The oldest temple in the world

Stone circle at Gobekli TepeSeven thousand years older than Stonehenge, Gobekli Tepe is a ring of standing stones built by hunter-gatherers in what is now Turkey.

This is a huge deal because before it was discovered in 1993, archaeologists thought that temple complexes came after agriculture.

Compared with Stonehenge, they are humble affairs. None of the circles excavated (four out of an estimated 20) are more than 30 metres across. T-shaped pillars like the rest, two five-metre stones tower at least a metre above their peers. What makes them remarkable are their carved reliefs of boars, foxes, lions, birds, snakes and scorpions, and their age. Dated at around 9,500BC, these stones are 5,500 years older than the first cities of Mesopotamia, and 7,000 years older than Stonehenge.

Lion relief carving on standing stoneNever mind wheels or writing, the people who erected them did not even have pottery or domesticated wheat. They lived in villages. But they were hunters, not farmers.

What’s even more remarkable is that the temple is in fantastic condition. The builders seem to have covered it completely in tons of soil soon after they built it.

For more information on the excavation, see the Gobekli Tepe page on the German Archaeological Institute website.

RSS feed

1 Comment »

Comment by James Killen
2013-03-01 17:10:28

This is truly amazing,but the knowledge of hewing stone and if this is only4out of20 what time period passed from the building to the actual covering how long was each one in use for 300yrs 500 or more for even if it was 300 this means these people had the knowledge of Masonry another 6000yrs which takes us now back to 15,500BC if you take in to consideration the learning of there skills @ the very least 1000yrs these people were living as a community nearly 19,000yrs ago at the very least.Big wake up call for everyone makes a complete sham of all that people have been tote in the last 5,000yrs never mind 19,000yrs why don’t all the Religeons of the world just call it a day or are they going to lay claim to this one as well to make more wars and money lets take care off our children as they did James Killen Builders and Scotch Slaters now in Ibiza.

(Comments won't nest below this level)
Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)