In 5500 B.C., TGD and biblical history dates are approximating, but they haven’t connected yet.
San Diego Culture
Southern California was settled by people of the Encinitas culture. Grinding stones and shells suggest marine and farming activities. It would endure until 1000 B.C. in the San Diego area.
Mehrgahr (Pakistan) has entered its greatest age, which will last 2000 years! Pottery was in use. Faience has appeared, perhaps originally from the Near East in trade. Manufacturing has blossomed. Creativity is invested in new crafting techniques: both arts and manufacturing. Long-distance trade developed further.
Specific technologies included updraft and large pit kilns, and copper crucibles.
In the arts, faience beads were made, which may have represented money as well as useful beauty. We do not know that. But the later use of wampum in North America puts the idea in my mind.
The first “button” seals, manufactured from terracotta and bone, used geometric patterns.
Terracotta figures became more detailed. They were painted and wore a variety of ornaments and hairstyles.
Burials were different throughout the period. Two flexed burials covered with ochre occurred during the early period. The amount of burial goods diminished, eventually consisting only of ornaments, with more left in burials of females. (Strange in what is assumed to be a paternalistic culture!)
Egypt was still between cultures, but the art of faience was practiced. Quite possibly, it arrived through trade. The Egyptians fell in love with it and greatly developed its manufacture. Egyptian faience is a ceramic art with a silica body and brightly colored glaze.
Do not confuse Egyptian faience with the Italian faience of the Middle Ages. That is a totally different product.
Egyptian faience was made of easily available ingredients:
Quartz: white quartz pebbles were easily found in the desert
Alkaline salts: plant ash or salts of evaporated salt-water
Metallic colorant, most popularly copper
The dry ingredients were mixed with water to create a paste that was then formed into the object. Immediately, the faience differed from the clay. It slumped while modeled. It was not flexible. It cracked instead of bending and could not hold its own weight.
That made faience difficult to work with except for small items such as beads, or flat items such as tiles or plates.
Larger items were made in molds or shaped around cores that burned away when fired. And what a fire! Faience required the kiln to be at 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Magic of Faience
Any piece of finished faience has a core that is fragile and porous: quartz grains that seem powdered encased in a soda-line-silicate glass. This glass is transparent.
But looking through the glaze gives a magical effect. Light reflects off of the quartz in all directions. The result is seen as translucency with brightness in a variety of shimmering depths.
Faience became associated with magic. Religiously, the shimmer reminded Egyptians of sunshine rays and therefore the god Ra. The favored bright blue color made with copper was linked to fertility and rebirth.
It’s no surprise that faience, made of common materials, took its place beside precious stones and metals.
Everyone tried to have at least one shubati, ornament, or house god made of faience. Later, pharaohs used it liberally in pyramid ornamentation and grave goods.
Egyptian faience would maintain its importance for 4000 years.
Nothing new is happening in China, Greece, or Pakistan. In Egypt, the Faiyum culture is gone with nothing to replace it. Merngarh in Pakistan is expanding from its farming community, but there are no significant changes.
However, because of the rising seas at the close of the last ice period, Britain is now an island! Although trade will continue through navigation, the British will become a closed community, beginning their own traditions.
New Products in North America
In North America, all sites demonstrate a proliferation of tools, trade goods, and burial items. Columbia River sites in Oregon concentrated tool making on salmon fishing. In Utah the emphasis was on wool, leather, fur, and basketry.
The Great Basin sites, where people lived in caves or rock shelters, added the atlatl (a curved stick for hunting), smoking pipes, medicine bags and the deer-hoof rattles possibly used in the ceremonies, seashell ornaments, and bird-bone whistles.
A Culture in Mesopotamia!
But the best news is that Mesopotamia has awakened at last!
The Halaf culture, lasting one thousand years, was now first seen at Sakce Gözu, which is in Turkey near Syria. The most important site was located in what today is in the suburbs of Mosul, Iraq.
Halaf culture existed primarily in the valley of the Khabur River, although its beautiful pottery was found throughout Mesopotamia.
Bowls and plates are frequent finds. Nude female figures made of terracotta show traces of pigment as if clothes were painted on them. The earliest stamp seals known in the Near East began in the Halaf culture.
Greek Megaron: Prototype of Classic Temples!
It’s 5700 B.C. (TGD) in Sesclo of the Thessaly area of Greece. A new form of architecture has been developed. It’s called a “megaron house,” although later traditional megarons were not houses to live and sleep in, but were great halls for meetings, celebrations, and/or religious worship.
We don’t know the purpose of this oldest megaron. Maybe it was just the house of the most important or richest man.
It sits on the apex of the hill. (Where have we seen a structure on the highest place before?) Today, only the foundation remains, but we can learn much more from archaeological finds.
The megaron is surrounded by circular stone walls that separate it from the simple houses. It is rectangular and sits on an east-west axis. The foundation is stone. Finds indicate that the walls were brick and the roof was timber.
To enter, you walked through the porch, then the entrance to the main chamber. This chamber is almost square. It has a clay floor and a square clay hearth. On the northwest corner two oblong stone structures act as an area to prepare, serve, or assemble whatever is required. Three conical holes in the middle of the floor would have held the timbers that supported the roof.
Beyond the square room is the back room, possibly for storage. Later, a trapezoid area on the east would become a back porch.
Well! This is quite fancy for Greece! And the megaron is the prototype for the splendid temples of classic Greece.
It’s time to move on, both in location and history. But first, let’s recap what has been happening in Greece. It’s not much.
Welcome to Greece!
Greece was inhabited by hunter-gatherers like many other lands before the time of the flood. (A significant hiatus noted by archeologists in the geological layers probably relates to the flood.) Greece then was re-occupied.
Although there are several sites available, Franchthi Cave demonstrates occupation for all time periods prior to 3000 B.C. We’ll be using that site for our information.
The re-occupation continued until the first building of Göbekli Tepe. During this time, wild lentils, pistachios, and almonds were added to meat discoveries. The steppe ass continued to be the meat of choice. Land snails were popular on the menu.
At the very end of this period, red deer became the most popular meat. Bits of obsidian that have been traced to the island of Melos began to appear. Melos is 92 miles southeast. Apparently, these people possessed navigational skills.
After the appearance of the Egyptian Faiyum culture, the people of the Franchthi Cave learned to produce micro-flaked blades. Now, the diet is red deer supplemented with pig and small fish.
About the time the Swiderians moved on, the Greeks of the cave changed their diet from large animals to large fish, indicating more advanced seafaring. At this time the waters of the Mediterranean Sea had encroached upon the shoreline almost up to the cave.
The oldest burial is dated from the end of this period. A twenty-six year old man lays toward the entrance to the cave on a deposit of burned shell. Scattered bones indicate that this area was also used for cremation burials.
A five hundred year occupation hiatus occurs. Perhaps the cave was flooded and therefore unable to be occupied.
Then, for a considerable time, the cave indicates domestication of wheat, sheep, and goats. Obsidian is found more frequently. The few pots are small and could not be used for cooking.
Welcome to 7000 B.C.!
According to TGD (traditional geological dating), it’s 7000 B.C.: 1000 years since the Swiderians left Göbekli Tepe. The Faiyum culture is going strong.
Those living in the Franchthi Cave have progressed to Urfimis: pottery for serving, not cooking, decorated with geometric designs. (Where have we heard that before?) Small shell beads and amulets are common, as well as tools for making them.
For the first time, structures are built on the beach in front of the cave.
Within the cave, many more burials exist including numerous infant burials. One of them contained the grave goods of a small marble bowl and a broken ceramic vessel.
None of these Greek settlements have been dignified with the classification of a culture.
Welcome to Pakistan!
It’s much different in 7000 B.C. Pakistan.
A small farming village is settled at Mehrgarh. Surprisingly, it is not on a river.
However, it is located near Bolan Pass, one of the main routes connecting southern Afghanistan and the Indus Valley. Obviously, there is enough trade potential in this village and the Indus Valley to encourage treks through the treacherous mountains.
Mehrgarh was built as a base camp by semi-nomadic people. During this first period, which would last until 5500 B.C., the settlement was used to cultivate six-row barley, emmer wheat, jujubes, and dates. They domesticated sheep, goats, and cattle.
Mud-brick buildings contained four rooms. There was no pottery for cooking or serving. Tools were made of local copper. Grain was stored in granaries using large bitumen-lined baskets.
There is no evidence of government or religion. However many burials have been found complete with generous grave goods: baskets, stone and bone tools, and occasional animal sacrifices. Ornaments abound: beads, bangles, and pendants. These were made from sea shells, the precious stones of turquoise and lapis lazuli, limestone and sandstone, and polished copper. Simple figures of women and animals also appear. Male burials contain the majority of grave goods.
In this oldest area of Merhgarh, evidence was found of dentistry! A dozen molar crowns still in place have been found which were drilled while the person was alive.
With what? I don’t think copper tools would be strong enough to do that. No dental tools have been found. How did dentistry happen to develop here, in this remote place? Who was this first dentist?
In the world prior to Göbekli Tepe, people spread out in small family communities for hunting, fishing, and gathering.
Remember those Reindeer People who migrated to France and Spain? They eventually migrated to Britain. The earliest tools were found on the Suffolk Coast. They shared Britain with mammoths, rhinos, and giant beavers.
It seems that humans disappeared during the last ice period. Britain was then recolonized.
Although southern Europe had a much better climate and sites of obsidian, there was no significant culture there.
We have already talked about the Pre-Clovis Culture of the Eastern United States which was begun by the cultures that swept from northwestern Asia westward through Europe.
That same group of Reindeer People later swept eastward through Russia to enter Alaska by walking over the Bering Strait when it was frozen during the last ice period. They migrated throughout the western and southern United States.
As part of this migration, the Folsom Culture reigned in the Great Plains of the United States, as indicated by a unique leaf-shaped point. These people hunted an extinct form of bison as well as smaller animals. Later, these bison were killed more safely and efficiently by running entire herds over a cliff.
Later, the Clovis culture developed as defined by their invention of the Clovis point. Chipped from brittle stone such as jasper, chert, and obsidian, it was lance shaped and slicing sharp. It was four inches long, one-third of an inch thick, and fluted for attachment to a shaft. The chipping alternated on both faces. It has been found throughout the western United States and as far south as Venezuela.
The Clovis people were hunter-gatherers. They primarily hunted small mammals, but Clovis points have been found among mammoth ribs. It is thought that the Clovis people dared attack these dangerous animals because they were already dying and were easily found near water holes.
The Clovis point was the first invention made in America!
Asia and Africa
There were no significant cultures during this time period.
You can see that other than the invention of a tool here or a new weapon point there, no culture developed in the world between the time of the flood and Göbekli Tepe.
During the Göbekli Tepe Era
The Egyptian Faiyum Culture became the first culture to develop after the time of the flood. It inhabited the area of the Faiyum Oasis near Lake Qaroun, which is all that remains of an ancient inland sea. It is southwest of Giza. Communities grew from single tribes to several small tribes traveling together.
In the south central Mexican Valley of Tehuacán, people began to experiment with a grain called teosinte. This work eventually resulted in maize, or corn!
In Mesopotamia, wild cereals were now cultivated throughout this time period, but that did not mean a less mobile culture.
There were no significant advancements in Britain, China, India, or Greece.
After Göbekli Tepe
At the end of the Swiderian reign in Göbekli Tepe, kilns were once again built in Mesopotamia to fire pottery. Prehaps Swiderian magi were responsible for this.
The Faiyum people now depended on agriculture as well as hunting and gathering. Most of the settlements were permanent, not mobile. The people built reed huts with underground cellars for grain storage. Cattle, sheep, and goats were domesticated. Basket and pottery making developed.
Different tribes lived together permanently. During this time, tribal chieftains were endowed with the power to rule.
The First Merlins?
I often wonder if the Swiderians continued to absorb and teach knowledge. Were they the first magi, contributing to many cultures as itinerant wizards? Were they the first Merlins?
Is that why distant and disparate cultures often developed similar structures, cultural marks, and legends?
Did you see the note that brick temples were built in pre-flood Mesopotamia? The God of Adam never ordered temples, nor were they encouraged, because the Judeo-Christian God is everywhere at once. He does not need a house.
Temple Worship Begins
Yet brick temples popped up, complete with altars for sacrifice.
Strangely, I have not read of idols in these temples. Were they, then, first erected to the God of Genesis? But why?
It’s only speculation on my part, but perhaps it made Cain’s family more comfortable. Not daring to ditch God completely, they located the omnipresent, omnipotent God in a structure in which they could approach God and worship him, but he didn’t follow them around all week. They could do what they desired.
Deity Pantheon Invented
The next step would be to divide the immeasurable God into gods and goddesses of specific items. But these were not the same as God. These were humans with superhuman powers. They could be capricious in justice. They could be pranksters. Humans still needed to respect and worship them. But they could be bought. You could make a deal with them.
Yes, that’s a much more comfortable idea of deity.
It can be seen today in the behavior of many worshippers of the Judeo-Christian God who worship at church or temple then do as they please the rest of the week. Worshippers also attempt to make deals with God, forgetting that all they have originated from God.
This gives credence to my Mesopotamian scenario—but it’s not proof.
And then came government. A scribe, who compiled a list of Mesopotamian kings from the most ancient sources available, says that “kingship descended from the heavens.” This means that one or more gods invented kingship and brought the idea to humans.
My guess is that it arrived via a convenient prophecy. I’ve seen similar things happen within my lifetime.
One example is that the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) originally held the position that members of the Negro race could not become elect (believers). During the Civil Rights era, other colleges refused to play Brigham Young University because of this. Then, a new prophecy declared that blacks were now acceptable believers, and college sports returned to normal.
Let’s look at the list of kings before the Great Deluge.
The list of kings dated by the scribe as 2125 B.C.
The first thing I notice is their extraordinarily long reigns! They are recorded as reining much longer than the patriarchs of Genesis lived—and we thought that was strange!
There is an answer, however. Numbers in Genesis were recorded in Egypt’s Base 10 system. Mesopotamian mathematics were calculated in Base 60.
In fact, there are still people today who count in Base 60. We still use the system in minutes and seconds, whether in time or geometry or navigation.
In Base 60, there is a unit of 60 times 60, or 3600. If that is the unit used in the above list, the years come down to being very close to what Genesis records for patriarch lifespans!
In fact, some Christians believe that this list actually relates to Seth and his descendants as recorded in Genesis. However, I see some problems.
The correlation must begin with Seth rather than Adam. Why would that be done?
Enoch’s counterpart, Ensipadzidana, was also said to ascend to heaven without dying. However, this resulted in Enoch’s lifetime being the shortest of the list. This is not true with his match.
Methuselah lived the longest life on record (in Base 10). Emmendurana did not.
Kingship Changes Hands
This is the order after “kingship descended from the heavens.” It remained in a city until it “fell” or was “defeated.” “Then the kingship was taken to” the next city on the list.
There are a variety of reasons why a city could fail. Some possibilities are war, bad location planning, natural disaster, crop failure, an inept king, a king so unpopular that the people moved out, or perhaps it seemed to the people that the god of that city failed them so they moved to the domain of another god.
There is nothing said about the scope of kingship. Mesopotamia is thought of as an area of city-states, each city ruled by one king.
But this sounds as if one person had the rank of king. It does not rule out leaders of each city, probably a priest.
Overall, it seems that there was a time before kingship. After the first king claimed his crown, civilization quickly degenerated into a state similar to the War of the Roses!
Ancient cities exist that show a distinctive flood level. Debate rages between whether this was a local flood or a world-wide flood.
If one believes that the legend of Noah’s ark is true, these cities existed before a worldwide flood occurred and were rebuilt later. It was probably Cain’s family that originally populated the region.
The First Cities of Mesopotamia
The cities discovered to pre-date the flood are: Eridu (Abu Shahrein, Iraq), where tradition says Adam and Eve lived after ejection from the Garden of Eden, Obeid, Erech, Susa, Tepe Gawra, Fara (Shurppah/Shurrupuk), which tradition says was the home of Noah, Ur, Kish, Sippar (Akkad), Larsa, and Jemdet Nasar.
The legends of Adam and Eve and of Noah’s Ark in Genesis have surprisingly similar counterparts in Mesopotamian cultures. Other cultures also support these legends as facts.
A variety of surprising relics have been discovered in the pre-flood layer:
Pottery painted in geometric patterns and figures of birds. Some pottery is vitrified; that is, some of the clay has turned to glass at high heat, making it waterproof. Wow!
Tools of copper and stone, including flint and quartz. These include hoes, sickles, and fish hooks.
In fact, primitive inscriptions brag that Babylonia (Mesopotamia, near the mouth of the rivers) was never inhabited by a people who were unacquainted with the use of metal!
Models of boats hint at life on the water, perhaps fishing and/or trade.
A chariot that proves the domestication of the horse, including breeding of small, stocky wild horses into a breed with enough bone and muscle to pull a chariot.
A rich community is indicated by vanity items: turquoise vases, copper mirrors, and cosmetics to darken eyebrows and eyelids.
Structures include an underground kiln and ruins of brick temples that were painted red or covered with plaster.
Seals to assert ownership and/or authority have been found, but also inscriptions on clay tablets.
In fact, an ancient Babylonian king recorded that he “loved to read the writings of the age before the Flood.”
Assurbanipal, founder of the great library of Ninevah, referred to “inscriptions of the time before the Flood.”
How did they come to survive the Great Deluge, as the Babylonians called it? Berosus was a priest who wrote a three-volume book of Babylonian history in Greek and dedicated it to Antiochus I around 300 B.C. In it, he relates the tradition that Ziusudra (the Babylonian name for Noah) buried the sacred writings at Sippur before the Flood and afterward dug them up. (Why do that at Sippur?)
The Invention of Writing
Jewish and Arab tradition says that the Enoch who was descended from Seth invented writing. There is no proof.
He did, however, write three Books of Enoch. They are considered non-biblical texts by many Christians but contain spiritual events and prophecies. Therefore, it is safe to say that he adhered to the God of his ancestors.
But being an author does not mean one has invented writing. I should know!
What is the argument that it was Cain’s son Enoch who invented writing? According to Genesis, all of the inventors were from Cain’s family. And, being much older than the Sethite Enoch, the latter benefitted from a writing system that by his time had advanced in practicality.
Unless significant, specific proof is unearthed, we will never know who invented writing.
Well, this artsy, luxurious lifestyle is far from the Caveman Culture envisioned in most history texts, isn’t it?
It is unlikely that the Swiderians stayed around after losing control. We know Swiderian culture continued for a while in Poland and western Russia so perhaps at least some Swiderians returned there. But there is another possibility.
Pillar 28 of Enclosure C has three ideograms on the edge facing (or supposed to face) the central pillars. The top figure is a C tipped over on its points. Below that is a horizontal hot dog. At the bottom is a C turned on its curve like a cup.
In the book Göbkli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods, there is a photograph of this set of ideograms on page 54. What gives me chills is the photograph beside it. A Central Australian aboriginal medicine man named Worgaia has the same group of symbols on his body from just above the nipple line to his belly button!
Deep breath. That is shocking enough to knock one right between the eyes! But now, we must think. How could this happen? There are four possibilities.
The identical group of ideograms were developed independently by a survival culture in Australia and the highest culture of the time: the Swiderians.
The Australians traveled to Göbekli Tepe.
The Swiderians traveled to Australia.
Extraterrestrials taught both cultures the ideograms.
Recalling the rule that the simplest answer is usually the correct one, I choose the travelling Swiderians.
They came from Western Europe where we have already learned that an earlier culture may have sailed to North America.
We can surmise that while making great strides in architecture, the Swiderians were advancing in other fields of knowledge as well. We just don’t have any records of it.
Do you remember that when we covered ancient Australian art carvings that the ones who made them told the original Australians about the Ancestors and related ceremonies? Do you remember that the Australians were told that they were responsible for the welfare of the earth, and that is why the ceremonies had to be done precisely? (https://lynnbrownwriter.com/blog/ September 12, 2022)
That sounds just like the Swiderians.
If the Swiderians traveled to Australia, where else might they have gone? And if they went multiple places, might they have survived and been responsible for further development of mammoth architecture?
I’m sorry to switch gears, but do you know what really irritates me about the photograph of the Australian shaman? There is no note that the photographer asked what the ideogram meant!
The medicine man may have been the human Rosetta Stone of Swiderian ideograms!
And the photographer didn’t even ask him.
Enclosure B’s outer wall is a wobbly egg shape rather than oval. One end comes to a point. All pillars are erected in the inner ring, which is circular, and the workmanship is sloppy. Pillar 6 shows reliefs of a reptile and a snake.
The central pillars show leaping foxes. Had the fox/wolf cult gained dominance?
But there is one new component: the floor is terrazzo! Wow! Either this is the one flash of genius created by those now building Göbekli Tepe, or it is a parting gift from the Swiderians.
Perhaps the Swiderians were experimenting with terrazzo just before they left and this floor was their first successful project. Later, the enclosure might have been built around it.
Terrazzo, as used in archeology, was constructed from burnt lime and clay, colored with red ochre, and polished. Embedded limestone chips gave the floor a mottled appearance. The result was a floor that was durable and almost impenetrable to moisture.
The photograph at the beginning of this post shows an ancient terrazzo floor. It dates much more recently than Göbekli Tepe and contains not only limestone chips but also marble chips. However, it was made with the same process and shows the mottled appearance.
And it would require the ability to make, maintain, and safely manage fire.
This is the earliest proof of the ability to use fire!
This enclosure was only partially explored as of the latest data that I can find. It is more rectangular. The pillars that have been explored show mostly snakes.
F and G are like A except they are much smaller. Enclosure Hhas five pillars in its ring. The one remaining central pillar shows a large jumping feline. Enclosure I is still being excavated. It is circular. Enclosures J-T have not been excavated at all. They become rectangular.
And thus, the great Göbekli Tepe subsides into history with a whimper.
Andrew Collins. Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods, Bear & Company, Rochester, Vermont, 2014.
Göbekli Tepe Enclosure C: Pinnacle of Swiderian Design
We don’t know the order of all of the enclosures. This is, in part, because only ten per cent of the site has been excavated thus far. I could find specific dates for only four enclosures. We will look at them in order, then at the others.
Following Enclosure D, which we have already explored, is Enclosure E. Only the smooth bedrock floor and two pedestals remain. Were the enclosure and its contents removed before being filled in? Why? There are no answers here.
Enclosure C: Pinnacle of Swiderian Design
The next oldest is Enclosure C. This is the most complex structure, although it is not intact as was Enclosure D.
Enclosure C is more magnificent in that it has an approach to be walked before entering the main structure.
First, one must mount an eight step staircase: the oldest staircase in the world! More innovative engineering.
Second, one must enter the structure through the Lion’s Gate: a U shaped stone entrance. Atop each upright is a fierce quadruped, possibly a lion. They face away from each other. Once through the Lion’s Gate, one walks down a stone-enclosed path to the main structure.
Swiderians Disappear From Turkey!
With Swiderian efficiency and precision, the stairway, Lion’s Gate, walkway, and smooth bedrock floor could all have been constructed concurrently.
Then the prepared central pillars, one of which has a leaping fox on an inner side facing the participant, are erected onto the floor. It was necessary for this to happen before the walls were built because the pillars would not have had enough room to enter and maneuver afterward.
And then something momentous happened resulting in the departure of the Swiderians. Although their influence is seen a while longer, there is no evidence of their precision engineering.
What happened that caused the Swiderians to leave an enclosure unfinished? How odd!
I can think of only one explanation. If the Swiderians did, indeed, dominate others by using a “protection racket,” the worst thing that could happen would be for a meteorite to crash near Göbekli Tepe, proving the Swiderian claims to be fraudulent.
Göbekli Tepe Without Swiderians
Construction of Enclosure C continued without the Swiderians, but precision and innovative engineering have disappeared.
The outer wall was the older of the two. Only eight of its T pillars remain. It is not known how many originally existed. One interesting finding is Pillar 12, which has a bear carved on its “head.” Nothing like this has been seen before.
The pillar shows five birds with a backdrop of V shaped lines that could represent water ripples. On the shaft is a threatening boar above a leaping fox. No vultures in sight.
Pillar 59 is a Sighting Stone, although only the lower half survives. Was that from vandalism? Anyway, the Sighting Stone is not aligned with the central pillars! An intelligent person would begin the enclosure by setting the Seeing Stone and building from there.
The wall as a whole “wobbles” its way around the oval shape. The T pillars do not face the center of the enclosure, but are off to the right or left by different degrees each time.
Do you see why I think the Swiderians were no longer in control of construction? They would never have been so sloppy!
The walkway, as it is called, between the walls is mysterious in that there is no obvious way to enter it. Either the access point has not been recognized or the person had to scale the inner wall. Most likely, the space was not meant to be walked at all. The inner wall was meant to block off the Sighting Stone that failed them. There will be no more such stones.
The inner wall shows the same lack of skill as the outer wall, becoming more like a circle, which is easier to construct than an oval. Again, the T pillars are inconsistently set.
It’s clear that the people finishing Enclosure C have limited skills. They had been told even where to place the stones for the walls. Now, they are on their own.
Andrew Collins. Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods, Bear & Company, Rochester, Vermont, 2014.
They stand side by side in the center of Enclosure D, these two T pillars, even more massive than the ones along the sides. Each is 18 feet tall and weighs 16.5 tons.
If we wondered how the smaller pillars were raised, the difficulty has now multiplied.
How did they stand? These pillars stand in rectangular pedestals carved into the bedrock: but at only 4-6 inches deep, the pillars are unstable.
At the site, they are supported by scaffolding.
That seems odd. It’s not at all what we have come to expect of these precise engineers. Maybe they were stabilized by the roof that they supported at its apex?
Another thing seems odd. The top stones slant downward slightly toward the enclosure entrance.
Oh, my goodness!
These pillars represent people! They have skinny arms slanting downward along the broad sides of the uprights. The fingers almost meet on the thin side, just above a belt’s buckle. From the belt hangs a fox (wolf?) pelt loin cloth, the animal’s tail hanging downward. And each “person” wears a neck ornament.
That makes the top stone the head of the statue. There are no features at all!
Now, we have more questions! Was facial identity unimportant? Did one statue represent a group of people instead of an individual? Are features left off as a kind of respect by not reproducing the face?
Who are these stone guardians? Heroes? Gods? Ancestors? All of the above? Is this the long memory of the Sethite line from Adam? Why only two? Why are both men? Is one a chief and the other a shaman?
For that matter, do the other pillars also represent people?
And why is the eastern central pillar more decorated than the western?
The western pillar has a featureless belt and buckle. It has a fox loin cloth. (Was the fox/wolf already the evil trickster it would become in world mythology?)
The head of a horned bull is the neck ornament, and one arm seems to carry a fox.
The eastern pillar’s belt is wide and highly decorated. There are flightless birds on the pedestal.
The Oldest Ideagrams?
Speaking of the decorations, they do not seem random. They are few in variety. The most frequently used are the C and the H…or maybe it’s two connected Ts. All of them are sometimes in these positions, but sometimes on their sides. Does position mean anything?
None of these are obvious carvings of natural things. Yet, they don’t seem to form words. It is thought that these and other less frequent symbols are ideagrams. They express an idea, such as love or war or courage. If so, we don’t know what ideas they represent.
On the neck of the eastern pillar is this: an H, beneath that a doughnut with a hole, and below that a C on its side so it looks like a cup.
The belt is completely decorated with Hs and (s in varied positions. The belt comes around to the front of the pillar where there is an oddly decorated buckle. It is a thick U shape with another inside it. Inside of both is a single thick upright. (See the photo above.)
The book interprets the belt buckle symbol as a three-tailed comet that caused massive destruction. It hypothesizes that the Swiderians obtained primacy by exploiting the catastrophobia of other cultures. They offered “protection” from a repeat of the event through knowledge and ceremony.
If that is a three-tailed comet on the buckle, and the Swiderians did act on those fears, it makes sense to give it important placement.
Remember, though, that we have already recognized serious questions about an event of worldwide destruction by a comet. However, comets could have been part of that destruction, perhaps even an early part of the event. In that case, they could be remembered as the heralds of worldwide destruction.
All of this is, of course, speculation.
The Final Clue?
You know, I keep returning to the heads of the central pillars.
It’s not just the featureless visages. It’s the heads themselves.
Why do they bother me? The overall art isn’t naturalistic, so why should I expect the heads to be accurate human heads? After all, there are no legs, and the arms are extremely thin, as if these parts are not important. Perhaps that’s also the message of the blank faces.
But the heads are so very alien! Look at the markedly thin faces. And the proportions of the heads are not even close to normal.
That’s what bothers me: the proportions! The anterior-posterior ratio of each head is significantly longer than the width. In fact, it seems to be accentuated to draw attention to the head.
Maybe that’s why the faces are featureless. It’s the heads that are important.
And the heads are definitely Swiderian!
Experiencing Enclosure D
You are in the time of Enclosure D.
You have never seen the night sky so clear and bright. But it’s normal here and now because this is pre-industrialization.
You enter the Enclosure.
The night sky behind you illuminates the interior darkness in a straight path to the Sighting Stone, the heart of this place. Your eyes are drawn to the hole in the stone, illuminated with its own sky light.
Looming between you and the Sighting Stone are the massive Stone Guardians: two statues of Swiderians whose heads soar into the shadows of the roof, but can be seen bent toward you, staring at you while you enter, as if demanding to know your purpose here.
Slipping sideways to a bench, you are deeply relieved that you will not be the one to walk between those pillars tonight.
Collins, Andrew. Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods, Bear & Company, Rochester, Vermont, 2014, p. 51-56, 120, plates 11-14 and 16.
Connecting the Sighting Stone and the Vulture Stone
Göbekli Tepe Begins
Since we are looking at history chronologically, let’s look first at the oldest structure of Göbekli Tepe. Then we will track changes at the site through time.
Enclosure D: the Earliest Structure
We start at Enclosure D (which means it was the fourth to be uncovered). Curiously, it is the largest. Wouldn’t one expect it to be the smallest, with enlargement/development later?
It is also the best preserved: the most carefully packed. Interesting. This site was obviously not left in a hurry. We are looking at a deliberate burial. Why would they do this? Were people planning to return and resume use of this structure?
It is ovoid, rather like an egg, with a ratio of 5:4. Its dimensions are 60 x 45.7 feet. Why did they choose this shape and these dimensions?
The floor is artificially smoothed bedrock. We haven’t seen this before, but we have seen artificially smoothed walls for cave paintings. We now know that the builders were creative enough to repurpose knowledge.
Once all of the fill is removed, we notice that the floor is bare, as if a tidy housewife removed all errata and swept the room before it was filled. This makes no sense!
Nowhere else in the world has this behavior been discovered.
The builders knew of art in the far west (Spain, France) and the engineering of the Zanzians. They adapted knowledge to their needs here.
Everything in the building and filling is carefully and precisely done. These builders were precise, and the structure was the epitome of art and engineering up to that time—or at least since Noah’s time.
Wall, Benches, and Pillars
The perimeter wall is clearly like architecture we have already seen by the Zarzians. Therefore, the builders were either Zarzians or persons who learned architecture from them. That would be the Swiderians.
Around the walls are benches indicating that this structure was used for one or more kinds of meetings.
Twelve structures interrupt the benches and wall.
Eleven (there used to be twelve) are pillars in the shape of a T, made of an upright slab topped with another rectangular slab, narrow edges together. Other narrow edges of both stones face the center of the space. They are always called pillars, not stelae, indicating they were meant to hold something up, probably a roof.
How did they erect these slabs? And how did they erect the crosspiece on top?
And why are they in the form of a T? A simple upright would support a roof just as well.
The pillars are decorated with carved reliefs of a large variety of species: foxes, birds, snakes, boars, aurochs, gazelles, onagers, and large carnivores. Many of them are in action, even aggression.
Not all of them were native to Turkey at this time. Therefore, the builders were well-traveled, or were people who came here from distant lands, or both.
Were the animals merely décor? Or was this space used for education?
Man is missing. Unlike earlier art, humans are not shown as a part of nature.
There is a change in man’s interaction with nature. Man is no longer considered “at one” with nature.
The builders were probably the Swiderians.
They came from west to east and therefore knew animals and art from Spain/France.
Their contact with Zarzians taught them state of the art engineering.
The attitude that man is separate from nature is unique.
Engineering is a huge jump from the Zarzian wall.
The Sighting Stone
The twelfth structure is also rectangular, but with the wide side facing the center. At five feet tall, it is shorter than the T pillars. If the T pillars held up the roof, there is an open space between the top of the sighting stone and the roof.
A hole ten inches in diameter pierces the slab three feet above ground. Because of the hole, this slab is called the Sighting Stone, in reference to the hypotheses that the purpose was to look through the hole. After kneeling, the sky is seen through the hole. However, it’s just as likely that the hole was made for something to pass through as part of a ceremony.
How did they pierce the slab? Why is this stone different? Why was the hole made?
It is directly across from the entrance. Is that significant?
Is this the oldest celestial observatory? What does that say about their beliefs? Or is the interest purely scientific?
The Vulture Stone
The T pillar to the left of the pierced slab is called the Vulture Stone because there are vulture-like birds on it and they seem very important. Remember the birds we looked at earlier? Vultures fit that general description.
On the top half of the pillar’s crosspiece is what looks to be stylized vegetation, like the bushy top of a tree. Along the top above the “tree” are the rectangular shapes with loops looking like a row of handbags.
Below all of this, but still on the crosspiece, are two vultures facing right. Their scrawny necks, wing styles, and hooked beaks make the identity fairly certain. The larger one balances a sphere on its left wing. Is it the sun? A ball?
Above the smaller vulture on the right are two long-necked wader birds in the vegetation.
The carvings on the upright stone that can be clearly seen are a large scorpion and another large vulture with a headless human lying on its neck.
Wait! Is the sphere a human head? In other art of the time a severed human head clearly indicated the soul of a dead person. Is the vulture responsible for transporting the soul to its final destination?
Are we looking at evidence of a religious bird cult?
In that case, maybe this is a temple after all! Of course to determine that, we must find connections between meetings that were held here and the bird cult. We haven’t found any.
Connecting the Sighting Stone and the Vulture Stone
An interesting hypothesis is suggested in the book Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods. It is particularly interesting because traditional dating and biblical dating are now drawing close.
According to the hypothesis, the builders had a bird cult centered on the vulture. Cult worship may not have been the only kind of meetings in Enclosure D. After all, religion and education have co-existed throughout time. Perhaps feasts and funerals were also held there.
The shaman or perhaps any worshipper walked from the entrance to the Sighting Stone. There was interest and knowledge in astronomy, and maybe astrology as well.
At the time that Enclosure D was built, the hole in the stone would have directed sight to Cygnus, the Swan. When the star pattern of Cygnus is overlaid onto a vulture, it fits!
So, the builders knew the constellation Swan as the Vulture constellation. And it is to that constellation that the soul of the dead man is being carried.
Why is the large (and therefore important) scorpion below the vulture with the “head?” At that time, the Milky Way’s Great Rift stretched from Scorpio, which represented earth, to Cygnus, the heavenly destination. The vulture with the headless body is below the scorpion.
The hypothesis says that the sighting hole is also a “soul hole” through which the dead person’s soul could escape and be directed toward its destination.
The wavy lines around the hole are seen as a woman’s body, and the hole is then just where the vulva would be.
Remember, all of this is only hypothesis. There is no proof.
We’re not done yet! In the center of the enclosure are more structures and more mysteries! We’ll look at that next time.
Collins, Andrew. Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods, Bear& Company, Rochester, Vermont, 2014, p. 45-46, 84-87, 98-106.
Photo credit: Thankful Photography at Unsplash.com