A Temple Older than Civilization

In Turkey there’s a temple currently being excavated by archaeologists at Göbekli Tepe (Potbelly Hill). This particular temple complex is about 11 500 years old, predating agricultural civilization as we know it by over 1000 years. It also suggests religious roots to civilization:

Most startling is the elaborate carving found on about half of the 50 pillars Schmidt has unearthed. There are a few abstract symbols, but the site is almost covered in graceful, naturalistic sculptures and bas-reliefs of the animals that were central to the imagination of hunter-gatherers. Wild boar and cattle are depicted, along with totems of power and intelligence, like lions, foxes, and leopards. Many of the biggest pillars are carved with arms, including shoulders, elbows, and jointed fingers. The T shapes appear to be towering humanoids but have no faces, hinting at the worship of ancestors or humanlike deities.

Turkey: Archaeological Dig Reshaping Human History [Newsweek]


One response to “A Temple Older than Civilization

  1. One should beware monolithic theoretical constructions that try to assign a particular date for the beginning of something as varied and multi-original as “agricultural civilization.” The tendency to then deny that “that is what one meant” of course is given the lie by the rooted presence of it in our thinking. This rage after origins has not been tamed yet, and I sometimes doubt that we are trying very hard anymore.

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