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Folklore: the world's oldest temple

Jack Campin 14 Nov 08 - 03:10 PM
Jack Campin 14 Nov 08 - 03:10 PM
gnu 14 Nov 08 - 03:19 PM
Sandra in Sydney 15 Nov 08 - 01:25 AM
Jim Dixon 20 May 11 - 01:25 AM
Donuel 20 May 11 - 04:46 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 20 May 11 - 04:51 AM
GUEST,leeneia 20 May 11 - 11:23 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 May 11 - 02:56 PM
JohnInKansas 21 May 11 - 12:56 AM
GUEST,Paul Burke 21 May 11 - 04:41 AM
GUEST,leeneia 21 May 11 - 03:49 PM
Jack Campin 21 May 11 - 06:11 PM
Mrrzy 21 May 11 - 08:29 PM
GUEST,Russ 22 May 11 - 08:10 PM
katlaughing 22 May 11 - 09:49 PM
Bev and Jerry 23 May 11 - 12:44 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 23 May 11 - 04:24 AM
GUEST,leeneia 24 May 11 - 02:08 AM
frogprince 24 May 11 - 10:11 PM
MGM·Lion 25 May 11 - 01:02 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 25 May 11 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 25 May 11 - 06:48 AM
Mrrzy 25 May 11 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 25 May 11 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,leeneia 26 May 11 - 10:35 AM
Jack Campin 26 May 11 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 26 May 11 - 12:22 PM
Jack Campin 26 May 11 - 12:57 PM
Max Johnson 26 May 11 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,Paul Burke 27 May 11 - 02:03 AM
Max Johnson 27 May 11 - 07:01 AM
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Subject: the world's oldest temple
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 03:10 PM

Near Urfa in present-day Turkish Kurdistan, as reported in the Smithsonian Magazine:

Göbekli Tepe

I've been to that area. Bare as the moon. It's pretty hard to imagine what it might have been like back then.


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Subject: RE: the world's oldest temple
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 03:10 PM

oops that was supposed to have a Folklore tag...


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Subject: RE: the world's oldest temple
From: gnu
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 03:19 PM

Older than The Temple of the Golden Globes?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 01:25 AM

amazing article, thanks for posting it.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 May 11 - 01:25 AM

This just came to my attention because of an article in the National Geographic.

Göbekli Tepe is comparable in size, structure and probable purpose to Stonehenge, but its full extent isn't known yet because it's still being excavated. Like Stonehenge, it consists of upright monoliths arranged in circles.

Stonehenge and the pyramids are about 4,500 years old; Göbekli Tepe is about 11,500 years old.

Stonehenge was built by farmers (that is, people whose economy was based on farming) but farming hadn't been invented yet when Göbekli Tepe was built; its builders were hunter-gatherers.

Archeologists are astonished that hunter-gatherers were capable of organizing themselves into large enough groups to support the building of something as big and elaborate as Göbekli Tepe.

And Göbekli Tepe is better-preserved than Stonehenge, having been deliberately buried around 10,000 years ago and only recently rediscovered.

Those are just a few of the astonishing facts.

Article in Wikipedia - see links to more articles at the bottom of the page.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: Donuel
Date: 20 May 11 - 04:46 AM

1,000s or more years before the old dynasty kings of Egypt this gobekli temple might be associated with the legendary Zep Tepi people.

There is a video about this temple and makes claims that this discovery rewrites the history of ancient Egypt.

I have not seen the film so I don;t know if it is a whack job.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 20 May 11 - 04:51 AM

Fascinating - but why folklore?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 May 11 - 11:23 AM

Thanks for the link, Jack.

It might have been a temple. It also might have been a throne room or even a courthouse of sorts. Certainly the 16-foot high stones are amazing to contemplate.

I wish I could see the carvings, but the link to photos doesn't seem to do anything.

==============
11,000 years ago, the glaciers were either still melting or hadn't been gone long. The climate would have been much different. So it ain't necessarily so (as the article claims) that humans are 100% responsible for the aridity of the region today.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 May 11 - 02:56 PM

Researchers may have to rethink their ideas about the start of agriculture. The full National Geographic article is very interesting.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 21 May 11 - 12:56 AM

11,500 years ago? - It appears that on my continent the old people had been mining iron ore for a few years.

Oldest mine in the Americas found

It may have been the beginnings of the cosmetic industry in the Western Hemisphere?

John


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 21 May 11 - 04:41 AM

I think there#s a bit of a misconception about "hunter- gatherers". People seem to imagine them as wandering randomly over the landscape, gathering fruit, grains and nuts as they found them, and running blindly across herds of cattle or sheep and spearing a few, then setting up camp for the night. It's better to see them as moving between quite definite, well thought out sites in a cyclical pattern according to year and season, within a definite territory. Neighbouring groups would do the same, there being only occasional disputes over the fringe areas. Serious incursions into another group's core territory would only occur under pressure of shortage.

Remembering that they gather the best fruits etc, and leave the grotty ones behind, now see what happens:

They take them back to the same camp site every year.
They eat them or keep them (grains say) for the winter.
They discard the stones with the rubbish, which they also enrich every year because that's the latrine area too. They discard old grain that has started germinating after winter.. in the spring.
So the best fruits grow better around the place where they always camp, and grains grow there too.
Not only that, but herbivores are attracted by these better fruits and growing grains. That means hunters don't have to range so far.
They build barriers to funnel the cattle (say) into a convenient killing zone.

It's not difficult to see the genesis of almost settled communities in this- let's throw away the fruit stones over this part, and spread the spoilt grain over here, let's kill the big beasts but keep the calves in the killing enclosure till they've grown a bit, then we don't have to hunt for a while.

Such a society would have had a surplus of time, though where they derived the impulse to use the time in this way I don't know.And don't run away with the idea that they did it all at once. They say the hill appears man- made. I'd like to section it, to see if this developed top layer was preceded by a series that starts simpe at the bottom, them gets ever more elaborate as time goes on.

Here's a scenario- it's a coming-of-age rite. Every year, all the young men (or women, or both) of an age group from a great distance round get together, and carve one stone. They set it according to which age set they are (scorpion, fox, lion etc). It's also a big party, where you make lots of friends. When the ring is completed they start another one. It only takes twenty five years or so to complete one ring, in two hundred years you've got lots of rings, so they bury the oldest one and start the next ring on top, and so over a thousand years the mound grows without any single huge community effort.

Say it takes 50 people to carve and set a 10- tonne stone, and life expectancy is 50 years. A population of 10000 would easily provide enough bodies to do this, and that population could be spread over hundreds of square miles.

Sounds quite a fun place to be.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 21 May 11 - 03:49 PM

That makes good sense, Paul.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 May 11 - 06:11 PM

This guy thinks moving monoliths isn't as difficult as it's cracked up to be:

http://www.theforgottentechnology.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRRDzFROMx0


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 May 11 - 08:29 PM

Too cool, but a lot of assumptions in the articles...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 22 May 11 - 08:10 PM

Wow.
Thanks for the heads up.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 May 11 - 09:49 PM

Thanks! Fascinating!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 23 May 11 - 12:44 AM

Last month we visited Megiddo in Israel a few hundred miles distant from this site. We were stunned to see the remains of a 6000 year old temple there. This site puts Megiddo to shame!

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 23 May 11 - 04:24 AM

Here's the illustrated article on Göbekli Tepe from Fortean Times (March 2007):

Gobekli Tepe - Paradise Regained?

*

Still wondering how this is considered to be Folklore though...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 May 11 - 02:08 AM

..Folklore because it has to do with traditions, folk art and beliefs. And because it's a big step up from BS.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: frogprince
Date: 24 May 11 - 10:11 PM

Maybe it was just the site of something like a long, long, chess match sort of game.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 May 11 - 01:02 AM

Archaeology and Folklore both subjects subsumed under "Anthropology", so one can see the relationship here.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 May 11 - 06:44 AM

Fair enough - to hoist myself by my own petard, all things might be considered Folklore on a Designated Folk Forum, even those things which might not be considered Folklore by those actually involved with the study of them. But then again when the Daily Mail (and Fortean Times) are making connections to The Garden of Eden, maybe Folklore is exactly what we're dealing with here...

Do these mysterious stones mark the site of the Garden of Eden?

Whoever built it, we can be sure it wasn't horses...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 May 11 - 06:48 AM

To understand how a respected academic like Schmidt can make such a dizzying claim, you need to know that many scholars view the Eden story as folk-memory, or allegory.

Okay, okay!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 May 11 - 11:48 AM

What is that publication that puts silly superstition under its "science and tech" area, petard person?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 May 11 - 04:33 PM

Silly superstition? That's what justifies the Folklore prefix! I suppose The Fortean Times can be a bit silly, more so in recent years, but I buy it every month (new one due round about now). Not so The Daily Mail however, though it would be folly to throw the baby out with the bathwater...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 May 11 - 10:35 AM

I'm beginning to have my doubts about the great age of this site.

The Fortean Times article (see link 4 posts above) says:
=======
Gobekli Tepe is staggeringly ancient. Carbon dating of organic matter adhering to the megaliths shows that the complex is 12,000 years old. That is to say, it was built around 10,000–9,000 BC. By comparison, Stonehenge was built around 2,000–2,500 BC. Prior to the discovery and dating of Gobekli Tepe, the most ancient megalithic complex was thought to be in Malta, dated around 3,500BC.
===========
Organic matter adhering to the megaliths?

How did it get there? What kind of organic matter is it? Why would it be there?

Maybe the builders set a stone upon ashes from an older campsite. I know from reading about American prehistory that ashes from campfires can sometimes be found after thousands of years. Maybe something like that happened here.

By the way, aren't there any potsherds? Archeology just doesn't seem possible without potsherds.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 May 11 - 10:49 AM

Soil, twigs, bird bones, squashed flies. Doesn't take much organic material to be datable.

I'm planning to go there next spring (having been within a few miles of it before and not knowing it was there).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 26 May 11 - 12:22 PM

Be sure to get good images of the reliefs, Jack...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 May 11 - 12:57 PM

I'm more inclined to leave that stuff to people with the equipment and time to do it properly. Taking a picture of a stone relief needs grazing-angled light, i.e. very precise timing for the sun angle or accurately placed artificial light. I took photos of the Sabian cult centre at Sogmatar nearby, and didn't get anything like the quality of this one:

http://www.anatolia.luwo.be/destinations/harran/harran_117.jpg

because it was near-midday in the middle of summer, the sun left no shadows at all, and with the temperature at 45 Celsius and a minibus waiting I couldn't stick around to do better. So my picture of the moon god Sin (left in that picture) looks as flat as Queen Victoria on a worn penny.

Maybe if I can get there at dawn or sunset and find the site open.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: Max Johnson
Date: 26 May 11 - 02:32 PM

Itinerant hunter-gatherers.

Half a mile from where I live, on Heysham Head, a long-suspected mesolithic site was excavated in the '70s. The evidence was strongly in favour of it being a permanent site. There was much evidence of reindeer and elk (actually bones are occasionally still uncovered by the sand) and many flint and bone tools were uncovered. The nearest source of workable flint is over 150k distant, and some of the arrowheads were originally worked in France. Although our guys moved in and settled as the ice receded 9000-10000BC, they were obviously pretty mobile. The site was only abandoned when agriculture took over, mostly because the land wasn't very fertile.
Potsherds are organic, and will not survive thousands of years in an acid soil. None at all were found at Heysham.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 27 May 11 - 02:03 AM

Ceramics only arrived in Britain about the same time as agriculture, say after 5000BC. As for flint, don't forget that they didn't have to go from Heysham to Grimes Graves to dig it themselves. It could well have been imported, though whether via trading or some other kind of economic relationship we don't know. Chert was more common in the north, and fairly readily available.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the world's oldest temple
From: Max Johnson
Date: 27 May 11 - 07:01 AM

A lot of the worked flint found here is thought to be from France, but I wasn't suggesting that they travelled to France to get it.
Neither was I intending to suggest that there was pottery on the Heysham Peninsular in 9000BC. Apologies if I did.


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