World History

Night Falls on Göbekli Tepe

Night Falls on Göbekli Tepe

Where Did the Swiderians Go?

Enclosure B

Enclosure A

Enclosures F-T

Night Falls

Night Falls on Göbekli Tepe

Where Did the Swiderians Go?

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.

  1. The identical group of ideograms were developed independently by a survival culture in Australia and the highest culture of the time: the Swiderians.
  2. The Australians traveled to Göbekli Tepe.
  3. The Swiderians traveled to Australia.
  4. 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? ( 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

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.

What a difference in style from smoothed bedrock!

But let’s not miss the real significance. To produce the lime needed, five times that much wood would be required to be burned. 

That’s a massive undertaking.

And it would require the ability to make, maintain, and safely manage fire.

This is the earliest proof of the ability to use fire!

Enclosure A

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.

Enclosures F-T

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.

Night Falls

And thus, the great Göbekli Tepe subsides into history with a whimper.

Suggested Reading:

Andrew Collins. Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods, Bear & Company, Rochester, Vermont, 2014.

Photo credit: bin kontan @

World History

Göbekli Tepe D: Mysteries Continue

Göbekli Tepe D: Mysteries Continue

Central Pillars

Stone Guardians

The Oldest Ideagrams?

Exploiting Catastrophobia?

The Final Clue?

Experiencing Enclosure D

Göbekli Tepe D: Mysteries Continue

Central Pillars

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.

Stone Guardians

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.)

Exploiting Catastrophobia?

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.

Suggested reading:

Collins, Andrew. Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods, Bear & Company, Rochester, Vermont, 2014, p. 51-56, 120, plates 11-14 and 16.

Photo credit: ©tegmen from

World History

Göbekli Tepe Begins

Göbekli Tepe

Enclosure D: the Earliest Structure

Wall, Benches, and Pillars

The Sighting Stone

The Vulture Stone

Connecting the Sighting Stone and the Vulture Stone

The Center

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.

Lessons Learned:

  1. The builders knew of art in the far west (Spain, France) and the engineering of the Zanzians. They adapted knowledge to their needs here.
  2. 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.

Lessons learned:

  1. There is a change in man’s interaction with nature. Man is no longer considered “at one” with nature.
  2. The builders were probably the Swiderians.
    1. They came from west to east and therefore knew animals and art from Spain/France.
    1. Their contact with Zarzians taught them state of the art engineering.
    1. The attitude that man is separate from nature is unique.
    1. 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.

The Center

We’re not done yet! In the center of the enclosure are more structures and more mysteries! We’ll look at that next time.

Suggested Reading:

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