Göbekli Tepe (9600 to 8800 BCE)
Caletti, Christopher C. (2020) Göbekli Tepe and the Sites around the Urfa Plain (SE Turkey): Recent Discoveries and New Interpretations. Asia Anteriore Antica. Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Cultures. Online at: https://www.academia.edu/44461984/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe_and_the_Sites_around_the_Urfa_Plain_SE_Turkey_Recent_Discoveries_and_New_Interpretations
Groman-Yaroslavski, I, Weiss, E., Nade, D. (November 23, 2016) Composite Sickles and Cereal Harvesting Methods at 23,000-Years-Old Ohalo II, Israel. PLOS ONE |DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.016715. Online at: https://www.academia.edu/30173906/Composite_Sickles_and_Cereal_Harvesting_Methods_at_23_000_Years_Old_Ohalo_II_Israel
Hasson, N. and Schuster, R. (April 10, 2018) Discovery in Israel Pushes Back Dawn of Agriculture to 23,000 Years Ago. Haaretz. Online at: https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/farming-already-begun-23-000-years-ago-1.5377791
Göbekli Tepe Ritual Center Phase (9600 to 8800 BCE)
(July 5, 2022) Gobekli Tepe belongs to the proto-agricultural phase of human society in the Near East (Pre-pottery Neolithic) which first consistently appeared around 13,000 BCE with the Natufian culture in the Levant although intermittent proto-agriculture appeared with fisher hunter gatherers around some lakes and sea shores as early as 21,000 BCE (Groman-Yaroslavski and all 2016) and Haaretz news article (Hasson and Schuster 2018). Consequently, Gobekli Tepe shows the transition between the Hunter/Gatherer culture and the Farming culture. The site is located at the top of some limestone hills overlooking the Harran plain which makes it visible from a great distance.
Gobekli Tepe probably started out as an annual gathering place during the cool younger dryas period. Proto-agricultural societies were still hunter-gatherers but they rotated through the same places throughout the year following the seasonal food supply but always coming back to their traditional spots. This encouraged them to improve their lands by making semi-permanent wooden shelters and doing such things as annual controlled burning to get more berry bushes or wild grains the following year. Part of this rotation was attending large gatherings for trade, sociability, and religious rituals.
Many of the Proto-Agricultural gathering places gradually became settlements as some people started to remain there year-round. This is what happened at Gobekli Tepe. This is further supported by the fact that other similar settlements started popping up around it
(photo at Bradshaw Foundation. Online athttps://www.bradshawfoundation.com/news/world_heritage.php?id=Neolithic-Gathering-and-Feasting-at-Gobekli-Tepe)
A great collection of Göbekli Tepe photos by Oliver Dietrich at: https://odietrich.medium.com/a-photographic-tour-of-g%C3%B6bekli-tepe-southeastern-turkey-99e9f075c674
Göbekli Tepe Pillar 43 (Network & Vulture) and Pillar 18 (Ancestor) - 9,600-8,800 BCE
(July 5, 2022) Not all ancestral pillar stones have carvings but pillar 43 has an extensive set illustrating the Ancient Pagan Paradigm as a background to a drought indicated by dying birds.
Pillar 43 is known as the vulture stone because of its vulture image in the left middle position. That central section represents the middle connective layer of the Ancient Pagan Paradigm. The three large bricks making up its ceiling is the sky-shell.
Right below the sky-shell and mixed in with the eagle vultures is a network represented by a fishing net similar to that shown below. According the Alphabetic Akkadian Mediterranean texts the eagle-vultures trim the network to direct the fertility fluids flowing within its links from the source layer to the proper place on earth. In the image, the eagle-vulture is holding the masculine sun in one wing which represents the connective power of the network and its fluids, sunlight, heat, and rain (when hidden).
To the right of the network are Sacred Ibis which because of the shape of their beak and black head represent the feminine crescent moon against the night sky (it was popular in Egypt). The crescent moon power is the feminine complement to the sun and it guides the eagle-vultures and hence the flow of the fertility fluids. Significantly these ibises are lying down dead or weak indicating the crescent moon power has failed or is weak. To the right of the birds seems to be a dead snake. Snakes representing the power of life and death in ancient mythologies.
The image section below the connective layer represents the manifestation layer of the Ancient Pagan Paradigm. While partly hidden it contains a scorpion which represents paralysis. This would indicate that the life powers on earth are paralyzed due to the problems with the high powers.
The later agricultural settlement period at Gobekli Tepe is represented by “Level II” having remains belonging to 8800-8000 BCE. It consists of buildings with rectangular rooms made from stone walls and terrazzo ﬂoors. It had less elaborate ritual places consisting only of large stone rings. Some of these buildings had smaller pillars being only 1.5 meters (5 feet) tall. This smaller scale indicates a smaller and more local population was supporting the rituals at this time instead of the larger population from festival gatherings (see Calleti 2020 for the latest update)
ReferencesCaletti, Christopher C. (2020) Göbekli Tepe and the Sites around the Urfa Plain (SE Turkey): Recent Discoveries and New Interpretations. Asia Anteriore Antica. Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Cultures. Online at: https://www.academia.edu/44461984/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe_and_the_Sites_around_the_Urfa_Plain_SE_Turkey_Recent_Discoveries_and_New_Interpretations
Don’s Maps by Don Hitchcock at: https://donsmaps.com/index.html#paintings
Gresky, J., Haelm, J., Clare, L. (2017) Modified human crania from Göbekli Tepe provide evidence for a new form of Neolithic skull cult. Sci. Adv.2017;3:e1700564 28 June 2017
Gobekli Tepe Ritual Center Being Excavated
These rooms were likely used by extended family groups on an annual basis. When that family group was absorbed by others the ritual room was closed by being buried.
(Photo at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:G%C3%B6bekli2012-15.jpg)
Most Pillars are Undecorated
Tourist picture of Gobekli Tepe
Penis/Ancestral Figurine from Pope’s Cave in Brassempouy, France
4,300 BCE European Fish Net
Later Nearby Lordified Eagle Vulture - 1,300 BCE
The panel dates to about 1,300 BCE based upon the undeciphered Luwian writing and shows the persistence of Neolithic religious culture. These eagle-vultures are often mentioned in the earliest Alphabetic Akkadian texts. (from Ceram 1956)
Gobekli Tepe Skulls
Gobekli Tepe provides the earliest evidence of calling on ancestral powers for help as evidenced by the skulls apparently modified for use in ritual above. These were found during the later agricultural phase (8800-8000 BCE.).
Ancestral powers belong to the motion power class because the dead were thought to reside in the night sky either when above or below the earth plane (sheol). Relating to ancestral powers correlates to a sense of territoriality because one's land is home of the ancestors. This only came about as people settled down for purposes of agriculture.
Of the skulls, 3 out of the 20 found at Gobekli Tepe had cut lines and one had a small offset hole. The authors of the analysis paper suggest these were used for suspending the skull during a ritual which is the most probable explanation. (Gresky, Haelm, Clare, 2017)