12,000-year-old circles of limestone columns weighing from 7 to 15 tons or more have been excavated in Gobekli Tepe, Turkey, about 6 miles northeast of Urfa. Older than Egypt, Sumeria and Stonehenge, 40 standing T-shaped columns have so far been uncovered in four circles 98 feet (30 meters) in diameter.
Thanks to Ellie Miser – Laura
Gobekli Tepe: 12,000 Years Old and Rewriting Human History
“This time what came first was the temple and then the city.”
– Klaus Schmidt, Ph.D., German Archaeological Institute
12,000-year-old circles of limestone columns weighing from 7 to 15 tons or more have been excavated in Gobekli Tepe, Turkey, about 6 miles northeast of Urfa.
Older than Egypt, Sumeria and Stonehenge, 40 standing T-shaped columns have so far been uncovered in four circles 98 feet (30 meters) in diameter. To date, no metal tools have been found since meticulous digging and dating began in 1994. Only 5% of the temple complex in repeating circles has been uncovered.
Image © 2008 by Haldun Aydingun.
Ground-penetrating radar surveys indicate there might be at least 250 more standing stones in 18 still-buried circles. Finely honed reliefs and some 3-dimensional sculptures on the limestone columns depict boars, foxes, lions, birds, snakes, scorpions, vultures, reptiles, humans and other figures. Illustration © by Die Beweise.
The 12,000-year-old Gobekli Tepe temple site is 6 miles northeast
of Urfa (Sanliurfa), Turkey, populated today by at least a million people.
Top map © by Smithsonian. Bottom map © by SaudiAramcoWorld.
One of the Gobekli Tepe mysteries is why was the temple site completely buried about
1,500 years after it was constructed? That dirt cover-up for more than 10,000 years has preserved the finely carved relief and sculpture on the columns ranging in height and weight from 7 to 15 tons or more. Image © 2010 by John Anthony West and Robert Schoch, Ph.D.
Back left column: A fox-like animal carved in limestone relief between long,
human-like arms. Image © 2010 by John Anthony West and Robert Schoch, Ph.D.
Above and below: long arms extend to fingers holding on to the large T-shaped column
above a band of symbols. Image © 2010 by John Anthony West and Robert Schoch, Ph.D.
October 1, 2010 Saugerties, New York – In the 1960s, the Alsatian mathematician, orientalist, scholar and alchemist, R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz noted that Great sphinx of Giza showed “unmistakable signs of aquatic erosion” and therefore had to be many thousands of years older than the 2500 BCE date conventionally assigned to it. The water erosion possibility caught the attention of independent Egyptologist John Anthony West, author of the 1979 book, Serpent in the Sky: The High Wisdom of Ancient Egypt. West suggested that the weathering was caused by water during the transition from the last ice age, perhaps even as long ago as 10,000 B. C., or 12,000 years ago, a time before the Sahara became the arid desert it is today.
In 1989, John West invited Yale-educated geologist Robert Schoch, Ph.D., then teaching at Boston University, to travel to Egypt with him to examine the Sphinx. The exposed surface rock with its deep fissuring and rounded profiles indicated to Dr. Schoch that the Sphinx could not have weathered to its present condition by rainfall in the five thousand years assigned to it. At the time, there was no known civilization that could push the timeline back to perhaps 12,000 years ago or even more in John Anthony West’s opinion.
Robert Schoch, Ph.D., Prof. of Geology, Boston University
after Ph.D. work at Yale University. Dr. Schoch has traveled with
Egyptologist John Anthony West to Egypt to study the weathering
on the Sphinx and concluded it was water weathering and
older than 5,000 years. Image courtesy Robert Schoch.
Now comes an astounding discovery of huge limestone columns erected in a series of circles in southeastern Turkey that date to 12,000 years ago. In 1994, German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt, Ph.D., from the University of Heidelberg and the German Archaeological Institute, began to slowly and carefully excavate a large, hilltop site called Gobekli Tepe about six miles northeast of Urfa, Turkey. Older than Egypt, Sumeria and Stonehenge, forty standing, T-shaped limestone columns have so far been uncovered in four circles 98 feet (30 meters) in diameter.
Ground-penetrating radar surveys indicate there might be at least 250 more standing stones in eighteen still-buried circles. Finely honed reliefs and some 3-dimensional sculptures on the limestone columns depict boars, foxes, lions, birds, snakes, scorpions, vultures, reptiles, humans and other odd figures and symbols. German archaeologist Schmidt says he has no idea what the reliefs and 3-dimensional carvings mean. And to date, no metal tools have been found since the meticulous digging and dating began in 1994. Today, only 5% of the temple complex of repeating stone circles has been uncovered.
Adding to the mystery of who built Gobekli Tepe? And why? is the revelation that 10,800 years ago, the entire Gobekli site was buried. How long would that have taken? Did the makers have knowledge of impending danger? The effort needed to erect the many large stone circles 12,000 years ago and then fifteen hundred years later have the entire temple site buried is incomprehensible.
But whether or not we ever learn who built Gobekli Tepe and why, the carbon dating at 12,000 years ago gives new life to the theory of John Anthony West and geologist Dr. Robert Schoch that the Egyptian sphinx is at least that old as well. In May 2010, John Anthony West and Robert Schoch traveled to Gobekli Tepe to see for themselves the extraordinary temple site in southeastern Turkey that John says is the smoking gun after their twenty years of trying to show that the water erosion on the Sphinx means that stone sculpture is much older than originally thought.
John Anthony West in Cairo, Egypt, with mysterious Sphinx in background
that might be as old as Gobekli Tepe in Turkey. Image courtesy John Anthony West.
John Anthony West, Executive Editor, Trends Journal; Director of the Ancient Wisdom Foundation and author of Serpent in the Sky, Saugerties, New York: “Gobekli Tepe is the smoking gun. There is no way around that. And even though we still can’t date the sphinx, the water weathering now stands on its own. They no longer can say, ‘Where are the potsherds?’ [ Broken pieces of ceramic material at archaeological sites.] Because we don’t need a potsherd. We’ve got a whole gigantic, ceremonial site with carved reliefs!
We were pretty sure having watched the way that [ German archaeologist Dr. Klaus ] Schmidt worked and having read what methods he was using to date the stones that he was not leaving anything out.
But nevertheless, until you go there, you don’t know for yourself. But after a week, we became absolutely 100% convinced that Schmidt knew exactly what he was talking about, and the fact that his fellow academics were not challenging him was maybe even more convincing than the evidence itself because this upsets their whole paradigm and this upsets the applecart!
You bet that even if they (academics) had a chink in Schmidt’s armor, they would be pushing battering rams through it trying to explode the theory. So, even though it’s not in Egypt, it’s not that far from Egypt. And recently, there was a big article about how trade routes were found between eastern Syria and Egypt. The mere fact that nobody knew before that as early as this was – I think Middle Kingdom – that there was regular trade going on between Syria and Egypt. I mean if you could get to Syria, you could get to Turkey!
What they (Schmidt) have found so far are four closely packed stone circles rather like Stonehenges. These consist of two central pillars – massive central pillars between 10 and 15 tons each – surrounded within a set of two concentric circles of smaller pillars. And the pillars themselves – 10 to 15 tons – you know, without equipment, this is a pretty big chunk of stone to bring up the hill. The quarry was half a mile away down hill to get them there. And then, even more amazing than that are the carvings, which are – they look a bit Mayan and almost Easter Islandy and a bit Egyptian – pre-dynastic Egyptian.
The best (stones) are absolutely spectacular! And they are raised relief, which is the most difficult kind of sculpture to do. That means that somebody draws the lion, or the crane, or the fox, or the wild boar on the stone and then somehow or another they cut away the surface of the stone so that the relief seems to be jumping out from the stone rather than being cut into the stone.
Now these things are done on 10 to 15 ton blocks without any metal, as far as anybody knows, without any tools! We don’t know. We know that they’ve found at least 18 other sites. Now whether or not all of those sites are more stone circles, I don’t know.
What Drilled Holes in Hard Stone Beads?
There are other serious mysteries. There is a little black bead and it’s a very hard stone – kind of a basalt-like or a very hard shale or something – a really hard little stone that is maybe an inch square and maybe a quarter of an inch thick. And it has a hole – a perfect hole – drilled lengthwise through the quarter-inch thickness. Now, how the hell without any metal you drill the bead of a necklace – a perfect hole through a piece of hard stone without any metal whatsoever as far as we know …
TWELVE THOUSAND YEARS AGO.
Twelve thousand years ago!
Above and below: Robert Schoch, Ph.D., Professor of Geology, Boston University,
holding one of the hard stone beads drilled with a perfect hole at Gobekli Tepe temple site in southeastern Turkey dating back 12,000 years ago. Image © 2010 by Katie Shoch.
Is Gobekli Tepe An Astronomical Monitor?
So, this is a big mystery, but we think – Schock and myself – that these reliefs, which are mainly animals and insects and snakes and scorpions and some of them are anthropomorphic human figures as well. And we think these are probably astronomical, astrological, cosmological. They didn’t go to this trouble to put 10 and 15 ton blocks of stone in the middle of a stone circle and carve them with animals. It has to be something consequential! The energy that goes into this is mind boggling!
IF I UNDERSTAND CORRECTLY WHAT YOU AND ROBERT SCHOCH TALKED ABOUT TOGETHER WHEN YOU WERE TOGETHER AT GOBEKLI TEPE THIS YEAR – IF IT WERE COMPLETELY EXCAVATED AND WE COULD SEE ALL OF THE CIRCLES, YOU ARE HYPOTHESIZING THAT POSSIBLY EACH CIRCLE IS MONITORING AND KEEPING TRACK OF A DIFFERENT PIECE OF ASTRONOMY?
Well, maybe. I mean look – this is a total mystery!
WELL, JOHN, IAN HOLDER AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY – HE IS A PROFESSOR OF ANTHROPOLOGY THERE – HE SAYS, ‘EVERYBODY USED TO THINK ONLY COMPLEX HIERARCHICAL CIVILIZATIONS COULD BUILD SUCH MONUMENTAL SITES AND THAT THEY ONLY CAME ABOUT WITH THE INVENTION OF AGRICULTURE. GOBEKLI CHANGES EVERYTHING! IT IS ELABORATE. IT IS COMPLEX AND IT IS PRE-AGRICULTURAL. THAT ALONE MAKES THIS SITE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDS IN A VERY LONG TIME.’
AND DR. SCHMIDT GOES FURTHER: ‘THIS TIME WHAT CAME FIRST WAS THE TEMPLE AND THEN THE CITY.’
That’s right, yeah. They had a mind set – or a heart set, you might say – so different from our own that we wouldn’t dream of trying to make a Gobekli Tepe. We can fly to the moon, but nobody would sit down and try without any kind of tools that we know of – lug 15-ton blocks up a hill to build a stone circle. What for?
I mean, they have some very good reason for doing this. We just don’t know what it is and we might never know.
I’M CURIOUS WHAT IT FELT LIKE TO TOUCH THE REMARKABLE RELIEFS THAT WE ARE SEEING IN THESE PHOTOGRAPHS?
Oh, yeah, well it’s limestone. But because it was buried for the last 10,000 years, it’s really practically perfect. I mean, there is hardly anything in Egypt that is as perfect as that and as un-weathered. The pillars with the reliefs on them – you can run your fingers over them. You have the sense of tremendous antiquity of it. You know you are in a holy place. They are building according to the principles of sacred geometry and that resonates.
You know, it’s the difference between a Beethoven quartet and gangster rap. How do you know? Because it’s music – it’s stone music and it resonates! Goethe’s great line: ‘Architecture is frozen music.’
WHEN YOU HAVE STOOD NOW IN GOBEKLI TEPE, WHAT IS YOUR MIND’S COMPARISON TO THE SOPHISTICATION OF WHAT YOU ARE SEEING THERE IN TURKEY VERSUS WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN IN EGYPT?
Well, that’s a good question. This relief work varies a lot from circle to circle and even within a stone circle some of the reliefs are quite simple. But some of them are exquisitely detailed, and they have a kind of whiff of Mayan sort of. There is one – Schmidt says it’s a lion. We’re not so sure it’s a lion, but it’s a feline of some sort – maybe a mountain lion or something like that. It seems to be practically jumping out of the stone. It’s not quite like anything. It’s reminiscent a little bit of Egypt. It’s an extremely high level! I mean, if it were in Egypt – you know, if they found this in Egypt, the academics would not consider it a stretch to say this is a forerunner of what pops up in Egypt later on. It’s enough like it. You know, it doesn’t look Chinese. It’s really powerful! (laughs) Who knows what it will look like if they ever eventually get it fully excavated and cleaned out and opened to the public?
I would think it would have the kind of emotional impact that a Stonehenge has, or that Egypt has. It’s completely different.”
Each of the 12,000-year-old T-shaped columns of limestone weighs 10 to 15 tons.
This creature is finely carved in three dimensions. Image © 2009 by Ergun Cagatay.
Limestone reliefs of ostrich-like birds. Image © 2009 by Ergun Cagatay.
A long human arm with curving hand at the back of the animal,
both carved in limestone relief. Image © 2009 by Ergun Cagatay.
This highly strange column includes carved limestone reliefs of a scorpion near
bottom and possibly a vulture with wings outstretched. The round object might depict
a human heart to be eaten by the vulture in a “sky burial” in which a dead human
body is consumed by vultures and “recycled” in the cosmos.
Image © 2009 by Ergun Cagatay
Another 3-dimensional sculpture of what Klaus Schmidt, Ph.D.,
describes as a reptile. Image © 2009 by Ergun Cagatay.
For further related information about ancient archaeology sites,
please see other Earthfiles reports below from the Archive:
• 07/29/2006 — New Hampshire’s “Mystery Stone”
• 07/07/2006 — Noah’s Ark Atop Takht-e-Soleiman Peak in Iran?
• 12/09/2005 — Mystery of “Footprints” in 1.3 Million-Year-Old Mexico Volcanic Rock
• 12/31/2004 — Abrupt Climate Change Occurred Worldwide 5,200 Years Ago
• 12/09/2005 — Mystery of “Footprints” in 1.3 Million-Year-Old Mexico Volcanic Rock
• 11/02/2002 — Update on 6,500-Year-Old Astronomical Stone Circle and Megaliths in Nabta, Egypt
• 10/19/2002 — Shifting Time Lines and Earth’s Destiny?
• 10/12/2002 — Could Cheops Pyramid’s Small Channels and “Doors” Be Resonators or Antennae?
• 04/23/2002 — John Anthony West Organizing New Effort to Date Weathering of Sphinx and Red Pyramid Chamber
• 12/01/2001 — 1200 B. C. – What Caused Earthquake Storms, Global Drought and End of Bronze Age?
• 11/19/2001 — Update on Underwater Megalithic Structures near Western Cuba
• 05/05/2001 — Archaeologists Find Central Asia Civilization As Old As Sumeria
• 11/19/2000 — Great Pyramid At Giza – Star Alignment Might Determine Age
• 09/17/2000 — Evidence of 7000 Year Old Flood and Human Habitation Discovered Beneath Black Sea
• 05/28/2000 — Hamoukar, Syria – A City Older Than 6000 Years?
Gobekli Tepe Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Göbekli_Tepe
John Anthony West: http://www.jawphoenixfire.blogspot.com/
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Science/Environment Reporter and Editor