I would very much like to solicit your comments regarding the astounding site called Gobekli Tepe. One article can be found here: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-a ... -tepe.html
Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey (aka Edessa and Urhai) lie the buried remains of Gobekli Tepe, a massive carved stone complex of some 22 acres about 11,000 years old, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery. This megalithic site predates Stonehenge by some 6,000 years.
The Lead Archeologist, Dr. Klaus Schmidt, believes the site represents the earliest known temple complex yet discovered. Yet it represents a paradox, as organized agriculture was still 500 years in man’s future, and surely must have been necessary to feed such a vast number of craftsmen, and the establishment keeps telling us” first came the city and then the temple”.
My look at the 17 foot standing stones with animal motifs indicated clan totems, so this was a meeting place between clans, and each clan represented was involved in the construction of the complex. The location was lush and fertile, and the complex was on a hill overlooking an annual migration route. I can envision a massive corralling effort to capture a food on the hoof herd necessary to feed those many craftsmen, and there was mention that each enclosure unearthed contained a feeding trough, so some animals may have been kept within those enclosures. It is logical to keep a food source close to feed the many craftsmen.
These nomadic hunter-gatherer people could not have developed this level of sophistication while spending all their time chasing animals, so they must have had an extensive wood and stone working history to accomplish such works. As to its being a temple, well I feel certain the Shamans had a role to play, but this seems more like a meeting place between clans. We will have to wait a while to find out if Dr. Schmidt finds the bodies of dead hunters buried under the floors, because after 13 years of digging, they’ve only uncovered about 5% of this massive complex.
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-a ... z1p7i1Bg67
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-a ... z1p7ewFVnM
Gary Rollefson, an archaeologist at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, who is familiar with Schmidt's work said, "Trying to pick out symbolism from prehistoric context is an exercise in futility", but they sure look like tribal clan totems.