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Is Gobekli Tepe World’s First man-made Temple? Find out!

The place is the site of the world’s oldest temple as convinced by Schmidt, a German archaeologist and the name of the place is Gobekli Tepe

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Göbekli Tepe location map
Göbekli Tepe location map, Wikimedia Commons
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  • The place is the site of the world’s oldest temple
  • In the main excavation sites, standing stones, or pillars, are arranged in circles. Beyond, on the hillside, are four other rings of partially excavated pillars
  • the place was a burial ground, the dead laid out on the mound side among the stylized gods and spirits of the afterlife

In an ancient city in South-eastern Turkey, Klaus Schmidt, a German archaeologist has found one of the most stunning archaeological discoveries of the present time. This city found huge carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted and organized by the primeval human beings who had not yet developed metal tools. The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years. The place is the site of the world’s oldest temple as convinced by Schmidt and the name of the place is Gobekli Tepe.

File:Göbekli Tepe, Urfa.jpg
Göbekli Tepe, Urfa. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

“In the main excavation sites, standing stones, or pillars, are arranged in circles. Beyond, on the hillside, are four other rings of partially excavated pillars. Each ring has a roughly similar layout: in the center are two large stone T-shaped pillars encircled by slightly smaller stones facing inward. The tallest pillars tower 16 feet. As we among them, I see that some are blank, while others are elaborately carved: foxes, lions, scorpions and vultures abound, twisting and crawling on the pillars’ broadsides. ” as narrated by Andrew Curry in Smithsonian Magazine.

According to the Schmidt, this is the first human-built holy place.

As imagined by the Curry, how the landscape would have looked like 11,000 years ago, he said “Prehistoric people would have stared upon herds o0f gazelle and other wild animals; gently flowing rivers , which attracted migrating geese and ducks; fruits and nut trees; and rippling fields of wild barley and wild wheat varieties such as emmer and einkorn.”
According to Schmidt, no evidence have been found that people permanently lived there and this was a place of worship which was never known before—humanity’s first “cathedral on a hill.”

Schmidt used ground-penetrating radar and geomagnetic surveys to plot the entire summit and found that at least 16 other megaliths rings linger under the ground across 22 acres.
Anthropologists of the University of Chicago and Istanbul University were the first to scrutinize the Gobekli Tepe in 1960s but was dismissed because they assumed the place was nothing but a deserted medieval cemetery. Later in 1994, when Schmidt read a brief mention about the stone-littered mound in the University of Chicago researchers’ report and decided to go there, he found the place unusual.

View of site and excavation
View of site and excavation, Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Gobekli Tepe which means “belly hill” in Turkish, is 50 feet tall above the surrounding landscape and has a rounded summit dissimilar to the stark mesas nearby. Schmidt said that “It was clear right away this was a gigantic Stone Age site. ”

A year later Schmidt visited the place again with five colleagues and they discovered the first megaliths. As they dug deeper, they found pillars arranged in circles. Although, Schmidt’s team didn’t found any meaningful signs of a settlement: no cooking furnaces, houses or trash pits, and none of the clay fertility figurines that are easily found in the nearby sites belonging to the same age. But the carving on the stones did indicate the use of tools like stone hammers and blades. Schmidt and his team believe that Gobekli Tepe’s stone structure date back to 9000 B.C. since these stone artifacts are similar to others from nearby sites which belong to the same age.

According to Schmidt, primeval stonecutter’s wielding flint instruments could have chipped away at softer limestone outcrops, giving them a shape of pillars on the spot before shifting them a few hundred yards to the top and lifting them upright. And once the stone rings were completed, the ancient architects encrusted them with dirt. And one ring was placed on top of the other repeatedly. Eventually, these layers turned into a hilltop.

Now, Schmidt team has more than a dozen Herman archaeologists, 50 local laborers and a series of students. He works at the site for two months in spring and two months in the fall. In 1995, he bought a traditional Ottoman house with the courtyard in Urfa, a city of nearly a half-million people, to use as a base of operations.

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An archaeozoologist, Joris Peters has studied more than 100,000 bone fragments since 1998 from Gobekli Tepe. He found cut marks and disintegrated edges on them– evidence that the animals were butchered and cooked. Peters has recognized tens of thousands of gazelle bones, which accounts 60 percent of the total, in addition, those other wild animals like boar, sheep, and red deer. Bones of a dozen different bird species, including vultures, cranes, ducks and geese were also found. “The first year, we went through 15,000 pieces of animal bone, all of them wild. It was pretty clear we were dealing with a hunter-gatherer site,” Peters told to Andrew Curry. These remains of wild animals are the signs that the who settled here had not yet domesticated animals or farmed.

File:Göbekli Tepe site (1).JPG
Göbekli Tepe site, Wikimedia Commons

Research at other sites in the region has revealed that within 1,000 years of construction, settlers had corralled sheep, cattle, and pigs. At an ancient village just 20 miles away, geneticists found signs of the world’s oldest domesticated strains of wheat; radiocarbon dating reveals that agriculture developed there around 10,500 years ago, or just five centuries after Gobekli Tepe’s construction.

File:Göbekli Tepe Pillar.JPG
Göbekli Tepe Pillar, Wikimedia Commons

According to Schmidt, to erect and carve the seven-ton stone pillars would have required hands of hundred workers, all needing to be fed and sheltered. Therefore, communities settled in the area around 10,000 years ago. “This shows sociocultural changes come first, agriculture comes later,” says archeologist Ian Hodder of Stanford University who excavated Catalhoyuk, a primeval settlement 300 miles from Gobekli Tepe.

Danielle Stordeur, an archeologist at the National Centre for Scientific Research in France, explained the importance of the carvings of vulture that these birds have long believed to be the transporters of the flesh of the dead up to the paradise. Stordeur has found similar signs at sites belonging to the same time period as Gobekli Tepe 50 miles away from Syria. She said, “You can really see it’s the same culture”.

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Schmidt believes that the secret lies under the surface of the site.Research show that the floors of the rings are made of hardened limestone. To uncover all of the secrets hidden under the ground of Gobekli Tepe, Schmidt, and his team has to dig deeper.

However, Schmidt says, the place was a burial ground, the dead laid out on the mound side among the stylized gods and spirits of the afterlife.

– prepared by NewsGram team.

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Really interesting to know this. There would be some other isolated part which might have even more evidences of such events

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The Truth About The Killing Of Khashoggi Will Be Revealed By The Turkish President

Amnesty International called on Saudi Arabia to "immediately produce" Khashoggi's body so an autopsy can be performed.

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jamal Khashoggi
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, delivers a speech at supporters in Istanbul. VOA

Saudi Arabia says Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke Monday by telephone with the son of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi to express condolences for the killing.

Khashoggi died after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is vowing to reveal details about the case in a Tuesday speech to his parliament.

He told an Istanbul rally Sunday, “We are looking for justice here and this will be revealed in all its naked truth, not through some ordinary steps.”

Erdogan spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump by telephone Sunday. Turkey’s state-run news agency said both leaders agree the Khashoggi case needs to be “cleared up with all aspects.”

jamal Khashoggi
(FILE)- Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. VOA

Saudi Arabia called Khashoggi’s killing inside its Istanbul consulate “a huge and grave mistake” and vowed those responsible for it would be held accountable.

Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Fox News Sunday that Saudi agents “did this out of the scope of their authority,” calling it “a rogue operation.”

The top Saudi diplomat offered his condolences to Khashoggi’s family, but disclosed no new information about how the writer was killed, where his body is or if Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — the country’s de facto ruler – was involved.

“There obviously was a tremendous mistake made and what compounded the mistake was the attempt to try to cover up,” al-Jubeir said. “That is unacceptable in any government.”

jamal Khashoggi
Saudi Arabi’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. VOA

Saudi Arabia claims the 59-year-old Khashoggi was killed October 2 after an argument leading to a fist fight — an explanation that has drawn widespread international scorn and skepticism, including from Trump. After he initially seemed willing to believe Saudi accounts, the president now says “obviously there has been deception, and there has been lies.”

Al-Jubeir said in the Fox television interview, “This is an aberration. This is a mistake and those responsible will be punished for it. We want to make sure that we know what happened and we want to make sure that those responsible be held to account.” Saudi Arabia says it has fired five key officials linked to the death and arrested 18 others.

Critics are questioning how a team of 15 Saudi agents could fly to Istanbul to meet Khashoggi and eventually kill him without the crown prince’s knowledge and consent. But al-Jubeir said, “There were not people closely tied to him,” although news accounts have said that several Saudi security officials close to Mohammed were involved.

jamal Khashoggi
This image taken from CCTV video obtained by the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet and made available on Oct. 9, 2018 claims to show Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. VOA

Khashoggi was living in the U.S. in self-imposed exile, writing columns for The Washington Post that were critical of Mohammed and Saudi Arabia’s intervention in the conflict in Yemen.

Trump told the Post that Saudi Arabia has been an “incredible ally” of the United States for decades and it is possible the crown prince did not order Saudi agents to kill Khashoggi.

“Nobody has told me he is responsible. Nobody has told me he is not responsible,” the U.S. leader said. “We have not reached that point…I would love if he was not responsible.”

Numerous U.S. lawmakers, including Trump’s Republican colleagues, are calling for sanctions against the Saudis. Turkish investigators say Saudi agents tortured Khashoggi, decapitated him and then dismembered his body.

jamal Khashoggi
In a frame from surveillance camera footage taken Oct. 2, 2018, and published Oct. 18, 2018, by Turkish newspaper Sabah, a man identified by Turkish officials as Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, walks toward the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. VOA

Trump told the Post that “something will take place” in response to Khashoggi’s death, but said the United States should not let the incident disrupt a possible $110 billion weapons sale to Riyadh he announced last year.

“It’s the largest order in history,” Trump said. “To give that up would hurt us far more than it hurts them. Then all they’ll do is go to Russia or go to China. All that’s doing is hurting us.”

But one Trump supporter, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, told Fox “I don’t think arms should ever be seen as a jobs program.”

Other U.S. lawmakers voiced skepticism of the Saudi explanation for Khashoggi’s death.

Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN he believes Mohammed bin Salman was responsible, saying, “Yes, I think he did it.”

 

jamal Khashoggi
President Donald Trump talks to reporters about journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance prior to boarding Air Force One for travel to Montana from Joint Base Andrews, Md. VOA

A Trump critic, Democratic California Congressman Adam Schiff, told ABC News, “This ought to be a relationship-altering event for the U.S. and Saudi Arabia that we ought to suspend military sales, we ought to suspend certain security assistance.”

U.S. officials are faced with reconciling the Saudi explanation for Khashoggi’s death and Turkey’s claim an audio recording exists of Khashoggi’s torture and death. Trump denies U.S. officials have heard the audio or read transcripts of it, but the Post quoted sources saying that Central Intelligence Agency officials have listened to the audio. Verification of it would make it difficult to accept the Saudi explanation for Khashoggi’s death.

European leaders and the human rights group Amnesty International expressed skepticism about the Saudi explanation.

Britain, Germany and France issued a joint statement condemning the killing of Khashoggi and said there is an “urgent need for clarification of exactly what happened.” They said the Saudi explanation for the journalist’s death needs to be supported by facts in order to be credible.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the circumstances around Khashoggi’s death are deeply troubling, and called for a thorough, credible and transparent investigation.

Amnesty International called on Saudi Arabia to “immediately produce” Khashoggi’s body so an autopsy can be performed.

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Amnesty’s director of campaigns for the Middle East, Samah Hadid, said a United Nations investigation would be necessary to avoid a “Saudi whitewash” of the circumstances surrounding Khashoggi’s death. Hadid said such a cover-up may have been done to preserve Saudi Arabia’s international business ties. (VOA)