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    Gobekli Tepe - Unexplained Historical Events

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    askmen

    by askmen

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    Every so often a discovery happens that forces us to re-imagine what we think we know about humanity, and how we got to where we are today, and Turkey's Gobekli Tepe is certainly one such discovery. The site, located at the top of a mountain ridge, is composed of more than 200 pillars, up to 20 ft in height and weighing up to 20 tons, arranged in roughly 20 circles. Many of the pillars have predatory animals engraved on them. And none of this would be surprising if it was built in, say 2000 BC, but Gobekli Tepe was built more than 13,000 years ago, predating Stonehenge by more than 8,000 years. Its existence completely upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization. The idea of a religious monument built by hunter-gatherers flies in the face of our knowledge about religious monuments and hunter-gatherers. Prior to the discovery of this site, we believed that the people of the time lacked complex symbolic systems, social hierarchies, and the division of labor, three prerequisites, we thought, for building a twenty-two-acre massive temple. Formal religion, meanwhile, is supposed to have appeared only after agriculture produced such hierarchical social relations. The findings at Göbekli Tepe, however, suggest that we might just have the story backward—Perhaps it was the need to build a sacred site that first fueled hunter-gatherers in their quest to organize themselves as a workforce, to settle down in one place, to secure a stable food supply, and to, eventually, invent agriculture. But the existence of the site raises far more questions than it answers. How did nomadic, neolithic man manage to organize a workforce to complete this site? Why was it built? How come it predates similar structures by thousands of years? Excavation started on the site in 1996, and most of it still remains to be unearthed, but for now these questions must go unanswered.