JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Rewriting the dawn of civilization

If National Geographic had more stories like this one, I’d be inclined to subscribe. This is fascinating stuff.

Seven thousand years before Stonehenge was Göbekli Tepe in southern Turkey, where you’ll find ring upon ring of T-shaped stone towers arranged  in a circle. Around 11,600 B.C. hundreds of people gathered on this mound, year after year, possibly for centuries.

There are plenty of mysteries on this hill.  Some of the rocks weigh 16 tons, but archaeologists can find no homes, no hearths, no water source, and no sign of a town or village to support the hundreds of workers who built the rings of towers. The people apparently, unthinkably really, were nomadic, as far as we know, they had no wheels, and no beasts of burden. True hunter gatherers, whose first heavy building project was not a home to fend off the elements, but a religious sacred site.

Perhaps we should not be so surprised, after all, we know the pyramids, the largest and oldest surviving buildings didn’t house people or grain either –  the only humans they keep warm were dead ones. In a sense, the theme repeats. It takes extraordinary expertise and effort to move tons of rock, especially if you don’t have a trolley, let alone a crane, yet seemingly the first priority for our ancestors was not food or shelter, but just some respite from daily overbearing fears. Could it be some other reason than fear like the “spectacle” or festival (mentioned in the article) or the ever reliable search for status? Maybe, but it’s hard to believe these circles could be about power trips or parties if the there is no permanent settlement to reward the hierarchy.

Hat tip to GWPF which linked to the story: “All You Know About The ‘Neolithic Revolution’ May Be Wrong”

Gobekli_Tepe 1

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 The Birth of Religion at National Geographic.

Here are a few selected paragraphs:

Göbekli Tepe was built much earlier [than Stonehenge] and is made not from roughly hewn blocks but from cleanly carved limestone pillars splashed with bas-reliefs of animals—a cavalcade of gazelles, snakes, foxes, scorpions, and ferocious wild boars. The assemblage was built some 11,600 years ago, seven millennia before the Great Pyramid of Giza. It contains the oldest known temple. Indeed, Göbekli Tepe is the oldest known example of monumental architecture—the first structure human beings put together that was bigger and more complicated than a hut. When these pillars were erected, so far as we know, nothing of comparable scale existed in the world.

“Within minutes of getting there,” Schmidt says, he realized that he was looking at a place where scores or even hundreds of people had worked in millennia past. The limestone slabs were not Byzantine graves but something much older.

Inches below the surface the team struck an elaborately fashioned stone. Then another, and another—a ring of standing pillars. As the months and years went by, Schmidt’s team, a shifting crew of German and Turkish graduate students and 50 or more local villagers, found a second circle of stones, then a third, and then more. Geomagnetic surveys in 2003 revealed at least 20 rings piled together, higgledy-piggledy, under the earth.

Puzzle piled upon puzzle as the excavation continued. For reasons yet unknown, the rings at Göbekli Tepe seem to have regularly lost their power, or at least their charm. Every few decades people buried the pillars and put up new stones—a second, smaller ring, inside the first. Sometimes, later, they installed a third. Then the whole assemblage would be filled in with debris, and an entirely new circle created nearby. The site may have been built, filled in, and built again for centuries.

“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.”

Gobekli_Tepe 1

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Discovering that hunter-gatherers had constructed Göbekli Tepe was like finding that someone had built a 747 in a basement with an X-Acto knife. “I, my colleagues, we all thought, What? How?” Schmidt said. Paradoxically, Göbekli Tepe appeared to be both a harbinger of the civilized world that was to come and the last, greatest emblem of a nomadic past that was already disappearing. The accomplishment was astonishing, but it was hard to understand how it had been done or what it meant. “In 10 or 15 years,” Schmidt predicts, “Göbekli Tepe will be more famous than Stonehenge. And for good reason.”

I can’t say I’m totally convinced of the whole these, perhaps the wooden huts blew away or are buried under the hill next-door. But certainly the old neat theory is dead. It was thought that the Neolithic revolution began with farming. To manage the farms, people needed permanent housing. To manage the stores of grain, they needed a stable society. But some settlements have been discovered from as far back as 13,000 B.C. (around where Palestinians, Lebanese, and Israelis reside). So another theory suggests villages came first, then farming and religion.

Göbekli Tepe, to Schmidt’s way of thinking, suggests a reversal of that scenario: The construction of a massive temple by a group of foragers is evidence that organized religion could have come before the rise of agriculture and other aspects of civilization. It suggests that the human impulse to gather for sacred rituals arose as humans shifted from seeing themselves as part of the natural world to seeking mastery over it.

I’m not too sold on theories of humans “shifting” to seek mastery and what not either (what human didn’t want mastery over cold, hunger and disease?) So I think the motivating force is straight out fear. The sentient empathetic intelligent soul needs a salve for all the pain that would have been a regular part of Paleolithic life.

Was Göbekli Tepe the cradle of civilization?

Today the closest known wild ancestors of modern einkorn wheat are found on the slopes of Karaca Dağ, a mountain just 60 miles northeast of Göbekli Tepe. In other words, the turn to agriculture celebrated by V. Gordon Childe may have been the result of a need that runs deep in the human psyche, a hunger that still moves people today to travel the globe in search of awe-inspiring sights.

 The photo gallery is true Nat Geo quality.

It’s worth a look (these photos here are not from Nat Geographic).

Gobekli_Tepe 1

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Read the whole story:  The Birth of Religion at National Geographic.

Images:

1.  Teomancimit : Gobekli Tepe, Urfa

2. Erkcan: The sculpture of an animal at Gobekli Tepe, close to Sanliurfa.

3. Teomancimit: Göbekli Tepe, Şanlıurfa

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132 comments to Rewriting the dawn of civilization

  • #
    Gilbert Dupuis

    I think the date in your text is not correct. In the quotation, it is mentionned 11,600 years old (it means before present). Your text says 11,600 years before Christ (BC) wich is rougly 13,600 years old (before present).

    Chelsea, Qc, Canada

    —————————–
    REPLY: Not sure what you mean Gilbert – I can’t see a reference to 11,600 years ago.
    Have I missed that? I’ve said B.C. in the first para… Thanks, Jo


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      Thanks, JoNova, for bringing this report to our attention with the intriguing suggestion:
      “. . . the urge to worship sparked civilization.”

      Perhaps the need to understand the Great Reality that surrounds and sustains us “sparked civilization” and worship followed from realization that the Great Reality is benevolent and in total control?

      As written in an ancient verse: “Be still and know that I am God.”

      By benevolent, I mean that life itself is dynamic and a natural part of this dynamic universe:

      http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0407/feature1/index.html

      http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/opo9623a/

      http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/opo9409a/

      The Great Reality can be accessed by experimentation, observation, contemplation, meditation and prayer – [in reverse historical order]. These diverse methods would have led to the same conclusion if a key ingredient had been retained as science and civilization “advanced” – Humility.

      Conclusion: “Fear not! The universe is in good hands!”

      http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/No_Fear.pdf

      Recent events suggest that the “fall of civilization” may have been sparked by another quality – Arrogance – that is now prominent in leaders of nations and modern science who claim complete knowledge of the Sun and their ability to control Earth’s climate.

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo


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      DaninVan

      In the interest of accuracy, may I suggest that you (Jo)may want to edit the date issue?
      As it appears in JoNova’s quoted text, and elsewhere…”Göbekli Tepe was built much earlier [than Stonehenge] and is made not from roughly hewn blocks but from cleanly carved limestone pillars splashed with bas-reliefs of animals—a cavalcade of gazelles, snakes, foxes, scorpions, and ferocious wild boars. The assemblage was built some 11,600 years ago, seven millennia before the Great Pyramid of Giza.”

      I understand that as meaning prior to 2011+/-, not BC, but BP.
      Cheers, And a Happy and Prosperous New Year to all!
      -Dan
      B.C., Canada (in this case the BC part is accurate… ;) )


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      • #
        Cliff Maurer

        The date used in the second paragraph of the introduction appears incorrect: “Around 11,600 B.C. hundreds of people gathered on this mound”. Radiometric dating suggests the earliest human activity at Göbekli Tepe was around 12,000 years ago and the first megaliths were believed to have been created about 400 years later. There is no evidence that people gathered around the hill earlier than 10,000 B.C.


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    Otter

    This one’s a Keeper!
    The excavation of Troy shows seven cities, more or less piled on top of each other, so this is not surprising.
    I also won’t be surprised if claims are made that these are somehow ‘islamic.’


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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    They would have to be tool makers to carve those stones and move them. If they could do that they surely could provide for food and water.

    This is another amazing find from our past.


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      cementafriend

      The stone is limestone from the local area. Limestone is relatively soft (hardness around 4 on the Mohs scale-diamond is a hardness of 10)and can easily be carved by flint and quartz stone tools.


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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        cementafriend,

        I agree. But then there’s the problem of moving them. Even over a short distance that’s quite a challenge. How did they do it?


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          cementafriend

          Roy, They probably moved and erected the stones in a similar fashion to the statues on Easter Island (look at the demonstration of erection in Thor Heyerdahl’s book). The pictures of Göbekli Tepe indicated that the buildings probably had a roof (skins, bark or thatch?)with wooden structure. Back in 10,000BC the climate was different- less dry, more trees and more pleasant in that part of Turkey.


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      Bone idle

      What’s not covered in the Nat Geo article is the fact that there are many precision carved stones and animal bas-reliefs. Ancient flint and stone tools?

      I came across Göbekli Tepe via other internet sources which are not tied to Nat Geo. You can do a bit of searching and find extra information.

      Hunter/Gatherers ….Yeah Right.

      You only need to be a civil engineer and look at some of these ancient edifices and note that there are some very serious high level mathematics involved in the constructions.


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  • #
    Jon

    In the very old days each one had their own God.

    Maybee the basis for the sivilization was getting individuals to favor a collective God instead?

    Then one can get them to build cities and tax their wealth back to the individuals stone age ?


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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    When I was at school (pre-computers, but post-quills) we were taught that civilisation started in the fertile crescent at the eastern end of the Mediterranean. The syllabus then went on to wax lyrical about Greece, and Grecian art and architecture and philosophy, and somewhere in all that discussion, Turkey just dropped out of the picture.

    A spectacular mistake, it would seem.

    I just wonder how long it will take before somebody tries to connect Göbekli Tepe with the biblical description of the Tower of Babel?


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    • #
      Aussie

      When I first did ancient history at school, the beginning was the Sumerian civilization which is between the Tigris and the Euphrates in Iraq!!

      Genesis tells us that Abraham was from Ur which was in Sumeria. He moved towards what was then known as Israel. Abraham also turned up in Egypt.

      Other than that we followed the same path – Sumeria, Greece, Rome – which is the order for the coming to prominence of each of those civilizations.

      It is from Homer that we got a little bit of an insight on Turkey, since Helen of Troy came from Turkey, on the other side of the Hellespont!! :)


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      • #
        cementafriend

        Sorry Aussie, Ur was much later around 2000BC. Did not a Pope proclaim that the world started around 4000BC because that was the limit of knowledge about the Jews and and the old testament.
        The remarkable paintings in caves in France and Spain (showing bufflos, deer etc) have been dated to around 26,000BC. This occured after the Aurignacion Culure dated to 40,000-30,000BC who developed pottery figurines. This http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurignacian gives some idea of the spread of these people. That is where European civilisation started.


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        • #
          jorgekafkazar

          It was a Protestant (Church of Ireland) Archbishop, James Ussher, who claimed the first dawn was 23 October, 4004 BC. He was a widely respected scholar and rabid anti-Papist.


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            Philip Dowling

            I am fairly well informed Catholic and have never seen nor heard a specific figure such as 4004BC for the date of the world’s creation.
            No priest has ever mentioned it in a sermon. Further most informed Catholics understand that there are two creation stories in Genesis from different traditions, which are partly contradictory.


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            Steve Garcia

            Philip Dowling, You show that the Catholic Church ignores anything that the Protestants do, and that seems about par for the course. But the Bishop Ussher thing has been out there a LONG time.

            From Wikipedia:

            James Ussher (sometimes spelled Usher, 4 January 1581 – 21 March 1656) was Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland between 1625–56. He was a prolific scholar, who most famously published a chronology that purported to establish the time and date of the creation as the night preceding Sunday, 23 October 4004 BC, according to the proleptic Julian calendar.

            As Bishop of All Ireland, he wasn’t just some country bumpkin (no matter what the Brits might say).

            The funny thing is that he was taking himself seriously when he undertook that calculation.


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            Steve Garcia

            jorgekafkazar -

            Since you brought in Christianity, you might like to know that the nearest town (15km) to Gobleki Tepe is present-day Şanlıurfa, Turkey. Its former name was Edessa.

            As Edessa, it was from about 550AD to 944AD the home to a Shroud that is by many accounts said to be the Shroud of Turin. That is a common belief, but I believe the two are different.


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        Steve Garcia

        Aussie,

        Iraq as we know it was created by the Brits at the end of WWI. Prior to that much of the entire middle east was the Empire ruled by the Ottoman Turks, which got it in round about fashion from the Seljuk Turks, on back into history.

        What we call Turkey now and what was Turkey in the past are not the same things.

        Gobleki Tepe is DEFINITELY within the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. That it is not in present-day Iraq means nothing. It is all the same region, no matter the present borders. It seems the most natural thing in the world that Gobleki Tepe is up river from Sumeria.


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  • #
    Siliggy

    Is it possible that modern ignorance of natural cycles and the astonomical relationships to climate change is not a problem that these ancient people share with us. Perhaps we should shelve the modern silliy Gaia worship and similar superstitions, sit down shut up and pay attention to the wisdom of older and smarter people that the astronomical alignments of these circles could teach us. It may also be good to figure out why these calendars needed to be recalibrated.
    http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/stonecircles.htm
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eUibFQKJqI


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    • #

      The pendulum method for creating the megalithic yard is explained in Appendix one of Knight and Butlers book, Who Built The Moon.


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    • #
      Lawrie

      Siliggi,

      I cancelled my subscription to Nat Geo after 45 years because of it’s pro AGW bias. I however enjoyed many of it’s articles and the photography was always superb.

      Is it possible that the “nomads” returned only on those occasions when climate made that area more habitable? It sounds like there was some sort of cycle going on. The inscriptions may not have been religious in nature but a record of the game/food sources available. It could be a first attempt at conveying messages in writing; letting the next group know what was happening. Speculation on my part of course but then I am never surprised at the ingenuity of the human race. These people would be well aware of the various cycles in season, weather and climate because such knowledge was indispensible for their survival. Unlike Hansen, Jones and Co these people were attuned to nature and had learnt to adapt.


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  • #
    Adam Gallon

    Calendars became necessary when agriculture started, knowing when to sow your crops was a must.
    The Egyptians used the helical rising of Sirius to predict when the Nile would flood.
    The neolithic monuments in Britain (Stonehenge being one of the largest & best preserved), have been known for centuries, to have astronomical alignments. However, the current “use” of them, by “Druids” have got things arse-about. They gather to see midsummer sunrise, the builders were more likely to have been more interested in midwinter solstice, showing that the long winter nights were at their longest and the sun would now start to return, bringing spring with it.
    For nomadic people, having somewhere to meet, so exchange of both goods & people would be essential. Goods to trade & people for marriage, to prevent inbreeding.
    These monuments could thus serve multiple purposes and these purposes could change over the decades and centuries.
    Further, more recent, signs of early settlements are to be found at Çatalhöyük in Turkey too.


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    KinkyKeith

    Yes, this is a great story.

    One interesting feature is that in going back 11,000 years we were probably looking at a period when ocean levels were approximately 100 metres lower than now and so still awaiting the Noah flood to come along.

    The world was about to change.

    It is still changing and will continue to change as the Earth cools and shrinks.


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    cohenite

    Humans are conscious, self-aware organisms; they are also physically weak and, before they used their extra large brains and technological capacity to mitigate the oppression of ‘nature’, must have lived in constant fear of their environment. A crucial way of coping with this awareness of danger and personal and group mortality was the ‘godspot’:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/belief-and-the-brains-god-spot-1641022.html

    It is ironic that this essential survival characteristic which enabled humanity to get through the terrible early days of humanity’s beginning should now be resonsible for some of the main threats to humanity’s continued survival and evolution; that is, fundamental religion and religious terrorism and the religion of AGW.


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  • #
    Nick

    am I allowed to say just “Wow”! ?


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  • #
    janama

    The Bunjalung Nation of Northern NSW has a dreamtime story of them arriving via the sea 12,000 years ago from the land “at the centre of the world” when a massive catastrophe destroyed it. They arrived at Goanna Point just south of Evans Head.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundjalung_Nation_Timeline


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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Hi Janama

      It’s really great to hear corroboration of Dream-time Stories by the geologic sea level record.

      If you check out Google earth sea levels up between New Guinea and Australia you can see why it was possible to cross on foot at that time when sea levels were 100 m lower.

      :)


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      Bob Campbell

      I had a look and it doesn’t really say they arrived by sea.


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      • #
        janama

        yes it does:

        Goanna Headland is also significant as the site where the ancestors of the Bundjalung people arrived by sea and populated the surrounding country. This event is related through the legend of “The Three Brothers (Bundjalung Nation) “.


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          Bob Campbell

          You are quite right janama it does say that. My apologies and it will teach me to read more carefully in the future.
          At the risk of you thinking I’m bactracking and changing tack we have to keep in mind that a People’s myth of their origins and history have to be approached carefully as they are all a bit like an autobiography today where invariably they paint the authour in a good light.
          I could offer some modern examples where recent changes have led to some tribal people changing their history to have it that it was always thus. But by the time I dug this detail up this caravan would have moved on.
          I could also ask if you know when this Bunjalung story was first recorded but I don’t.
          I just repeat they all have to be approached carefully.


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          • #
            KinkyKeith

            Bob C

            I just jumped in boots and all because I had been aware of migrations from the North and that the lower water levels made them entirely possible by foot.

            Did not consider the location of Evans Head which is long way down from PNG.


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          • #
            Philip Dowling

            The anthropology I learned at University apparently doesn’t apply to Australian aborigines. In other countries, oral myths are subjected to investigation. In Australia, they are all too often taken at face value, sometimes as the result of a single person’s investigation.
            Many dream time stories are only discovered after valuable mineral deposits are discovered.
            This phenomenon has never been critically investigated.
            The secret women’s business in SA illustrates my point. Robert Tickner was bluffed by a few activists.


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    spangled drongo

    . “Twenty years ago everyone believed civilization was driven by ecological forces,” Schmidt says. “I think what we are learning is that civilization is a product of the human mind.”

    Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. [as one says to the bus driver]


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    crosspatch

    It stands to reason that the various clans of a culture might gather annually. We see evidence of that behavior in the US where various clans of the Paiute tribe would gather in what is now Yosemite Park each summer. There is actually a biological reason for that. It gives groups a chance to exchange DNA. It might have been a way for boys and girls coming of age to meet each other if they are members of separate bands of the same overall tribe.

    It could also be that this location would have been in the migration route of certain animals and was a good hunting location when that herd passed through. Much of what is now Southern Turkey, Iraq, and Syria that is now desert would have been woodland forest at that time (oaks, mostly) that lasted up until about the end of the Bronze Age. (RE: Vegetation development in the Middle Euphrates and Upper Jazirah (Syria/Turkey) during the Bronze Age — Deckers, Pressin 2010). At some point in the year it might have been a natural place where the various nomadic tribes that followed herds of migrating animals might have come together. It isn’t unusual to have seen these annual clustering of peoples even in North American tribes.

    I would say this event could have even served both purposes. It could have been a natural gathering for purposes of hunting AND a chance to exchange DNA. If so, it would be natural for it to have evolved into a major ritual over time. It could have been what would have been for those people what amounts to a massive Roman orgy of plenty of food, fertility rituals, sex, and a general good time for all involved.

    In other words, I’m not surprised and this sort of behavior was probably quite common though other cultures may not have made a permanent mark on the locations where these events occurred though the use of stones. I would further speculate that a reason for filling these in and starting a new one might be the end of the reign of some overall leader among them or a change in power from one family to another. A new “king” from the same family might cause a new circle to be built inside the exiting one. A king from a new family might result in the start of a new circle.


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      janama

      Daisy Bates in “The Last of the Aboriginals” tells of how the Aboriginals used to meet on the shores of Lake Eyre for similar exchange of goods and DNA. It explains how shells from Cape York were found in SW Western Australia.

      12,000 years ago I understood the land went out another 200km to the edge of the coastal shelf when sea levels were much lower.


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        John Brookes

        Yes, and conversely, you’ll find shells way inland too, from when sea levels were much higher.


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          MaxL

          Oh good, so there’s no problem with sea levels naturally, being much lower or much higher than now?


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          Eddy Aruda

          Good point about sea levels. Did you know that during the previous five interglacials temperatures were much warmer than the current Holocene interglacial? Also, sea levels were higher. Yet, there was no statistical difference in the level of CO2 in the atmosphere.

          Gee f#%@$#% wiz, John, how does the religion of the Jolly Green Gaia explain away that little inconvenient fact?! I’d say lets ask Jimbo Hansen but he would probably blame it on Mt. Pinatubo. True, the time line is way off but since he believes that the mountain’s eruption over 20 years ago caused the current “lack of warming” then who on God’s “green earth” would put stock in anything Jimbo says? Did your mom ever ask you, “Now Johnny B., If Jimbo jumps off a cliff are you going to, as well?”. Don’t worry, John, the fall won’t kill you! Unfortunately, the sudden stop will! I admire you for your green religious faith.

          Will you face your green martyrdom with the same zeal you have always demonstrated on this site in regards to your unswerving fath in the green magisterium’s unfalsifiability infallibility?

          Repent, Johnny, embrace the scientific method and have a change of heart and Jo shalt heal thou! ;)


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            John Brookes

            What is your point Eddy?


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            Eddy Aruda

            My point, John, is that your belief in global warming is based on religion, not science! If it were science they would have told the world that they have no proof and that the hypothesis has been falsified.

            The CAGW’s arch deacon Jim Hansen’s prophecies have all failed. Maybe you should pray for Jimbo the next time you are on your hands and knees worshipping Gaia!


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      • #
        Helen Armstrong

        Yes Janama, it is how artifactzs were exchanged in times when the season permitted. There was supposedly (according to local aboriginies) a trade route that went through the property I grew up on, South of Alice Springs and right on down to SA. It was only used when there were good rains.


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      • #
        Jazza

        Oh, wow!
        Climate change without naughty fossil fuels and bad men?


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        KinkyKeith

        Hi Janama,

        At that time there were some areas of the coast that went out 200 kms but most of the East coast could not have gone much more than 50 kms and most would have been about 30kms.

        Locally, in Newcastle, the drop point is only about 30 km out and after that it gets very deep very quick.

        12,000 years ago the local Aborigines would have been about 28 km offshore.

        During a very rapid period of sea level change lasting about 5,000 years, from that point, they would have started to move towards the current coast and inhabited the area we now know as the coast. Some small fluctuations of 1.5 metres up or down, over the most recent 7,000 years, wouldn’t have made much impact.

        :)


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      Winston

      And what is now the Dardenelles, a 50 to 100 meters deep narrow strait, may well have been a fertile river valley where at least some of the tribal villages may have been found when sea levels were dramatically lower. Note, that the topography of Troy dating back only a few millennia was markedly different with the port now found under 50 ft of water at the entrance to the strait. Imagine what the topography would have looked like 8,000 years or more before that.

      The site for the “temple” would be dictated by the proximity to the Gods on the highest suitable crest, or possibly dictated by the visibility of certain astronomic features in the night sky, not what was within convenient walking distance of public transport links in the modern fashion! These peoples, IMO, did not place things for convenience but for their utilitarian aspects. To understand this, you must think like them, or at least understand that their value system is different from our own.

      Crosspatch, I agree with the hypothesis you present above, as it makes a great deal of sense that a central location as a pilgrimage site for fertility rites and offerings to the Gods for various clans of similar tribal groups within the same civilization dotted at fertile areas around the Eastern end of the Mediterranean and possibly incorporating the Persian river systems.


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        Winston

        I also meant to imply that at one time the Black Sea may have been an inland lake or system of lakes, and that Mr Schmidt’s village artifacts to depict a non- nomadic agrarian society may be found at the bottom of the Black Sea or below the floor of the Dardenelles, rather than in proximity to what was a pilgrimage meeting point.

        Anyway, either way, it’s enjoyable and intellectually stimulating to speculate, even knowing that the reality may be diametrically opposite to one’s hypothetical musings.


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          Lawrie

          Winston,

          The Black Sea was once fresh water and villages have been found deep under the present level and far from the present shore. Shells found there are from fresh water species. When sea levels rose and breeched the Bosphorus, near present day Istanbul, sea water created a huge waterfall that continued for many years until levels eventually equallised.
          http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/pages/B/L/BlackSea.htm.
          It could have been the basis of the biblical Flood. A similar event took place when the Atlantic flooded through the Pillars of Hercules and filled the Mediterranean.


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            Adam Gallon

            The theory that the inundation of the Black Sea, lead to the flood stories, is well known. Also the breaching of the Pillars of Hercules & the flooding of the Med may be part of it too.


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    JohnM

    This article seems a bit rash, in typical National Geographic fashion. The last Ice Age ended, from a Northern Hemisphere perspective, about 10,500 years ago. Humans at the time had the choice of living in that ice and snow or migrating south away from it. The climate of the region would also have been different due both to the cold mass to the north and the amount of water held fast by the ice. This part of Turkey might well have had lush vegetation and a mild climate, suitable for grazing animals. The absence of signs of housing might simply be due to the method of building them and to moving the entire settlement elsewhere that was more attractive, unless of course the settlement was wipied out in battle. Even the comments about Childe are questionable. Permanent settlement and agriculture don’t so much give rise of new tools and pottery as give time to think because the finding of food is not a constant worry.

    National Geographic has an unfortunate habit of hype and speculation, presumably because it thinks this wins more readers. It is after all a magazine rather than a scientific journal.


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    Manfred

    Thank you for bringing Göbekli Tepe to the forum. This structure is an amazing testament to human endeavour and sophisticated accomplishment. However, I remain cautious about any anthropological interpretation – with due respect, much of this is may be speculative.

    Working on occasion in close proximity to anatomical anthropologists, I know only to well the level of uncertainty that underpins their conclusions. Social anthropology appears to be a somewhat more inexact ‘science’. For example, the precision and complexity visible at Göbekli Tepe, both in architecture and associated inscriptions suggests that a substantial preceding length of time may have passed, necessary for the technical development required to achieve such capacity for lasting grandeur. I forget where, but someone has suggested that sufficient time has elapsed for our civilisation to have arisen and vanished without trace on at least three occasions. How true this is I wouldn’t know but it is pause for thought. In any event, any theories surrounding the development of Göbekli Tepe are simply that, each as valid as any other, save those of the intellectually colourful Erich von Däniken, as it is these that seem to appear most closely associated with AGW theory, see: Aliens Cause Global Warming: A Caltech Lecture by Michael Crichton.

    Seriously though, fear is a great motivator but it also leads to paralysis. As a species, we are hard wired with trigger responses to fear. All of us respond to fear though some of us will freeze, and some will jump. Natural selection favours the jumper as indeed it also does, the transcender (those that pray or seek religion to transcend the difficulties or misery of the present moment). I suspect part of a successful societal answer lies in the melange of faith and technological endeavour apparently leading to development – the Renaissance being a good example.

    In this day and age of total informational over exposure, and indeed in a society preoccupied with ‘safety’, better described as an absence of risk (which is even more physically and intellectually disabling!) the peddling of fear is absolutely required to gain political, scientific or funding leverage. The more strident the better – as the Gaia worshippers and AGW save the planet brigade know only too well. However, the human psyche does not respond endlessly to urgent, unending negative feedback. Instead, it resets responsiveness and starts again at a different (higher or lower) level. The key therefore lies in managing allostatic load.

    The result is that the AGW climate change CO2 dramatists have literally bored most to complete state of disinterest. Now, in a convoluted way perhaps those unexplained sequential rings at Gobekli Tepe are a manifestation of declining relevance. Perhaps, the compelling fascination lay in the religious and technical process of building the structure, not in the structure per se – we do it because we can – the ultimate monument to any civilisation.

    We really need to overcome the present period of relative stagnation, superstition and silliness, to dismiss and throw out the nonsensical vomitus of the fear mongers and primitivisers and to bloody well get on with discerning life, the universe and everything (thank you Douglas Adams) – otherwise we’ll get what we deserve – a literal and pointless hell of contemplating the ultimate and meaningless answer of ’42′.


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      Andrew McRae

      Manfred, thanks for the tip about “Aliens Cause Global Warming”, I’d not heard of that speech before.
      I’ve just listened to it by installing eSpeak and pasting the speech into the reader window… so I could listen to “Michael Crichton” while doing the ironing. Nice.

      I think Crichton did a better job in that speech than Matt Ridley in arguing that the consensus-science basis for global warming is pseudoscientific faith, that the global warming “deniers” are being treated as heretics, and that it was merely the latest in a string of scientific corruptions going back over 160 years.

      How tragic it is to learn of someone’s wisdom only after they have gone, like ships passing in the night and a bit like the builders of Gobekli Tepe.


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      Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

      Manfred, this is sensible stuff, especially the claim that ‘natural selection favours the jumper’. Love it. I have a theory I’m working on about the origins and purposes of stone age religious iconography, but it needs refinement and I won’t go into it yet. The whole issue fascinates me from the viewpoint of evolutionary psychology. My theory will hit the Gaia worshippers for six, which is all to the good.


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    incoherent rambler

    OT (as usual).

    I tried to buy a an appliance power meter that displays volts, amps, wattage etc. accurately.
    I have given up. I refuse to buy one that displays my “carbon usage”.
    Has this madness infected all manufacturers? Marketing people, please note; sceptics are a majority and those that think AGW is a scam are probably 1/3 of your market place (and growing in number).


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      incoherent rambler

      This had mad me think about the reason for product rejection. The answer, I resent paying for a facility that is based on a farcial, non-scientific dogma.
      Then it occured to me, my TV has a “green mode”, as does the dishwasher. Time for more voting with my feet. May I also suggest that it is time for many others to boycott products with “green” modes. Power saving mode OK, “green” mode bad.


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    Andrew McRae

    Perhaps if we can discover this missing link in human affairs, we can compile the essential history of civilisation and store copies of it in many places as a lasting monument to who we were and what we achieved. That’s aside from the three gorges dam, the channel tunnel, Daphnis et Chloe by Maurice Ravel, visual arts, the Standard Model of physics, and the plaques on Voyager and the footprints on the moon of course.

    Where “we” have all come from? Meh.

    Where we are all going… now there’s a good question.

    This 2012 thing… the future is not what it used to be.


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    Jimbrock

    Aussie: Helen of Troy was Greek, wife of Agamemnon (?) King of Sparta. She was taken to Troy by Paris, Prince of Troy. Source: Iliad, Odyssey.


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    Jimbrock

    Oops. Wife of Menelaus, King of Sparta. Not Agamemnon, who was Menelaus’ brother.


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      John from France

      Quite right, Jim.
      — C’est moi l’époux de la Reine , poux de la Reine, poux de la Reine. Le roi Menelaus, oui le roi Ménélaus. (Offenbach, “La Belle Héléne”.)
      Sorry about that. Couldn’t resist.


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    Neville

    Truly remarkable find and still a lot of mystery to unscramble if ever in the future.

    It seems our CCC Commissioner Flannery wants to see us return to GAIA worship and behave like ants perhaps and carry out selective breeding.

    Just the sort of looney to be appointed by our looney left green labor govt. Brilliant choice by Juliar and Bob Brown, inspired even.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeNDSeknn_c


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    handjive

    At first, they exploited their resources of coal & oil:

    Known as Natufian villages (the name comes from the first of these sites to be found), they sprang up across the Levant as the Ice Age was drawing to a close, ushering in a time when the region’s climate became relatively warm and wet.

    Then Julia Gillard appeared, armed with a carbon (sic) tax. Alas, it was priced too high. Climate change was ‘crash’ tackled:

    Natufian villages ran into hard times around 10,800 B.C., when regional temperatures abruptly fell some 12°F, part of a mini ice age that lasted 1,200 years and created much drier conditions across the Fertile Crescent.

    Ok. some of that above is made up. You can decide which.

    Though it is not speculated here, I would suggest precession will be involved.

    It was a Greek astronomer, Hipparchus of Nicea, (his recorded observations span the years 147 to 127 BC), who made the first major new discovery in astronomy.
    Comparing observations more than a century apart, Hipparchus proposed that the axis around which the heavens seemed to rotate shifted gradually, though very slowly.
    Hipparchus concluded that the intersection marking the equinox slowly crept forward along the ecliptic, and called that motion “the precession of the equinoxes. ”
    The rate is about one full circle in 26 000 years.

    Of course, this assumes the knowledge of precession to be older than Hipparchus. And, I am.
    He re-discovered it, or was the last person to be attributed with that, as precession was built into the Pyramids at 5000 BC.
    Göbekli Tepe, at 11,600 BC years from Hipparchus, is but a moment in time. Not enough to observe one cycle of precession.
    Precession was known and built into monuments from Machu Picchu to StoneHenge, and other spots in between like Great Zimbabwe, or Axum in Ethiopia, Africa.


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    janama

    There’s also Newgrange in eastern Ireland that predates Stonehenge.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newgrange


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      crosspatch

      Wow, makes me wonder about “Oldgrange” and when it might have been built :)


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      crosspatch

      “Once a year, at the winter solstice, the rising sun shines directly along the long passage into the chamber for about 17 minutes and illuminates the chamber floor. This alignment is too precise to be widely considered to be formed by chance.”

      Things like this bug me because the sun would not have risen at the same point 5000 years ago on the winter solstice as it does today. But in any case, the point to marking the point of the solstice would have been to mark the new year. For most cultures of that time, the winter solstice would have been the start of the new year.

      5000 years ago the North pole would have been pointed more away from the sun in winter and the point of sunrise on the Solstice would have been more to the South from where it is now. I don’t know how far, though, off the top of my head.

      The artwork looks very similar to Pictish art.

      http://www.mythicalireland.com/ancientsites/newgrange/artgallery/newgrange-art-9.jpg

      vs.

      http://www.itraveluk.co.uk/photos/showfull.php?photo=2952


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        Jake

        If it was indeed build for the purpose of the winter solstice, as suspected, you will find that no light would have entered the chamber for several days around the northern hemisphere’s shortest day. The light would have returned on the, you guessed it, 25th. Coincidence that supposedly someone was born on the 25th who would lead people to the light? It is way more then coincidence, a well calculated move to make that particular religion palatable to northern “savages”.


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          crosspatch

          It would have to be coincidence because 1: nobody in particular was born on December 25th. That was a day of a pagan festival that was incorporated by the Romans to ease the adoption of Christianity. Before then, nobody celebrated Christmas at all, Easter was the primary Christian holiday. Christ was likely born in the spring, not in December. December 25 is a day when we commemorate the birth of Christ, but he wasn’t born on that day.


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            Jake

            My whole point, they pinned the birth day of the person who supposedly talked about “follow me and I will lead you to the light’ on the day the light returned so the celebration could be continued.
            Made it all fit in better and more acceptable.
            Before christianity nobody celebrated Easter either, it was a pagan spring festival to celebrate the planting and birth. Whatever each tribe called it, it would not have been called Easter.


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          crosspatch

          Oh, and

          2: How would someone know thousands of years in advance on exactly which day someone would be born? It wouldn’t have shown into that room on the 25th 2000 years ago either.


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      theRealUniverse

      On Stonehenge the late Sir Fred Hoyle showed that the outer rings were the real computer that these ancients knew the ‘procession of the nodes’ roughly 18 1/3 years hence 56 stones. He showed how the could have predicted lunar and solar eclipses. The large prominent stones were an attempt by later generations to work the ‘henge’ but failed, they are meaningless for any astronomical calculations.


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      Adam Gallon

      The newly-excavated Ness of Brodgar on the Orkney Islands, predates Stonehenge by 500 years, the pottery found there has been found at Stonehenge.
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2081254/Stone-Age-temple-Orkney-significant-Stonehenge.html?ITO=1490


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        Graeme No.3

        And not far from Skara Brae a pre-historic village dated back to 2700BC at least. It is now next to the beach – in fact half? the village was swallowed by the storm which uncovered it.

        The houses were earth sheltered and assumed to have been roofed with skin. What’s more they had running water (channel), a heath, shelves, food storage boxes, stone beds and a toilet!

        Also found was writing (as yet un-deciphered) but I bet it wasn’t complaining about global warming.


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    Lawrie

    Jo,

    The Nat Geo is offering subscriptions at 88% off. I think a number of people have cancelled, as I did, because of it’s AGW bias. Most readers would, like me, have an enquiring mind which means we don’t simply accept what we are told to believe. They have done themselves a diservice trying to re-educate their readership. I have seen several on WUWT who have cancelled as well.

    After I cancelled they sent at least 6 reminders. I wanted to explain my reasons but there was no real avenue.


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      crosspatch

      I have cancelled several subscriptions to magazines such as Scientific American, Popular Science, and National Geographic. I have also cancelled The Economist as they have dumbed down considerably over the past few years, too.

      I don’t mind if AGW is presented as being a hypothesis, when it is presented as fact, I get a little bothered by it and see that as intellectual laziness.


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      Off topic a little, but related to National Geographic.

      Remember at school, you had to do book reviews. I remember three of them distinctly.

      The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan

      The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat, and

      Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini.

      Oddly during the reading of Captain Blood in 1965 (Grade 9, aged 14) I had to go to the dentists, opposite the Southport Hospital in those days.

      While waiting, I picked up one of the ubiquitous waiting room reading material, and it was an old National Geographic, dated from February of 1960.

      It had as the main story an article on what was the great pirate city of Jamaica, Port Royal, and the monster earthquake in Jamaica in 1692, when most of the city vanished.

      The link with Captain Blood was the pirate thing, you know, ‘stuff’ that interested ‘boys’ at that age in those days. Peter Blood was in that area around that time, and Port Royal got a mention in his book, so it was a slightly fortuitous thing that I was reading the book at the time.

      It was the first time I had seen National Geographic, and I was amazed with the quality of the images over a number of pages, and that it was bound differently and on quality paper.

      The dentist called me in when I was only part way through reading the article, and when he finished, rather than just leave, I sat back down and kept reading it.

      When he came back out for the next victim patient, I was still there, and he asked me why I was there, thinking I was waiting for my Mum or the like, and I mentioned that I was reading this really interesting article.

      I think he was a little puzzled at this, you know, waiting room reading material etc. and especially being a young boy.

      He then said that if I wanted, I could take it home and keep it if I wished.

      I slipped it into my school bag and went off home.

      The link between the novel and the article made both of them more interesting, because it (a) gave more credence to the novel, and (b) added an extra dimension to the article.

      Oddly, from that point forward, whenever I was in any waiting room, I always flicked through National Geographics.

      I never found an article with as much interest (to me anyway) as that first one that stuck in my mind.

      Got a great mark for that book review, because I actually mentioned the Earthquake and the devastation of Port Royal, an interesting history I’ve actually come back to a few times, most recently during the Japanese Tsunami, because the Port Royal situation also included a Tsunami, and liquefaction as half the city just collapsed into the Harbour.

      Again, sorry to go off topic like this. It just made me think back to that one magazine article.

      Link to Port Royal Earthquake

      Tony.


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        The Black Adder

        Tony,

        You have a vivid memory.

        I can remember (aged 14) squeezing zits, arguing with mum and dad, dancing to Thriller and reading National Geographic in the dentists room as well!

        However the main reason I enjoyed it was the photos of the native Kenyan, PNG or Rhodesian Girls, I was 14 remember.
        It was the only reason I liked going to the dentist.

        Now, National Geographic is Al Gores Love child.
        :)


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          warcroft

          “I can remember (aged 14) squeezing zits, arguing with mum and dad, dancing to Thriller and reading National Geographic in the dentists room as well!”

          You did all that in the dentists room?


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          Ah Edmund!

          However the main reason I enjoyed it was the photos of the native Kenyan, PNG or Rhodesian Girls, I was 14 remember.

          Hmm! Same here.

          Mum came into my room while I was reading that particular National Geographic.

          I looked up and saw the puzzled look on here face.

          She enquired a little hesitantly, “Why are you reading that?”

          “I just got it for this great article.”

          Nyuk nyuk nyuk!

          Tony.


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        jorgekafkazar

        I have a small collection of National Geographics from the 40′s and 50′s. I often like to leave one behind in the doctor’s office, unobserved.


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    John from France

    The first thing that occurred to me on reading this article was, “How can they be so sure of the very early dating of this site. Well I Googled it and came up with this: http://lexiline.blogspot.com/2009/08/gobekli-tepe-decipherment-dating.html
    I recommend a visit.


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      KinkyKeith

      Hi John of France

      Thanks for putting this in.

      I think many of us had this date issue sitting quietly in the back of our minds but hoping it was true.

      Now we have disappointment in the “scientific” media in the form of National Geographic and its lackadaisical checking of facts.

      Highly reminiscent of the approach to Global Warming.

      Most of us are far too trusting. Your post gives substantial reason to ask for more proof of age via conclusive carbon dating.

      :)


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      Siliggy

      So the front page news story from 3800 BC was not carved thousands of years earlier and was that stuff that was dated infested with these before or after it was shoveled onto the stones?
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21561944.
      Hmmm Problems with the not constant cosmic radiation, non constant rate of radioactive decay under a not constant sun, while there is a not constant amount of nitrogen in the not constantly dense atmosphere?


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      Jon

      Hmm interesting.
      I guess we have a many national, cultural, religious etc interests in the area that easily politicize findings like these?

      Still it is a symbol of a collective God that is needed to build military force, cities and civilizations, to defend your God against other “collective Gods”, cities and civilizations attacks.


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        John from France

        What do we know of their collective god? They may have been pantheists. Many of the early Mesopotamian civilisations had rather what we can call an emblematic god either represented or imagined in human form – (Yahweh/Jehovah would appear to have been originally of the latter kind). I think that rather than hastily trying to pick out symbolism and speculating on belief system (worse, on sociological tendences), it is more fruitful to try to define in some way the nature of the intelligence of earlier civilisations and their perception of the world about them as reflected in the material remains that are all we now have to go on: the traces of their knowledge and know-how, on living creatures, on principles of proportion and geometry (what could have brought about those highly refined geometrical sculpted forms?), on stone technology (could we reproduce those precise forms with stone tools or by other methods?), on astronomy (do the positions of the stone objects truly reflect the positions of cosmic bodies at a particular time?).

        This sort of study might just dampen that modern-day ardour to cram them into a dateline and might lead to more interesting speculation, for speculation it must always be.


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    theRealUniverse

    Hmm great but..Just wondering if they have made a mistake in the date of it. Too many unknowns and assumptions here but maybe it right.. as 11600 ybp was just at the beginning of the present interglacial when there was 3000ft of ice over much of the polar planet and one could just about walk everywhere without a plane or a boat. Well they must have been bored with all that ice melting so built these monuments.


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    Filbert Cobb

    Over the holidays I also tripped over this Turkish site while following links to ancient technologies – in particular the notion that many artefacts (and the pyramids) were produced by wet-casting using a long-lost cement formulation. Indeed fascinating, but unfortunateley also in the ancient alien zone of YouTube


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    RWTH

    Beyond Handjive’s near miss I can’t see the word “observatory” being put to good use here.


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    Thanks for this story!

    Many writers for the National Geographic (NG), Sky & Telescope (ST) seemed to have had a genuine interest in conveying information to the public about Earth’s heat source at the start of the 20th century, rather than the government propaganda that we receive almost every day from the media today.

    CSPAN played a major role by recording an admission in 1998 that NASA had hidden information on the Sun from the Galileo Mission to Jupiter:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3VIFmZpFco

    That convinced Nobel Laureate Glenn T. Seaborg to join me in organizing a symposium that left a written record of the wide diversity of opinions on the Sun as the 20th century ended:

    http://www.amazon.com/Origin-Elements-Solar-System-Implications/dp/0306465620

    Leaders of nations and science cannot control Earth climate nor information on the nuclear forces that do.

    The key to those “secrets” were published on the front cover of the symposium proceedings.

    In 2002 Richard Tresch Fienberg published factual information on “Our Stormy Sun” in ST

    http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/3306361.html?page=1&c=y

    In 2004 Curt Suplee published an excellent report in NG on “The Sun: Living with a Stormy Star”

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0407/feature1/index.html

    Despite efforts by world leaders to control information and Mother Nature,

    All is well tonight,
    Oliver K. Manuel


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    Joe's World

    Jo,

    Sometimes, I think our society is just soooooooo stupid!
    Just because the terrain is rocky and sandy now, what was it back then?
    How can you move objects back then with a much simpler society in not having current technology?
    They obviously were not simple minded.
    Do archaeologists include glacial melt and rivers when exploring for ancient societies? NO!
    All they are interested in is the buildings and artifacts.

    If you wanted to rocks from many kilometers away, you would use a floating barge system!
    Egyptians had waterways and irrigated their lands yet no one has looked at moving rocks and objects by water.
    Theories are all by heavy labor and by land that would have been impossible to recreate today.
    But if using water and locks, objects can be floated no matter how heavy as long as their is enough buoyancy under the object.

    Being thousands of years later all objects from wood to leather to tars would have disintegrated by age and weather.


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      Graeme No.3

      It has long been thought that the stone was brought by water. Up the Nile (i.e. downstream from the quarries) and near the pyramids via a canal dug in the sand. It is just that once no longer of use the canal fills with sand and becomes virtually impossible to find.


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    Thumbnail

    Jo, I wonder if you can publish these videos. A recent Senate hearing in Canada has opened the door to the practices of the IPCC.

    Videos here:

    http://justgroundsonline.com/forum/topics/kyoto-protocol-based-on-fraud?commentId=3535428%3AComment%3A332645


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      Siliggy

      Thanks for that Thumbnail. Great news!
      Just watched the first of those vids and it was just what they need to hear.


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      Thumbnail

      Hey Siliggy,
      I could not believe my eyes and ears. That video was rivetting, and there are more youtubes with individual questions on them that alarmists often raise: 1. Scientists who claim that there is no link between CO2 and the temperature are in the very small minority. 2. What about the tipping point? 3. The vast majority of scientists agree: man causes climate change. 4. Why don’t we do just anything (Precautionary Principle) and 5. Why don’t scientists who disagree that AGW is a problem speak up?


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    incoherent rambler

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/get-used-to-40c-as-experts-tip-dry-summer/story-fn7x8me2-1226235115200

    In the meantime

    Do archaeologists consider whether civilizations disappear because they fall under the spell of charlatans and fools?


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    papertiger

    testing to see which avatar comes up. Had a hard drive crash.

    Just shifting the rubble.

    (Have you tried the FREE version of Advanced System Care 5?) CTS


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    John F. Hultquist

    @ Joe’s World – 11:32
    “Egyptians had waterways and irrigated their lands yet no one has looked at moving rocks and objects by water.”

    Not true: There are many reports of large and heavy objects being moved on water. An additional point is that to do so means the objects also had to be moved on land and loaded. An alternative doesn’t come readily to mind.

    There is an interesting history regarding a purple rock termed Porphyry and the phrase “born to the purple.” See the site below – Section 2: Historical and cultural uses. In this case movement was long distance out of southeast Egypt.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porphyry_(geology)
    . . . . . . . .
    And the following link is about moving rock from about 160 miles to Stonehenge and mentions the possible use of barges.

    http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-12-geologists-exact-source-stonehenge-stones.html

    Other larger parts of the henge are from a less distant site and movement by barge is also proposed. I haven’t found the magazine I read this in and the web isn’t being cooperative at the moment.


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    val majkus

    Steve Goddard has the 2012 Global Warming report posted (with graphs and links)
    http://www.real-science.com/2012-global-warming-report-card
    in summary (as he says)
    The massive bulk of evidence indicates that nothing is wrong, and that Hansen, Mann and the rest of the hockey team are not being honest with us.

    ■Temperatures are below Hansen’s zero emissions after 2000 Scenario C
    ■Global temperatures are declining this century
    ■Sea level has been declining for several years, and is lower now than it was in 2003
    ■Arctic ice extent and area is the highest for the date since 2005
    ■Temperatures in western Greenland last year were the coldest since 1996
    ■Temperatures in Antarctica have been declining for 30 years
    ■Antarctic ice has been increasing for 30 years
    ■Winter snow extent is increasing, and has been near record highs in recent years
    ■Temperatures in Texas show no increase since 1895
    ■Drought in Australia is at historic lows
    ■Drought in the US is well below the mean
    ■Severe tornadoes are on the decline in the US
    ■US hurricane strikes are on the decline
    ■Intense hurricanes are on the decline
    ■Polar Bear populations have tripled
    ■Yellowstone Grizzly Bear populations have tripled
    ■USHCN raw thermometer data shows that the US has been cooling since 1895
    ■The ten deadliest floods in history all occurred with CO2 below 350 ppm
    ■The deadliest US hurricane, the most powerful US hurricane, and the deadliest US tornado all occurred with CO2 below 350 ppm

    and as he says ‘Lets put this scam to bed in 2012; it has nothing to do with science …’

    and don’t miss S Fred Singer ‘Fake, fake, fake’ http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/01/fake_fake_fake_fake.html

    Time is becoming short. We’re reaching a tipping point — not of the earth’s climate, but of the financial schemes that permanently divert funds from productive activities into wasteful ones, all in the name of “saving the climate.” The results are evident: higher levels of spending, deficits, or taxes; higher prices for energy and electricity and therefore for all manufactured goods; less productive activity; less employment; and more misery.

    It seems odd that all of this is essentially based on a fake — the data that seem to show a (nonexistent) warming. It will be difficult to overturn this notion, but we must keep trying.


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    memoryvault

    Totally O/T, but important for all those of you who actually believe this climate madness will go away under Tony Abbott and a Liberal government.

    http://www.theage.com.au/environment/energy-smart/unleaded-ban-expected-to-cause-rise-in-fuel-prices-20120102-1php2.html#ixzz1iKoCutZ1

    To summarise, the recently elected (by a landslide) NSW LIBERAL government is going to ban the sale of regular unleaded petrol to promote the sale of biofuel to “save” the environment.


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      warcroft

      Thats madness!
      Massive areas of farming crops which are used for rice and grain, etc (you know, food) are being ripped up and used for growing biofuels.
      As people turn more to biofuels millions more will starve.


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        Len

        Warcroft. Remember getting rid of people is on the Agenda of the extremists on both the right and the left.


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          warcroft

          I know that. You know that.
          Is a shame most of the western worlds population thinks biofuel comes from jelly beans or some mystical fairy dust.


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        Andrew McRae

        No worries warcroft, the government will just add an exception to the Corporations Act that forbids farmers from being economically rational!
        Otherwise, if farmers use their own private property for growing less useful produce because its monetary value has been artificially inflated beyond practical demand, the Party may as well set a 5 year plan on production quotas of biofuel.
        Inevitably there will be complaints that not enough biofuel is produced to justify the land reallocation. But from what I’ve heard, you don’t need any genetic modification to get high yields, you can just train your crops to create more biofuel by giving them a high CO2 environment when they are small, so they learn to convert CO2 into ethanol. It’s all based off a grand idea by a government scientist named Lysenko….

        Vote Labor, get envirowackos. Vote Liberal, get commies. Vote for either one, get bankster puppeteers. Voting is currently moot, Howard took our guns, the banskter doctrine of compounding debt is endemic, so what option is left for establishing sensible representative government? A junta?
        A bunch of inexperienced complete unknowns couldn’t do any worse. We need more independents in parliament. It wouldn’t matter if they were aligned with the climate skeptics party, just any independent that doesn’t send their preferences to any of the 3 major parties would be fine. The banksters would not have seen that coming, so it’s the only way to briefly outflank them.
        We can see how much damage a small group of people can do in less than 1 year in this system, so potentially a small group could repair it in less than 3 years.


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      KinkyKeith

      This type of news sends me ballistic!


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      brc

      Already here in QLD. Virtually impossible to find regular unleaded fuel, meaning the beast has a diet of premium unleaded these days.

      However, one positive side effect of the floods was that ethanol supplies were badly affected. As such the mandate was dropped and regular unleaded became available again. Nobody bothered to ask the question what would happen if we all ran 100% ethanol as is often asked by the farmers and their backers like Bob Katter.

      If people want to sell Ethanol that’s fine with me – free market and all that. However, forcing people to buy ethanol is just wrong.

      Unfortunately conservative parties are infected with the same idiotic thinking as the green/left branch. They just like things like Ethanol mandates because they think it’s going to make farmers rich.

      It’s time for Australia to develop some real conservatives. It’s hard to know whether Abbott can develop in this direction – his maternity leave plan wasn’t a good sign – but you never get to know a politician until they are in office, which is a bit of a problem when selecting the prime minister via voting for a party.


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    Greg Cavanagh

    I wouldn’t trust National Geographic too much, beautiful pictures yes, but their stories are still written by to sell a magazine.

    This site was discovered in 1995. I remember this discovery hitting the Christian boards and much discussion about it then.

    I’ll recount for your amazement some of what I remember;

    The site was buried, meaning it was purposefully done so. The soil wasn’t sedimentary, it wasn’t volcanic, and it wasn’t weathered in any way. The site was buried by the occupants to preserve it while they themselves flee for their lives, expecting to return to the site at some time in the future.

    Times were tough back then, and a small community of animal worshipers living on the outskirts of town would have attracted the attention of any ruler worth his salt.

    Being animal worshipers, they were probably the precursor to what became druids. Most civilisations worshiped a being of some sort. Often Baal, or some variation of the name.

    There is an interesting passage in the bible which may well describe this place. Some one was bragging about how the king of Assyria had destroyed everything in his path, and asking; where are they now? This little community could be a sect known as “Children of Eden” in this reference. It makes a lot of sense considering the fact that the place was buried and the times in which they lived.

    Second book of Kings “19:11Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly: and shalt thou be delivered? 19:12Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed; as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Thelasar? 19:13Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivah?”


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    Greg Cavanagh

    That was supposed to be “to your amusement”, doh!


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    Tony Windsor

    Jo
    All of this is way off the beam from your usual postings but I found it (as I do most of the ‘stuff’ here) absolutely fascinating. Thank you for drawing our collective conciousness towards the improbable conclusion that there were civilisations before this one which had identified problems and found solutions, or solace, for those problems, with which we are still struggling. Particular thanks to Val @ #35 for drawing attention to Steve Goddard’s ‘Global Warming Report’


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    warcroft

    So, seen the news today?

    http://www.news.com.au/technology/sci-tech/hybrid-sharks-found-in-australian-waters/story-fn5fsgyc-1226235304370

    Two types of similar sharks have been rooting and making hybrid babies. Apparently because of climate change.

    Personally, I thought it was because of some wacky theory called evolution.


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      Graeme No.3

      Yes, I saw it and was most unimpressed.
      Northern black tipped sharks have been mating with southern black tipped sharks and the hybrids are fertile, hence proof of climate change!

      Or just possibly there might only be one species originally separated by geography?

      I note also that crosses (no pun intended) are known between polar bears and grizzly bears.


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      memoryvault

      Warcroft, I read the story about the sharks. Thanks for the link.

      WOW! – How dumb can sharks get?

      They’ve been around for 420 million years, through two major ice ages prior to the current one which started 2.5 million years ago, have since survived maybe 50 swings between glacials and inter-glacials (in which all of the inter-glacials have been much warmer than this one), and only NOW are they getting around to adapting to climate change.

      No wonder they are on the brink of extinction.


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    val majkus

    2012 Bloggie Awards being called for

    read all about it (you can nominate up to 3 blogs)

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/02/2012-bloggies-awards-nominations-open/#more-54095

    We know what to do


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    kuhnkat

    Problems with their assumptions:

    1) radiometric dating has widely varying accuracy under the best of circumstances. Toss it.

    2) the Great Pyramid had no material that could be dated. Any estimate of age is totally guesswork with no rational science involved. Unless we remove it block by block and find something dateable in the lower section that can be dated by the extremely poor radiometric dating we have NOTHING!!

    3) absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Until the area is dug up they will not know whether there was a settlement or not. Stonehenge has no local settlements either and dating is only slightly better on it than the Great Pyramid.

    4) why ASSume religious significance if none of the decoration implies it?? The forms could have been for some astrological observations as most other important structures appear to be.

    5) as in much of modern science the ASSumptions are filtered through a pile of ignorant ASSumptions that have been collecting and being defended by the scholars for generations. I sometimes think we would do better without our institutions of indoctrination teaching things as FACT that must be unlearned before the person can approach reality..


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    Wayne, s. Job

    Some while ago I did some looking into this Turkish site, it would seem it is a stones throw from the biblical site of where Noah came to ground.

    Many believe that these were built in remembrance and Noah’s mob spread and developed the wild wheat. This explains the animal carvings of creatures not native to that area.

    It is widely held that they were very carefully covered to protect them from the ravages of time,
    A time capsule for the future. No one knows the real time of the flood story but a wave originating at one point swept around the world taking all before it, as shown by the hundreds of feet deep debri of trees and animals against the feet of the Himalayas.
    An Island in the sea of the coast of Russia is composed of forest trees and animals ivory is mined on the island.

    It is not hard to imagine fairly advanced societies totally disappearing from the face of the earth with catastrophies of such magnitude.

    Not far from there is Baalbeck maybe the huge foundation stones at that site predate the flood and what was on them was washed away. I tend to believe that our history is much older than our Archaeologists would have us believe for there are too many rather odd things put in the back rooms of museums that do not fit the prevailing narrative. It is a closed shop like climate science and heretics are punished. Happy new year to all.


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    Andrew McRae

    North American indians had a huge city around 1000 AD.
    http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-and-lifestyle/2012/01/lost-city-cahokia/848/

    Funny how that co-incides with the MWP.


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    Barry Day

    With out a doubt the mounds were built with ET’s help for protection from cyclic meteorite showers and their alignment correspond with when it is likely to occur,btw due again circa 2012.

    LET ME HELP YOU TO BELIEVE IN OUR EXTRATERRESTRIAL ANCESTORS.
    Barbara Joy O’Brien
    Co-author of ‘the Genius of the Few’
    The Unity of Truth (Chapter 10)
    Part 1 – 5 (there is a 30 second overlap on each clip)
    http://www.goldenageproject.org.uk/videoBJOB.php

    AND FURTHER PROOF
    What Is The Starchild Skull?
    DNA “not similar” to anything on Earth
    By Lloyd Pye
    http://www.starchildproject.com/


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    Mike M

    They’ve found burial sites even predating homo sapiens.

    The human remains belong to the species Homo heidelbergensis, which dominated Europe around 600,000-200,000 years ago and is thought to have given rise to both the Neanderthals and modern humans (Homo sapiens).

    IMO, the first person to wonder what happens after death was the first to have a religious thought. Religion is what you think, not what you build because of what you think.


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    Steve Garcia

    National Geographic has slipped a long way.

    The Smithsonian had an article on Gobleki Tepe back in 2008. It has taken NatGeo a long time to come around to this article.

    There was a time when NatGeo was funding treks into the wilds. I guess now they just sit back and watch others discover.

    They’ve fallen a long way down.

    The site was discovered long ago, but was not found to be a Neolithic site till the 1990s. But where in the world was NatGeo then? It’s taken them 15-16 years to catch up. My oh my.

    Oh, and BTW, in time other sites will be found to be older.


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    Clayton

    hello all, my name is Clayton. I am from the U.S..I found this forum and have read most of the post concerning Gobekli Tepe. As a sociologist I find this discovery fits nicely my conclusions concerning the evolution or rather recession of society. My question is has this find altered anyone’s views on how knowledge progressed or regresed since the dawn of time? (Please remember I am asking about knowledge not technology. And if we could leave any religous beliefs out of the equation.). I am typing on a phone so please excuse any misspellings.

    Thank you all for your input in advance.
    Clayton


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    [...] all that in mind, let’s go to this article: Rewriting the Dawn of Civilization at Joanna Nova’s blog.  Göbleki Tepe is a ruin in southeastern Turkey near the Syrian [...]


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