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Göbekli Tepe - oldest known megalithic structure (c. 9130-7370 BC) en.wikipedia.org

Submitted by tnstaec in anticiv (edited )

up to now no traces of domesticated plants or animals have been found. The inhabitants are assumed to have been hunters and gatherers who nevertheless lived in villages for at least part of the year. So far, very little evidence for residential use has been found.

The surviving structures, then, not only predate pottery, metallurgy, and the invention of writing or the wheel, but were built before the so-called Neolithic Revolution, i.e., the beginning of agriculture and animal husbandry around 9000 BCE. But the construction of Göbekli Tepe implies organization of an advanced order not hitherto associated with Paleolithic, PPNA, or PPNB societies.

Some have succinctly described GT's challenge to existing understadings of early civilizations thus: "The temple predates the city."

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PoisonDartFrog wrote

This temple proves that humans had an advanced culture long before civilization developed.

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ziq_postcivver wrote (edited )

The fact that they painstakenly buried it leads me to believe its effect of their culture wasn't particularly positive.

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tnstaec wrote (edited )

That's one possible interpretation. Some possibilities I've entertained:

  • The hierarchy in charge of the site grew corrupt, and moved further away from the site's original purpose. The people rose up and got rid of the entire institution.
  • A rival site serving the same purpose took over and literally buried the competition.
  • It was decided that the purpose for which the site was built had been completed.
  • The site was threatened, and was buried to protect it, but was forgotten thereafter.

So little archeological evidence from that period and little of the site has been excavated that it's difficult to say much with certainty about the site. Even the operating assumption that it's a ceremonial center could be overturned eventually.