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Old 08-30-2018, 01:54 AM
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Gobekli Tepe: What do we really know?


So, there's this city, that we are currently digging up.

That is older than we thought civilization was.

But clearly we were humans peoples before we thought we were.

Is anyone else excited about this?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe

Here: A video where a guy talks about the Flood Mythos and how it wiped out most of the life, including humans, on the Northern hemispere,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V0K...&index=18&t=0s

(Sir Cronos and Sir Stranger on a Train I'm looking at you smart bright fellas.)



And I checked out this dudes sites:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V0K...&index=18&t=0s

and it seems to be real,

that humans were pretty advanced, for their time, scientifically and mathematically:

more than we give them credit for.

Please give me evidence that this is right or wrong, or call me a dingle dongle, so that I may continue forward into finding out the truth about this reality.
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Old 08-30-2018, 04:05 AM
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...and it seems to be real, that humans were pretty advanced, for their time, scientifically and mathematically: more than we give them credit for.

Please give me evidence that this is right or wrong, or call me a dingle dongle, so that I may continue forward into finding out the truth about this reality.
You're not a Dingle Dongle for wanting to find out about a major prehistoric site that is adding potentially adding a vast chunk of knowledge about the past. You may become one if you fall for the gushy hype in the the Youtube links.

The site is real and it's incredibly early and well-preserved for what it is. Archaeological interpretation is an even slower process than excavation and anything said about Gobekli Tepe needs to take account of:

* There are similarities in different sites from around the region, although nothing quite the same. It fits consistently into a broad cultural space, and seems to line up with social practices interpreted from elsewhere over time, so its likely to eventually be understood as part of the normal for that time and place, even though we see it as amazing and unique.

* Only part has been excavated, so there is a fair bit of filling in the gaps. We only have some of the jigsaw pieces, and no box cover, so the evidence could describe many different pictures. Even so, that does no mean open slather for making up stories for YouTube. Any explanation of the site has to account for ALL the evidence. You can't just make up stories from the bits that seem to imply something nice / different / unusual.

* Real humans doing real human things do have the power to amaze, although our biased belief is that just because they didn't have plasma TVs they were somehow morons. They were not and clearly went to lots of effort to create places where they could transcend regular life [my assumption about what the site did]. Imagine you'd never seen a kiva site, or a church, a mosque or Balinese temple until one was dug up. They would be gob-smacking in their intricacy and complexity to us and, if it was well preserved, its richness in art and symbolic decoration.

* If I drew a few symbols you would not have any idea about what they meant or why I did them without speaking to me. Imagine how hard it is to accurately guess what the reasons for a person 10,000 years ago did things. But our first port of call should be human emotions and desires, rather than spacemen or plot excerpts from a book written 8,000 years later.

If you are genuinely interested in the real stories, also check out Catal Huyuk, a later site also in Turkey which also has the power to amaze - http://www.catalhoyuk.com/
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:57 AM
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Gobekli Tepe is definitely real and certainly 'advanced.'

Here's what is really, really cool about it. It upends the religion/society theories we had previously. There was (and maybe still is) a general idea that organized religion post-dates society. The idea behind it is that there were folk religions, but organized religion arose out of a need to keep larger groups of people functioning smoothly, so large groups of people get together to farm the same land and band together against attackers, and to stop them from killing each other or making widespread nuisances of themselves, religions became more important, better organized and people were better able to coexist.

Gobekli Tepe seems to imply the exact opposite. It seems to imply that rather than organized religion being the result of society, society was the result of organized religion. The story that it tells seems to say that religion became organized and this is what encouraged people to band together into large communities. OK, some people may not find that really, really cool, but I do and I don't give a rip about what you think. :P

It really is a cool place though that really throws into question a lot of what we thought we knew about Neolithic peoples and the beginnings of societies.
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Old 08-30-2018, 07:15 AM
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A popular estimate among scientists is that 99% of all life that has ever been on earth has gone extinct.

It follows then that 99% of all the previous human and human-like creatures that ever lived have also disappeared. That implies that there could easily be evidence of several large and impressive civilizations yet to be discovered and may, in fact, never be discovered.

Several years back, there was a series on the History Channel called, "Life After People". It was postulated that, as large and advanced as our civilization may be, there would be no visual evidence left of it after only 1,000 years. Sure, it probably wouldn't take much digging to find a lot of evidence, but what about after a million years or ten million years?
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Old 08-30-2018, 08:25 AM
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It was postulated that, as large and advanced as our civilization may be, there would be no visual evidence left of it after only 1,000 years.
We have reliable evidence that this is silly. Of many possible examples, one is this modest bridge in France - around 1900 years old.
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Old 08-30-2018, 08:54 AM
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Could you perhaps summarize the two videos, I'm not giving them my eyeballs until I'm convinced they're not Graham Hancock-style kooks?

As for Gobekli Tepe, it's doubtless fascinating, but only really a complete gamechanger to people who don't have other reference points for what sedentary HGs can accomplish given a favourable-enough environment, like the proximal Natufians, early Jōmon Japan or precolumbian Pacific Northwest.
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Old 08-30-2018, 08:57 AM
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It follows then that 99% of all the previous human and human-like creatures that ever lived have also disappeared.
It does not follow. For human-like precursors, sure, but humans? Not at all. We leave too much evidence, everywhere we go.
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Old 08-30-2018, 08:58 AM
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Yeah, I'm not going to buy that. We have - modern industrial society - committed some truly long-term apparent works that change the face of the world. Large quarries, at a minimum, like the ones outside Chicago - will be visible for possibly millions of years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thornton_Quarry

In addition, were there elder civilizations out there, at this point in our scientific knowledge we'd be aware of their existence. Decay products for radioactives, depletion of fossil fuels, concentration of metals where cities used to be and so forth. Even if it were so long back that the cities were on the sea floor due to tectonics there would still be evidence we'd detect.

That doesn't rule it out completely, of course. Another species may have developed intelligence and gotten to hunter-gatherer or neolithic. But if so they didn't reach an industrial revolution stage.
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Old 08-30-2018, 08:59 AM
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It was postulated that, as large and advanced as our civilization may be, there would be no visual evidence left of it after only 1,000 years.
We have reliable evidence that this is silly. Of many possible examples, one is this modest bridge in France - around 1900 years old.
Of course in that case, over time people maintained and repaired that bridge. The thousand-year estimate (and I have no idea if it's valid) assumes no people anywhere keeping up anything.
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:01 AM
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Large quarries, at a minimum, like the ones outside Chicago - will be visible for possibly millions of years.
Depends on how many people throw stuff in them.
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:04 AM
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Har har. But that sucker's half a mile deep. It would take COMMITMENT.

Or, to look for others...

http://www.losapos.com/openpitmines
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:58 AM
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A popular estimate among scientists is that 99% of all life that has ever been on earth has gone extinct.

It follows then that 99% of all the previous human and human-like creatures that ever lived have also disappeared. That implies that there could easily be evidence of several large and impressive civilizations yet to be discovered and may, in fact, never be discovered.

Several years back, there was a series on the History Channel called, "Life After People". It was postulated that, as large and advanced as our civilization may be, there would be no visual evidence left of it after only 1,000 years. Sure, it probably wouldn't take much digging to find a lot of evidence, but what about after a million years or ten million years?
The fact that this hurts my brain makes us different from pre-Homo species.

IANAA but I am a member of the Archaeological Institute of America so I get to go regularly to lectures by top archaeologists. They are very open that the bits and pieces we've dug up from sites seldom add up to complete narratives. As a field, archaeology has become far more cautious in trying to tell stories that purport to explain ancient societies. In particular, some are getting away from trying to explain everything via religion. See our own Lynne Kelly's The Memory Code for an alternative origin for megaliths. Everything underground is now up in the air. It's a fun new era.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:09 AM
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Har har. But that sucker's half a mile deep. It would take COMMITMENT.

Or, to look for others...

http://www.losapos.com/openpitmines
Obviously an advanced civilization had terraced the land for farming.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:15 AM
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The fascinating thing, as I understand it, is that the Gobekli Teki is carved stone. Even the softer carved stones take a lot of work - the general thought is that complex carved stone construction on a large scale is the result of agriculture followed by settled villages, followed by a surplus that allows a collection of craftsmen to dedicate themselves full time for months and years carving the necessary stonework, plus the heavy labour of moving pieces into position - not to mention the administrative structure to make groups work toward a master plan for years at a time. Obviously this should imply a city-state level of civilization. Teki appears to predate settled heavy agriculture, let alone cities. Who organized and paid for the labour done to make this site, and how?
All it proves is that we don't know quite a lot about the transitional stage of agriculture. Our timeline may be way off, social organization might have been far more complex than we believe.
Stonehenge, for example, is much much younger, and AFAIK the locals were already settled agriculturalists when they organized mving stones over 200km and setting them up; and the level of stone preparation is much less.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:51 AM
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It's no real mystery how their subsistence worked, though. We have all those gazelle and aurochs bones. We know that at that particular time, the Levant was a crazy-abundant environment.

But when Klaus Schmidt said shit like
Quote:
"These people were foragers," Schmidt says, people who gathered plants and hunted wild animals. "Our picture of foragers was always just small, mobile groups, a few dozen people. They cannot make big permanent structures, we thought, because they must move around to follow the resources. They can't maintain a separate class of priests and craft workers, because they can't carry around all the extra supplies to feed them. Then here is Göbekli Tepe, and they obviously did that."
it becomes no surprise that there's this air of mystery - if even the people working in the field are that mistaken about how complex HG cultures can be given sufficient resources, how socially stratified and sedentary, what hope is there for the layperson?

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Old 08-30-2018, 11:30 AM
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A popular estimate among scientists is that 99% of all life that has ever been on earth has gone extinct.

It follows then that 99% of all the previous human and human-like creatures that ever lived have also disappeared. That implies that there could easily be evidence of several large and impressive civilizations yet to be discovered and may, in fact, never be discovered.
I've seen estimates that perhaps 100 billion people have ever lived with about 7 billion alive right now. I expect that within the last hundred and fifty years or so that we've had photographic and film evidence perhaps we've had 30-40% of of all the people who've ever lived.

I suspect you estimates of 99% is far too high but that is because we've only been around for a couple of hundred thousand years and we're only one species. Whereas the 99% covers millions of species and hundreds of millions of years.

I do think your conclusion is correct though. There are likely to be wonderful surprises still in store and evidence of early civilisations to uncover that will upend current theories. I really hope so as that's what keep life interesting.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:51 AM
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Anthropologists and archeologists are reaching different conclusions these days about the complexity of early human societies, and the agricultural revolution seems to be far less of a 'revolution' and less defining than was previously thought.

I've posted this article before. It's very long, but well worth reading. You can skip to Part 4 for the essence of new discoveries and insights.

How to change the course of human history

Quote:
Overwhelming evidence from archaeology, anthropology, and kindred disciplines is beginning to give us a fairly clear idea of what the last 40,000 years of human history really looked like, and in almost no way does it resemble the conventional narrative. Our species did not, in fact, spend most of its history in tiny bands; agriculture did not mark an irreversible threshold in social evolution; the first cities were often robustly egalitarian.

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Old 08-30-2018, 12:06 PM
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Yeah, I'm not going to buy that. We have - modern industrial society - committed some truly long-term apparent works that change the face of the world. Large quarries, at a minimum, like the ones outside Chicago - will be visible for possibly millions of years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thornton_Quarry

In addition, were there elder civilizations out there, at this point in our scientific knowledge we'd be aware of their existence. Decay products for radioactives, depletion of fossil fuels, concentration of metals where cities used to be and so forth. Even if it were so long back that the cities were on the sea floor due to tectonics there would still be evidence we'd detect.

That doesn't rule it out completely, of course. Another species may have developed intelligence and gotten to hunter-gatherer or neolithic. But if so they didn't reach an industrial revolution stage.
The Panama canal, too.

Certainly they could have gotten to a Gobekli Tepe stage, and even beyond if they used more wood, etc. But yes, not industrial.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:34 PM
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Several years back, there was a series on the History Channel called, "Life After People". It was postulated that, as large and advanced as our civilization may be, there would be no visual evidence left of it after only 1,000 years. Sure, it probably wouldn't take much digging to find a lot of evidence, but what about after a million years or ten million years?
If this was actually what the program said, it is quite absurd. Surely they were aware of the pyramids and many other structures that are much older than 1,000 years and clearly visible? At least in arid areas, ruins won't be covered by vegetation or erode for millennia.

At present, there is probably a layer of microplastic fragments deposited through all the world's oceans that most likely will still have a distinctive signature millions of years from now, even after the plastic itself degrades.
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:17 PM
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At present, there is probably a layer of microplastic fragments deposited through all the world's oceans that most likely will still have a distinctive signature millions of years from now, even after the plastic itself degrades.

Glass will be around for many millions of years, too.
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:33 PM
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To be fair, what Jasmine said or recalled from that program was that there might be no visible evidence of human existence after a thousand years. I think the idea is that things like quarries would be flooded and things aboveground would be covered by trees and other plants.
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:44 PM
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To be fair, what Jasmine said or recalled from that program was that there might be no visible evidence of human existence after a thousand years. I think the idea is that things like quarries would be flooded and things aboveground would be covered by trees and other plants.
I understand that. But even that is clearly nonsense. As I said, ruins in arid areas are still visible after millennia.
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:54 PM
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Plus, the changes in the landscape we've made for roads will be around for dozens of millennia (Roman roads are still found in many places). We've cut passages through rock, tunnels, mines (as mentioned) The bottom of many skyscraper will still be visible. assorted bridge piers, breakwaters... Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse are carved out of pretty solid rock. They aren't going anywhere. I'd be surprised if there's no trace of the Hoover dam or similar. If someone said a million years, I'd believe it - provided we were talking superficial looks, not talking about deep archaeological exploration.
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Old 08-30-2018, 02:05 PM
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Jonathan Chance has started a great thread over at IMHO about what would last millions of years. Perhaps we could get back to Gobekli Tepe?

What I thought interesting is that all those hypothesis from Archaeologists about how civilization developed are now pretty well down the drain.
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:16 PM
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Let's get one thing clear - whatever culture built Göbekli Tepe was not a civilization, and may have had little influence on the civilization that did develop in the region millennia later (or, it might, but there aren't any clear cultural traces one can point to). For now, it's basically sui generis, and while it does have a lot of interesting things to say about the development of religion and community behaviour pre-agriculture, it hasn't overthrown everything else we know about the PPNA and settlement growth. Nothing's "down the drain", that's rank hyperbole.
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:18 PM
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For what it's worth, I have no idea why the OP called me out. I don't know any more about archaeology than the next guy, and in fact this thread is the first I've heard of this particular site. I don't think that Stranger on a Train knows particularly much about the topic, either, but I can't speak for him.
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:25 PM
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Let's get one thing clear - whatever culture built Göbekli Tepe was not a civilization, and may have had little influence on the civilization that did develop in the region millennia later (or, it might, but there aren't any clear cultural traces one can point to). For now, it's basically sui generis, and while it does have a lot of interesting things to say about the development of religion and community behaviour pre-agriculture, it hasn't overthrown everything else we know about the PPNA and settlement growth. Nothing's "down the drain", that's rank hyperbole.
Not true.

wiki: Göbekli Tepe is regarded by some as an archaeological discovery of the greatest importance since it could profoundly change the understanding of a crucial stage in the development of human society. Ian Hodder of Stanford University said, "Göbekli Tepe changes everything".[2][43] If indeed the site was built by hunter-gatherers as some researchers believe then it would mean that the ability to erect monumental complexes was within the capacities of these sorts of groups which would overturn previous assumptions. Some researchers believe that the construction of Göbekli Tepe may have contributed to the later development of urban civilization. As excavator Klaus Schmidt put it: "First came the temple, then the city."[44]

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/histo...mple-83613665/

Predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years, Turkey’s stunning Gobekli Tepe upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization...
To Schmidt and others, these new findings suggest a novel theory of civilization. Scholars have long believed that only after people learned to farm and live in settled communities did they have the time, organization and resources to construct temples and support complicated social structures. But Schmidt argues it was the other way around: the extensive, coordinated effort to build the monoliths literally laid the groundwork for the development of complex societies.

The immensity of the undertaking at Gobekli Tepe reinforces that view. Schmidt says the monuments could not have been built by ragged bands of hunter-gatherers. To carve, erect and bury rings of seven-ton stone pillars would have required hundreds of workers, all needing to be fed and housed. Hence the eventual emergence of settled communities in the area around 10,000 years ago. “This shows sociocultural changes come first, agriculture comes later,” says Stanford University archaeologist Ian Hodder, who excavated Catalhoyuk, a prehistoric settlement 300 miles from Gobekli Tepe. “You can make a good case this area is the real origin of complex Neolithic societies.”


https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news...t-architecture
Göbekli Tepe was built by hunter-gatherers, apparently before the Agricultural Revolution when fully permanent settlements came into being with plant cultivation and animal herding. Rather than architecture being the product of organised societies, as has long been thought, there is new thinking that, in fact, it may have been the organisation needed to build on such a scale that helped usher in agriculture and settled society.

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Old 08-30-2018, 03:28 PM
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For what it's worth, I have no idea why the OP called me out.
Perhaps it seems appropriate, based on your name?
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:33 PM
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For what it's worth, I have no idea why the OP called me out. I don't know any more about archaeology than the next guy, and in fact this thread is the first I've heard of this particular site. I don't think that Stranger on a Train knows particularly much about the topic, either, but I can't speak for him.
You're both pretty darn strong on science and presenting facts and not opinions. That was my thought when I read the Op.
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:45 PM
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I've been fascinated by the site (which was not a city) ever since I first heard of it a few years ago, but there isn't really a heck of a lot known about it yet, and only a small percentage of it has been excavated. This is one of those cases where we are probably decades away from having a good overview. Here are two of the better articles on the site, if you haven't seen them.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:12 PM
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Of course we know so little about prehistory... One point I wonder about is about the "Venus of Willendorf". This is a small carving of limestone. The anatomically correct overall body shape details suggest it is based on real life - which means that at least some women even 30,000 years ago were eating enough to become 21st century America level of obese. Again, very different from our hunter-gatherer subsistence image.
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Old 08-31-2018, 12:21 AM
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I guess this destroys my theory that in early March of 11787 BC every human chipped their flint points into flint plowshares and planted wheat and stopped living in small tribal groups constantly moving to maintain their hunter-gatherer lifestyle. So someone will have to develop some kind new concept of humans gradually changing from nomadic hunter gatherers into civilized farmers. Or is that idea just too far out to be reasonable?
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Old 08-31-2018, 01:57 AM
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I guess this destroys my theory that in early March of 11787 BC every human chipped their flint points into flint plowshares and planted wheat and stopped living in small tribal groups constantly moving to maintain their hunter-gatherer lifestyle. So someone will have to develop some kind new concept of humans gradually changing from nomadic hunter gatherers into civilized farmers. Or is that idea just too far out to be reasonable?
A new concept has already been developed and is now widely accepted among scientists and professionals. It simply hasn't filtered through to the general public yet.

See the article I posted above.

(Skip to Part 4 of the article if you're not interested in how this relates to theories of inequality and ideas of primitive 'innocence' presented in some pop-sci bestsellers.)

Quote:
...

Before the beginning of what’s called the Upper Palaeolithic we really have no idea what most human social life was like. Much of our evidence comprises scattered fragments of worked stone, bone, and a few other durable materials. Different hominin species coexisted; it’s not clear if any ethnographic analogy might apply. Things only begin to come into any kind of focus in the Upper Palaeolithic itself, which begins around 45,000 years ago, and encompasses the peak of glaciation and global cooling (c. 20,000 years ago) known as the Last Glacial Maximum. This last great Ice Age was then followed by the onset of warmer conditions and gradual retreat of the ice sheets, leading to our current geological epoch, the Holocene. More clement conditions followed, creating the stage on which Homo sapiens – having already colonised much of the Old World – completed its march into the New, reaching the southern shores of the Americas by around 15,000 years ago.

So, what do we actually know about this period of human history? Much of the earliest substantial evidence for human social organisation in the Palaeolithic derives from Europe, where our species became established alongside Homo neanderthalensis, prior to the latter’s extinction around 40,000 BC. (The concentration of data in this part of the world most likely reflects a historical bias of archaeological investigation, rather than anything unusual about Europe itself). At that time, and through the Last Glacial Maximum, the habitable parts of Ice Age Europe looked more like Serengeti Park in Tanzania than any present-day European habitat. South of the ice sheets, between the tundra and the forested shorelines of the Mediterranean, the continent was divided into game-rich valleys and steppe, seasonally traversed by migrating herds of deer, bison, and woolly mammoth. Prehistorians have pointed out for some decades – to little apparent effect – that the human groups inhabiting these environments had nothing in common with those blissfully simple, egalitarian bands of hunter-gatherers, still routinely imagined to be our remote ancestors.

To begin with, there is the undisputed existence of rich burials, extending back in time to the depths of the Ice Age. Some of these, such as the 25,000-year-old graves from Sungir, east of Moscow, have been known for many decades and are justly famous. Felipe Fernández-Armesto, who reviewed Creation of Inequality for The Wall Street Journal, expresses his reasonable amazement at their omission: ‘Though they know that the hereditary principle predated agriculture, Mr. Flannery and Ms. Marcus cannot quite shed the Rousseauian illusion that it started with sedentary life. Therefore they depict a world without inherited power until about 15,000 B.C. while ignoring one of the most important archaeological sites for their purpose’. For dug into the permafrost beneath the Palaeolithic settlement at Sungir was the grave of a middle-aged man buried, as Fernández-Armesto observes, with ‘stunning signs of honor' ... Such findings appear to have no significant place in any of the books so far considered. Downplaying them, or reducing them to footnotes, might be more easy to forgive were Sungir an isolated find. It is not. Comparably rich burials are by now attested from Upper Palaeolithic rock shelters and open-air settlements across much of western Eurasia, from the Don to the Dordogne.

...

No less intriguing is the sporadic but compelling evidence for monumental architecture, stretching back to the Last Glacial Maximum. The idea that one could measure ‘monumentality’ in absolute terms is of course as silly as the idea of quantifying Ice Age expenditure in dollars and cents. It is a relative concept, which makes sense only within a particular scale of values and prior experiences. The Pleistocene has no direct equivalents in scale to the Pyramids of Giza or the Roman Colloseum. But it does have buildings that, by the standards of the time, could only have been considered public works, implying sophisticated design and the coordination of labour on an impressive scale.

...

Still more astonishing are the stone temples of Göbekli Tepe, ...

...

A wider look at the archaeological evidence suggests a key to resolving the dilemma. It lies in the seasonal rhythms of prehistoric social life. Most of the Palaeolithic sites discussed so far are associated with evidence for annual or biennial periods of aggregation, linked to the migrations of game herds – whether woolly mammoth, steppe bison, reindeer or (in the case of Göbekli Tepe) gazelle – as well as cyclical fish-runs and nut harvests. At less favourable times of year, at least some of our Ice Age ancestors no doubt really did live and forage in tiny bands. But there is overwhelming evidence to show that at others they congregated en masse within the kind of ‘micro-cities’ found at Dolní Věstonice, in the Moravian basin south of Brno, feasting on a super-abundance of wild resources, engaging in complex rituals, ambitious artistic enterprises, and trading minerals, marine shells, and animal pelts over striking distances. Western European equivalents of these seasonal aggregation sites would be the great rock shelters of the French Périgord and the Cantabrian coast, with their famous paintings and carvings, which similarly formed part of an annual round of congregation and dispersal.

Such seasonal patterns of social life endured, long after the ‘invention of agriculture’ is supposed to have changed everything.

...
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Old 08-31-2018, 02:47 AM
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Not true.

wiki: Ian Hodder of Stanford University said, "Göbekli Tepe changes everything".[2][43] If indeed the site was built by hunter-gatherers as some researchers believe then it would mean that the ability to erect monumental complexes was within the capacities of these sorts of groups which would overturn previous assumptions.
I've already dealt with why this is such an ignorant assumption. If that's what the "Göbekli Tepe changes everything" argument is based on, it's based on a provably invalid assumption.
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Predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years, Turkey’s stunning Gobekli Tepe upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization...
To Schmidt and others, these new findings suggest a novel theory of civilization. Scholars have long believed that only after people learned to farm and live in settled communities did they have the time, organization and resources to construct temples and support complicated social structures. But Schmidt argues it was the other way around: the extensive, coordinated effort to build the monoliths literally laid the groundwork for the development of complex societies.
I'm afraid science doesn't - or better, shouldn't - work that way.

Yes, there is now a novel theory of the rise of religion vs civilization. But Göbekli Tepe doesn't prove it. You know what would? finding more like it.

We don't know it's a temple. It could be a memorial complex to a dynasty of "Big Men", built by slaves.

And don't tell me HGs can't have slaves, or social stratification, because that's trivial to show.
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The immensity of the undertaking at Gobekli Tepe reinforces that view. Schmidt says the monuments could not have been built by ragged bands of hunter-gatherers. To carve, erect and bury rings of seven-ton stone pillars would have required hundreds of workers, all needing to be fed and housed.
Like I said before, this just displays Schmidt's ignorance of the much more complex non-agricultural societies that have existed.
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Hence the eventual emergence of settled communities in the area around 10,000 years ago. “This shows sociocultural changes come first, agriculture comes later,” says Stanford University archaeologist Ian Hodder, who excavated Catalhoyuk, a prehistoric settlement 300 miles from Gobekli Tepe. “You can make a good case this area is the real origin of complex Neolithic societies.”
Nowhere in there do I see any explanation, or even an attempt at one, for the millennia gap between Göbekli Tepe and the Anatolian city-building civilization. So if one can "make a good case", he should make it, with evidence of cultural continuity. Not just state it like it's already been done.
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https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news...t-architecture
[I]Göbekli Tepe was built by hunter-gatherers, apparently before the Agricultural Revolution when fully permanent settlements came into being with plant cultivation and animal herding. Rather than architecture being the product of organised societies, as has long been thought, there is new thinking that, in fact, it may have been the organisation needed to build on such a scale that helped usher in agriculture and settled society.
Only an archaeological ignoramus would think HGs couldn't build permanent settlements. I've already cited 3 such cultures in this thread.

Once again, let me state that I find Göbekli Tepe fascinating, and I do think it has a lot to teach us. But I find the argument that it's a "total upset of everything we know" is based on utter ignorance of other complex HG cultures, and I have no respect for that.

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Old 08-31-2018, 02:55 AM
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Nowhere in there do I see any explanation, or even an attempt at one, for the millennia gap between Göbekli Tepe and the Anatolian city-building civilization.
I just want to clarify that I mean between the founding of the one, and the founding of the other. I'm aware there's "only" a half-millennium gap between the final Göbekli Tepe infill and the founding of Çatalhöyük.
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Old 08-31-2018, 03:04 AM
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A new concept has already been developed and is now widely accepted among scientists and professionals. It simply hasn't filtered through to the general public yet.

See the article I posted above.

(Skip to Part 4 of the article if you're not interested in how this relates to theories of inequality and ideas of primitive 'innocence' presented in some pop-sci bestsellers.)
You can even see traces of this locally - Kasteelberg on the Cape West Coast has clear evidence of seasonal gatherings to feast (of seals, in this case) with continuity of locale from at least semi-sedentary HGs (as evidenced by potsherds) through to early sheep herders.

The theory there is also that the feasts themselves served as loci of attraction for population densification, and the cultural developments were a resultant. So, in a site like Göbekli Tepe, the implication is that the people were all there anyway primarily for the feasting (rather than the feasting being a byproduct of having to feed labourers who were initially there for religious reasons). Then they go bored...

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Old 08-31-2018, 03:14 AM
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Of course we know so little about prehistory... One point I wonder about is about the "Venus of Willendorf". This is a small carving of limestone. The anatomically correct overall body shape details suggest it is based on real life - which means that at least some women even 30,000 years ago were eating enough to become 21st century America level of obese. Again, very different from our hunter-gatherer subsistence image.
The Venus figurines (there are many similar ones) don't really show modern obesity. More likely a combo of pregnancy and steatopygia through a highly stylized lens.
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Old 08-31-2018, 04:34 AM
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Interesting things about Göbekli Tepe and its environments: Genetic fingerprinting of the worlds first, or one of the first, agricultural crop, Einkorn wheat has shown that it converges on a domestication point about 9500 BC. And a location within 30 km of Göbekli Tepe. A days walk. Apparently the back-fill of the Göbekli Tepe contains a lot of remains of pestle and mortars, implying large-scale consumption of plant matter.

We are getting more and more information about the mysterious Basal Eurasians from DNA these days. It appears the DNA percentage gets higher the closer old remains are to the Ur-Schatt valley (Persian Gulf today). These people seem to have stayed fairly isolated genetically until about 15 - 13 000 years ago when the DNA expands outwards. I would be totally unsurprised if we get DNA from the builders of Göbekli Tepe and it shows a higher percentage of Basal Eurasian than even the Natufians. Basal Eurasian DNA seems strongly associated with the transition to sedentary life in the Levant.
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Old 08-31-2018, 06:54 AM
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For a long time it was thought that the end of the last glaciation about 12,000-10,000BP was a "special" time. That all sorts of stuff happened around then and soon afterwards. People entered the Americas, agriculture was developed, etc.

Things like Göbekli Tepe, evidence of earlier humans in the Americas, especially early pottery finds like Jomon Pottery (c1650BP), etc. are telling a different story.

One of the things with sciences like archeology is that you tend to look where you expect to find something. The list of places to look should be expanding now as it's clear that there was a lot more going on well before the last glaciation ended.
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:49 AM
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Of course we know so little about prehistory... One point I wonder about is about the "Venus of Willendorf". This is a small carving of limestone. The anatomically correct overall body shape details suggest it is based on real life - which means that at least some women even 30,000 years ago were eating enough to become 21st century America level of obese. Again, very different from our hunter-gatherer subsistence image.
And it wasn't just a one-off--similar things were being made across Europe and Asia over a period of 25,000 years or more.

Of course, depictions of naked chicks aren't that suprising. What I find more weird is the theme of pooping animal atlatlii. (That is a great blog, BTW--well worth browsing.)
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:53 AM
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Things like Göbekli Tepe, evidence of earlier humans in the Americas, especially early pottery finds like Jomon Pottery (c1650BP), etc. are telling a different story.
You missed a zero in that date. Furthermore, that page points out that even earlier pottery was found in somewhere in China going back to 20,000 BCE or so.

I do have to wonder if Göbekli Tepe was more the result of a personality cult rather than a religion.

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Old 08-31-2018, 08:21 AM
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And it wasn't just a one-off--similar things were being made across Europe and Asia over a period of 25,000 years or more.

Of course, depictions of naked chicks aren't that suprising. What I find more weird is the theme of pooping animal atlatlii. (That is a great blog, BTW--well worth browsing.)
As I said, the thing that surprises me is that contrary to our notion of hunter-gatherers living a nomadic subsistence existence, the Venus of Willendorf (like many similar) is a relatively accurate depiction of extreme obesity; the fat rolls are very accurately depicted, suggesting the artist had at least one model to work from life - and that implies the tribe likely did not habitually migrate decent distances - I can't imagine someone looking like that and still walking several miles a day or more and doing heavy physical labour involved in food preparation from scratch. We can speculate the "how" or "why" of her appearance, but it is an interesting indication.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:21 AM
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I do have to wonder if Göbekli Tepe was more the result of a personality cult rather than a religion.
Very often the same thing.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:35 AM
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Let's get one thing clear - whatever culture built Göbekli Tepe was not a civilization
What kind of definition of "civilization" are we using here?
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:35 AM
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As I said, the thing that surprises me is that [...] the Venus of Willendorf (like many similar) is a relatively accurate depiction of extreme obesity;
Except it isn't, though. For instance, even obese people usually have feet.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:40 AM
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What kind of definition of "civilization" are we using here?
The kind that requires cities. like it says on the tin. Or the stannum, even.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:47 AM
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What definition for "city" are we using here?
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:49 AM
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Are we really playing this fucking stupid game? What definition of "definition" are you using? And of "we"? And "using"? Where's "here"?

Last edited by MrDibble; 08-31-2018 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:55 AM
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The status of whether Göbekli Tepe is a city or not is apparently important. So what do archeologists consider to be a city?

In my layman's view, a city is simply a small area where lots of people are living. Göbekli Tepe would seem to qualify, but I guess not. Please fight ignorance here.
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Old 08-31-2018, 09:10 AM
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In my layman's view, a city is simply a small area where lots of people are living.
No, a city is a large settlement where lots of people live. Size is the defining feature of a city - what contrasts the city with the town or hamlet. Even a layman should know this - even if English were not their first language - this isn't some special archaeological term. To an archaeologist, though, other characteristics can include: permanence, urban planning, sanitation, trade, social stratification, non-agricultural specialization, provision of centralized commercial, religious and political functions for a larger hinterland, etc. The list isn't exhaustive, nor is it prescriptive.
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Göbekli Tepe would seem to qualify, but I guess not. Please fight ignorance here.
For one thing, there's absolutely no sign anyone permanently lived at Göbekli Tepe - no hearths, no houses, no burials. It's not a settlement.

Last edited by MrDibble; 08-31-2018 at 09:13 AM.
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