When he was sixty-eight years old and should have known better, he murdered his younger brother, according to Genesis.
Why? Because his brother followed the rule for sacrificing to God: give the first of your harvest. Abel went further: he sacrificed the fatty potions from the best of his flock. His sacrifice was accepted.
Cain offered some of his produce, which implies that he kept the best for himself. This man was selfish, greedy, and he had a bad attitude! There’s no way I would do business with him.
Of course, Cain’s sacrifice was rejected. He was furious, and he pouted.
God wanted to re-establish a relationship with Cain and fix his attitude. He said, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door. It desires to have you, but you must master it.” (NIV)
Here’s problem solving for you: Cain said to Abel, “Let’s go to the field.” (That’s where Cain feels most comfortable.) There Cain killed his brother. That’ll show the little twerp to upstage him!
God is back. “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” What a lying, snotty response!
“What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out from the ground.” God tells Cain that as a result of his sin, the ground will no longer respond to his farming and he will become a restless wanderer.
Stubborn Cain tries emotional sabotage. “Today you are driving me from the land. (Not true: he just isn’t able to farm it.) I will be hidden from your presence. (Not true: the Judeo-Christian God is omnipresent. We’ll see that Cain doesn’t care about this anyway.) I will be a restless wanderer on the earth. (True.) And whoever finds me will kill me. (God never said this. Even so, doesn’t he deserve it?)
God puts a mark or seal on Cain to prevent his murder. This is the beginning of what will later become writing. It is probably the source of the early practice of a personal seal with which to “sign” documents.
So Cain and his wife “went out of the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.” East of Eden covers a large area. However, if Eden is, as I proposed, the eastern section of the Turkish plateau, then Cain traveled beyond the mountains.
The Bible does not tell us where “Nod” was, but the important thing may be that it means “away from the presence of God.” As pointed out earlier, this is impossible with the Judeo-Christian God. Therefore, this must refer to where Cain connected with God: his parents, the angel with the flaming sword blocking the way to the Garden of Eden, and his own judgement.
In other words Cain not only “went out from the Lord’s presence” but he also lived there. He never repented, never returned.
Genesis says Cain built a city and named it after his son Enoch. We have no idea where that city was. There are educated guesses, but no proof.
My guess is that traveling east instead of south indicates that he followed the Tigris River instead of the Euphrates River into what is today called Mesopotamia. There, he built the city. In my opinion, it no longer exists, but I could be proven wrong!
Since he was “a wanderer,” he probably did not remain there, but continued to travel along the Tigris.
We’ve spent a lot of time on Göbekli Tepe. We’re done. It’s time to “put a fork in it” and examine what we have learned.
The facts are what we see at the site. The rest is speculation.
What is the strongest line of logic?
The site must have been chosen for a purpose since there were so many negatives: scaling the highest mountain in the range and hauling supplies up to it, no fresh water, quarries some distance away, and ignorant locals. That purpose seems to have been an unobstructed view of the sky. It was the world’s first observatory.
The site was probably engineered and supervised by the Swiderians, who seemed to have the habit of absorbing knowledge of various groups they encountered in their travels, synthesizing that knowledge, and using it to control the local population.
The Swiderians had engineering knowledge we don’t have, at least regarding how to erect the structures with only tools of stone and wood. They probably had knowledge of sailing. What else did they know for which they left us no clues?
The local population consisted of hunter-gatherers and, therefore, they moved from site to site. This disproves the theory that culture always arises from hunter-gatherers who subsequently adopted agriculture.
Göbekli Tepe required a large work force, but no settlements have been found. Nor are there dwelling places within the site.
With the observatory, and the catalog of animals carved into T pillars, it seems that Göbekli Tepe was the first university. People came to learn, then returned to their homelands.
If you believe the Genesis account, learning would have been easy because everyone was already closely related by blood and spoke the same language.
The Swiderian belief system was different from other cultures. Instead of man being an equal part of the world with animals, the enormous humanoid T Pillars that dwarf carvings of animals indicate that man was now considered of supreme importance.
Ideograms were used. It also seems that at least some groups of carvings are positioned purposefully to give information.
As tempting as it is to call this a temple, the logic seems to be very weak. One can’t say that later similar structures were temples and therefore this one is, because this site is the first and later structures could be corruptions…as we see within Göbekli Tepe itself. There is no altar. Feasts can be held without religion. There are no burials, as are often seen with later religious sites. We don’t know what the ideograms and carved groups mean.
Let’s look at the vulture with the circle on its wing. It doesn’t have to be a vulture cult. First, the carved vultures are far from being large enough to be the religious center. If the circle does represent a human soul, the carving does not have to mean that the vulture, the bird of death, is responsible for transporting the soul to its final destination. It could be simply a statement of belief that after death the person lives on.
If there is religion at the site, it would probably be centered on the most impressive structures: the seeing stone and the humanoid T pillars. If the pillars represent gods, that would indicate religion, but they could just as easily represent heroes or ancestors.
The navigation they learned from Western Europe and the massive architectural structure imply an extensive use of mathematics. In navigation, the captain has to know how to plot his position and how to navigate to his destination.
In architecture, the Swiderians didn’t choose the circle, a shape easily made with a stake and a string. Instead, they preferred an oval.
Maybe they had someone who could freehand an oval the size of a structure, but that would be washed out by the next rain. Perhaps they knew advanced geometry using stakes, lines, and arcs to construct one. Or they knew the algebraic formula for the perimeter of an oval: π × (a + b) [1 + (3 × h/ (10 + √ (4 – 3h)))].
The final mystery: why were the various structures filled in? The ones most carefully packed with skulls and tools and construction rubbish and dirt would have been constructed under Swiderians. The best guess is that they were already constructing the next enclosure because of a shift in the constellations they chose to observe. The first enclosure was packed carefully, almost reverently, as no longer useful.
The second one was packed almost as carefully, but damage was done or it was completely emptied before being backfilled.
The Swiderians seem to have left during the construction of the third enclosure, leaving ignorant workers whose construction and later backfilling was sloppy.
Göbekli Tepe and the advances in knowledge that it represents are truly mysterious and awe inspiring!
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.
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