lie
> defiled for ever, as every fifty years the Dakhmas ought to be pulled
> down,
> so that their sites may be restored to their natural purity (V. i.
> Farg. VII,
> 49 seq. and this Farg. § 13).”
>
> I found this compellingly similar to what you have found at Gobekli Tepe.
> Good luck to you. Have a nice day.
>

Dr Schmidt responded --

"Dear Mr. Sims
thank you for your interesting reference, yes, the hypothesis, that the
Göbekli Tepe enclosures had been neolithic Dakhmas seems highly probable"

This is interesting, since there is no reference to Dakhmas in the NatGeo special. But it would seem Schmidt agrees with the Dakhmas theory.
arildno
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Mar5-12, 08:42 AM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
I think I'm familiar with the concept you're talking about but from a completely different source. The artist, George Catlin, observed and described the same thing being in play among the Mandan Indians, a tribe he lived with for a few months and whose culture he recored in both paintings and journal entries. For the Mandan everything was a matter of sacred power: if a guy was a better marksman with a bow and arrow it was because he had more sacred power, if he won more at gambling, same cause, if he bested someone in a trade of goods, same thing: more sacred power. There was no secular concept of skill, intelligence, acumen.

Catlin's own artistic abilities amazed the Indians and he was deferred to everywhere due to the perception he had a huge amount of sacred power. All the local magnates lined up to have their portrait painted.

In one band of Indians, though, he was disturbed to find out that a particular shaman was preaching against him, warning that he was evil and up to no good. He was perplexed at first, but then he figured out what was going on. He invited the shaman to sit and have his portrait painted, and suddenly the man's whole attitude changed. He suddenly announced he'd been wrong and that Catlin had completely good "sacred power", and was a good man.

I don't think it would be any different in Greek and Roman hero cults. Regardless of how any of those ancients might rationalize their purely political maneuvers as having a religious motivation, it doesn't mean we are misunderstanding them if we don't buy it as they would represent it. This isn't Judeo-Christian vs ancient pagan, it's modern secular psychology vs primitive.

The quantification of the importance of different causes in history happens. Many claim Caesar's Gallic campaigns were essentially self serving, intended to increase his status, in contradiction to his own characterization of them as necessary for the good of the empire. I think the whole point and advantage of retrospective analysis is to sort out what was most likely really going on from a third party, outside perspective, rather than to side with any participant on their own terms.

To that end I appreciate you linking to that book and I'll make an effort to get hold of it at some point. I think you'd love Catlin's book given your general interest in anthropology. It's called Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Conditions of North American Indians. Two volumes, published by Dover.
Very interesting story!
However, maintaining that someone was RELIGIOUSLY motivated for some action does NOT imply there must exist any gods.

Rather, on the psychological level, this is a minimalist "surface" description of motivation, and I fully agree that on the sub-conscious level "secular" power is an important factor in shaping that motivation, but there will be a whole lot of other factors besides that we do NOT know about, the conglomerate of which effects a..religious motivation, in want of a more apt description 8i.e, a listing of the relevant contributions from the various motivational factors that agglutinate themselves in a sense of being religiously motivated to do this and that).
Dotini
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Mar5-12, 10:01 AM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
I would be interested to find out the most recent possible date for the site. That is, if all the parameters were weighed in favor of the most recent date, what would that give us? Would it still predate any similar site by thousands of years?
Gobekli Tepe's final occupational horizon ends around 7000BC, the same time that Catal Huyuk first arose near Konya not very far away.

At Catal Huyuk there was a funerary ritual called excarnation. Excarnation involves laying out the body, usually in a circular stone tower called a Dakhma. Vultures were key part of this process. Vultures feature prominently upon the stone pillars of Gebekli Tepe.


Respectfully submitted,
Steve
Evo
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Mar5-12, 10:20 AM
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Quote Quote by Dotini View Post
Gobekli Tepe's final occupational horizon ends around 7000BC, the same time that Catal Huyuk first arose near Konya not very far away.

At Catal Huyuk there was a funerary ritual called excarnation. Excarnation involves laying out the body, usually in a circular stone tower called a Dakhma. Vultures were key part of this process.


Respectfully submitted,
Steve
I thought the final burial of the entire site was dated at 8,000 BC? That seems to be an accepted date.
thorium1010
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Mar5-12, 10:27 AM
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I think dakhma is a ritual seen in Zoroastrian tradition . wiki link to it -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dakhma


A Tower of Silence or Dakhma (Persian: دخمه‎) is a circular, raised structure used by Zoroastrians for exposure of the dead.
Evo
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Mar5-12, 10:34 AM
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Quote Quote by thorium1010 View Post
I think dakhma is a ritual seen in Zoroastrian tradition . wiki link to it -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dakhma
But Gobekli Tepe predates dakhmas by thousands of years. So to suggest that the later Dakmahs have any rituals passed down by the inhabitants of Gobekli Tepe thousands of years earlier is rather unlikely. More probably they may have seen a ring structure and made some similar structures, but using their current religion.
Dotini
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Mar5-12, 10:50 AM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
I thought the final burial of the entire site was dated at 8,000 BC? That seems to be an accepted date.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe#Dating
Lab-Number Date BP Cal BC Context
Ua-19561 8430 ± 80 7560–7370 enclosure C
Ua-19562 8960 ± 85 8280–7970 enclosure B
Hd-20025 9452 ± 73 9110–8620 Layer III
Hd-20036 9559 ± 53 9130–8800 Layer III

Catal Huyuk is thought to started up around 7500BC. It seems there could be some overlap.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%87atalh%C3%B6y%C3%BCk

Respectfully,
Steve
Evo
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Mar5-12, 10:57 AM
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Quote Quote by Dotini View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe#Dating
Lab-Number Date BP Cal BC Context
Ua-19561 8430 ± 80 7560–7370 enclosure C
Ua-19562 8960 ± 85 8280–7970 enclosure B
Hd-20025 9452 ± 73 9110–8620 Layer III
Hd-20036 9559 ± 53 9130–8800 Layer III

Catal Huyuk is thought to started up around 7500BC. It seems there could be some overlap.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%87atalh%C3%B6y%C3%BCk

Respectfully,
Steve
Yes, that's possible.

I wish that everyone could watch the Nat Geo special, so we'd all be on the same page.
arildno
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Mar5-12, 11:21 AM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post

I wish that everyone could watch the Nat Geo special, so we'd all be on the same page.
In Norway, we only learn about moose..
Evo
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Mar5-12, 11:35 AM
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Quote Quote by arildno View Post
In Norway, we only learn about moose..
The secret order of the stone meessons.
arildno
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Mar5-12, 05:18 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
The secret order of the stone meessons.
The second law of thermodynamics holds for meese as well, I guess, and not only as sufficiently explanatory for the degeneration of humans&their societies..

But, there is always hope:
MOOSELETS, in whatever shape they come!!!
SimsStuart
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Mar5-12, 05:43 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
But Gobekli Tepe predates dakhmas by thousands of years. So to suggest that the later Dakmahs have any rituals passed down by the inhabitants of Gobekli Tepe thousands of years earlier is rather unlikely. More probably they may have seen a ring structure and made some similar structures, but using their current religion.
I recently communicated with Dr Schmidt (he heads up the Gobekli Tepe excavation) on this topic of Dakhmas. Here is the email --

Dear Dr. Schmidt,
>
> I have followed with great enthusiasm your excavations in Turkey. It has
> potentially changed my entire conception of the Neolithic Revolution. I
> recently came across a verse in the Zoroastrian text of Zend Avesta
> that you
> may find interesting. It could help explain the cultural purpose of the
> Gobekli Tepe structures:
>
> “With regard to Dakhmas, see Introd. V, 10. 'Nor is the Earth happy at
> that
> place whereon stands a Dakhma with corpses upon it; for that patch of
> ground
> will never be clean again fill the day of p. 25 resurrection' (Gr.
> Rav. 435,
> 437). Although the erection of Dakhmas is enjoined by the law, yet the
> Dakhma
> in itself is as unclean as any spot on the earth can be, since it is
> always
> in contact with the dead (cf. Farg. VII, 55). The impurity which would
> otherwise be scattered over the whole world, is thus brought together
> to one
> and the same spot. Yet even that spot, in spite of the Ravaet, is not
> to lie
> defiled for ever, as every fifty years the Dakhmas ought to be pulled
> down,
> so that their sites may be restored to their natural purity (V. i.
> Farg. VII,
> 49 seq. and this Farg. § 13).”
>
> I found this compellingly similar to what you have found at Gobekli Tepe.
> Good luck to you. Have a nice day.
>

Dr Schmidt responded --

"Dear Mr. Sims
thank you for your interesting reference, yes, the hypothesis, that the
Göbekli Tepe enclosures had been neolithic Dakhmas seems highly probable"

This is interesting, since there is no reference to Dakhmas in the NatGeo special. But it would seem Schmidt agrees with the Dakhmas theory.
Evo
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Mar5-12, 05:56 PM
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Quote Quote by SimsStuart View Post
I recently communicated with Dr Schmidt (he heads up the Gobekli Tepe excavation) on this topic of Dakhmas. Here is the email --
Welcome to the forum. Yes, I saw that and you may be misreading what he said. He is saying that hypothetically the fixtures at Gopekli Tepe might have served a similar purpose as the modern Dakhmas, but the dakhmas have nothing to do with the structures at Gobekli Tepe. Gobekli Tepe predates dakhmas by many thousand years. This is why there is no mention of any connection between them.

So far they have found no bodies, they are wondering if bodies could have been buried under the tile floors. That's yet to be seen.

I tend to lean towards zooby's thoughts. Especially after Dr Schmidt said that he didn't want too much spritual meaning placed on the structures.
apeiron
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Mar5-12, 06:32 PM
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Quote Quote by SimsStuart View Post
Dr Schmidt responded --

"Dear Mr. Sims
thank you for your interesting reference, yes, the hypothesis, that the
Göbekli Tepe enclosures had been neolithic Dakhmas seems highly probable"

This is interesting, since there is no reference to Dakhmas in the NatGeo special. But it would seem Schmidt agrees with the Dakhmas theory.
This is a plausible line of speculation, but there is some evidence that does not tally.

It does seem that Schmidt may have further evidence to support some kind of excarnation ritual.

Intriguingly, in recent excavations at Göbekli Tepe Schmidt’s team have uncovered pieces of human bones in soils which came from the niches behind the stone pillars at the site. Schmidt believes the bones show that corpses were brought into the ritual areas demarcated by the engraved T-shaped stone, where they were then laid out and left to be stripped of their soft tissue by wild animals. Such activity would Göbekli Tepe both a cemetery and a center of a regional death cult.

http://www.ancient.eu.com/article/234/
But against that, there is the likelihood these circles were roofed, the fact that many animals are represented in the carvings, rather than just vultures, and that vulture bones are among the "feast debris" - which does not suggest a particularly reverential attitude.

Another plausible explanation of the carvings is that they are constellation maps - http://timothystephany.com/gobekli.html

This is probably too literal, but it demonstrates how many different explanations might be the case. Which is why there is a fascination of course - it gives us a nice little detective case, trying to put ourselves back into an ancient mindset.
arildno
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Mar5-12, 06:44 PM
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Quote Quote by SimsStuart View Post
I recently communicated with Dr Schmidt (he heads up the Gobekli Tepe excavation) on this topic of Dakhmas. Here is the email --

Dear Dr. Schmidt,
>
> I have followed with great enthusiasm your excavations in Turkey. It has
> potentially changed my entire conception of the Neolithic Revolution. I
> recently came across a verse in the Zoroastrian text of Zend Avesta
> that you
> may find interesting. It could help explain the cultural purpose of the
> Gobekli Tepe structures:
>
> “With regard to Dakhmas, see Introd. V, 10. 'Nor is the Earth happy at
> that
> place whereon stands a Dakhma with corpses upon it; for that patch of
> ground
> will never be clean again fill the day of p. 25 resurrection' (Gr.
> Rav. 435,
> 437). Although the erection of Dakhmas is enjoined by the law, yet the
> Dakhma
> in itself is as unclean as any spot on the earth can be, since it is
> always
> in contact with the dead (cf. Farg. VII, 55). The impurity which would
> otherwise be scattered over the whole world, is thus brought together
> to one
> and the same spot. Yet even that spot, in spite of the Ravaet, is not
> to lie
> defiled for ever, as every fifty years the Dakhmas ought to be pulled
> down,
> so that their sites may be restored to their natural purity (V. i.
> Farg. VII,
> 49 seq. and this Farg. § 13).”
>
> I found this compellingly similar to what you have found at Gobekli Tepe.
> Good luck to you. Have a nice day.
>

Dr Schmidt responded --

"Dear Mr. Sims
thank you for your interesting reference, yes, the hypothesis, that the
Göbekli Tepe enclosures had been neolithic Dakhmas seems highly probable"

This is interesting, since there is no reference to Dakhmas in the NatGeo special. But it would seem Schmidt agrees with the Dakhmas theory.
Remember that, due to past unpleasant experiences, either to themselves or colleagues, many professionals have deliberately developed a perhaps unjustified, but understandable, technique towards ALL strangers:
Rather than detailing their objections to some particular hypothesis, they respond in a friendly manner in order to prevent potential stalkers from developing a hostile attitude.

I do NOT, in any way, consider yourself, due to your postings, to be a crackpot of potential stalkjing behaviour, but mention this in order that you'll take Dr. Schmidt's response as just that, the cautious, self-serving response to someone he simply CANNOT know who is, or whether you might pose some risk to himself or his immediates.

You'll need to look at Dr. Schmidt's subsequent scientific publications to see if you ACTUALLY made an impact on his professional views. He might well have been honest with you, but do not be disappointed if his articles does not seem influenced by the alternative hypotheses you transmitted to him in private e-mails.
Evo
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Mar5-12, 06:59 PM
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Quote Quote by apeiron View Post
This is a plausible line of speculation, but there is some evidence that does not tally.

It does seem that Schmidt may have further evidence to support some kind of excarnation ritual.
Seems Schmidt thinks differently.
Schmidt believes the people who created these massive and enigmatic structures came from great distances. It seems certain that once pilgrims reached Göbekli Tepe, they made animal sacrifices. Schmidt and his team have found the bones of wild animals, including gazelles, red deer, boars, goats, sheep, and oxen, plus a dozen different bird species, such as vultures and ducks, scattered around the site. Most of these animals are depicted in the sculptures and reliefs at the site.

There is still much that we don't understand about religious practices at Göbekli Tepe, Schmidt cautions. But broadly speaking, the animal images "probably illustrate stories of hunter-gatherer religion and beliefs," he says, "though we don't know at the moment." The sculptors of Göbekli Tepe may have simply wanted to depict the animals they saw, or perhaps create symbolic representations of the animals to use in rituals to ensure hunting success.
http://www.archaeology.org/0811/abstracts/turkey.html
SimsStuart
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Mar5-12, 07:20 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
Welcome to the forum. Yes, I saw that and you may be misreading what he said. He is saying that hypothetically the fixtures at Gopekli Tepe might have served a similar purpose as the modern Dakhmas, but the dakhmas have nothing to do with the structures at Gobekli Tepe. Gobekli Tepe predates dakhmas by many thousand years. This is why there is no mention of any connection between them.

So far they have found no bodies, they are wondering if bodies could have been buried under the tile floors. That's yet to be seen.

I tend to lean towards zooby's thoughts. Especially after Dr Schmidt said that he didn't want too much spritual meaning placed on the structures.
Judaism predates Christianity and Islam by thousands of years, yet they are still closely related. I would postulate that what we are seeing at Gobekli Tepe is the beginning of formalized burial rituals that led to the theology that became Zoroastrianism. And since Zoroastrianism strongly influenced Jewish theology (the notion of heaven and hell, for example) and modern Hinduism, what we are potentially seeing is a truly startling continuity of beliefs that affect billions of people today. Very exciting.


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