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Thread: Monumental carvings found in eastern Turkey

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    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Monumental carvings found in eastern Turkey

    Forty-six kilometers from Gobekli Tepi, another set of monumental carvings made by hunter-gatherers 13,000 years ago have been discovered.

    It's extraordinary.

    See:
    Is an unknown, extraordinarily ancient civilisation buried under eastern Turkey? | The Spectator

    "Iam staring at about a dozen, stiff, eight-foot high, orange-red penises, carved from living bedrock, and semi-enclosed in an open chamber. A strange carved head (of a man, a demon, a priest, a God?), also hewn from the living rock, gazes at the phallic totems – like a primitivist gargoyle. The expression of the stone head is doleful, to the point of grimacing, as if he, or she, or it, disapproves of all this: of everything being stripped naked under the heavens, and revealed to the world for the first time in 130 centuries.Yes, 130 centuries. Because these penises, this peculiar chamber, this entire perplexing place, known as Karahan Tepe (pronounced Kah-rah-hann Tepp-ay), which is now emerging from the dusty Plains of Harran, in eastern Turkey, is astoundingly ancient. Put it another way: it is estimated to be 11-13,000 years old."


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    Back at Gobekli Tepi, here is Urfa man in his new, hi-tech display:



    One of the Statue Stele from the Lunigiana:



    I argued and argued and argued with Jean Manco, rest her soul, that these statue stele and similar ones need have nothing to do with any origin on the steppe, but that they might have been from an even earlier source in the Near East.

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    Very interesting. Eastern Turkey by the fertile crescent I would assume? It seems farming was a key development allowing for the elaboration of human consciousness through surplus calories that gave rise to such interesting endeavors as more elaborate art.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archetype0ne View Post
    Very interesting. Eastern Turkey by the fertile crescent I would assume? It seems farming was a key development allowing for the elaboration of human consciousness through surplus calories that gave rise to such interesting endeavors as more elaborate art.
    Well, except that farming wouldn't be "invented" for about 3,000 years or so. These were hunter-gatherers of Anatolia. That's what makes it so intriguing and mysterious.

    First of all, how did they do it? What technology did they use?

    Then, does it really upend the chronology as we know it, i.e. first agriculture then gathering of population groups? Of course, there's not a human bone found anywhere near these sites, nor traces of human habitation, so they were places where humans gathered only occasionally; they lived elsewhere.

    If they were places for funereal rites, where are the human remains? Did they leave the bodies for birds and animals to eat as do the Zoroastrians, and the bones were scattered over time? Or were they some sort of homage to the animals and plants upon whom they depended (Gobekli Tepe), and to procreation (this more eastern site)? There's absolutely nothing here of the female fertility figures associated with agriculture.

    Is this author correct that it was precisely the fact that as large numbers of people gathered for these rites they realized the people would have to be fed, and that was the impetus for agriculture? I'm not very happy with that explanation, as food could have been stored and then brought to the site for the rites, but I don't have a better alternative.

    Very interesting article, anyway.

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    Regular Member Archetype0ne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Well, except that farming wouldn't be "invented" for about 3,000 years or so. These were hunter-gatherers of Anatolia. That's what makes it so intriguing and mysterious.

    First of all, how did they do it? What technology did they use?

    Then, does it really upend the chronology as we know it, i.e. first agriculture then gathering of population groups? Of course, there's not a human bone found anywhere near these sites, nor traces of human habitation, so they were places where humans gathered only occasionally; they lived elsewhere.

    If they were places for funereal rites, where are the human remains? Did they leave the bodies for birds and animals to eat as do the Zoroastrians, and the bones were scattered over time? Or were they some sort of homage to the animals and plants upon whom they depended (Gobekli Tepe), and to procreation (this more eastern site)? There's absolutely nothing here of the female fertility figures associated with agriculture.

    Is this author correct that it was precisely the fact that as large numbers of people gathered for these rites they realized the people would have to be fed, and that was the impetus for agriculture? I'm not very happy with that explanation, as food could have been stored and then brought to the site for the rites, but I don't have a better alternative.

    Very interesting article, anyway.
    Yes, quite interesting indeed.

    My assumption was the dating of agriculture being a bit off, or rather some primitive version of it existing a bit earlier.
    The other possibility being that the fertile crescent had enough to sustain a large population of hunter gatherers agriculture not withstanding. Which could make sense given the cradle of civilization and first cities nearby millennia later.

    As for the lack of fertility figures, it does seem sites like this one and others like Gobekli Tepe fall within the totemist variety, with animals dominating the art, which could be a sign of HG rather than farmers.

    In my mind the sites were likely of ritualistic purpose as you mentioned the lack of evidence of habitation. The big mystery is why would people gather to begin with? Beginning of religion ? Rituals? To what end and for what benefit. Given as we know pretty much the whole world at the time barring small pockets (likely this very region) was sparsely populated by humans, with density of less than 1 person per mile, it makes the importance of such sites even more pronounced.

    The highlighted part is also an interesting hypothesis.

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