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Post by Jill Havern 28.05.22 6:58

Jason Goodwin: The ruins 7,000 years older than Stonehenge which overthrow the way we think about our common past

Jason Goodwin
 May 24, 2022


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The oldest human-built structure on earth: Gobekli Tepe, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Turkey. Credit: Alamy Stock Photo
If you're visiting somewhere extraordinary such as Göbekli Tepe, don't snap away on your phone — take a sketchbook. Jason Goodwin explains why.
‘I would like,’ I said, ‘to learn how to draw. I only have 10 days.’
The walls of John Meaker’s Abbotsbury studio in Dorset are lined 20ft high with oils and charcoal sketches and a number of empty easels stand around on the floor. Mr Meaker didn’t bat an eyelid, until I told him I was planning to revisit Göbekli Tepe. ‘We might start with these,’ he suggested, making a ring of different-sized bottles on a table. ‘Here’s your circle of standing stones.’


Four years ago, I was introduced to Göbekli Tepe by the polymathic Turcophile Jeremy Seal, who leads carefully curated tours through Turkey via his company, Somewhere Wonderful (if you want to see any of this, and you do, speak to him first). Unearthed on a hilltop in the barren badlands of south-east Turkey, close to the Syrian border, the dig at Göbekli has exposed a complex of rings, composed of huge, flat stones with hammerheads, carved with animals and birds, insects and even human arms.
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These are the earliest human structures ever found. Stonehenge is 5,000 years old; the Pyramids much younger. Göbekli was erected 12,000 years ago, in about 10,000bc, above the plains of Mesopotamia where farming was to be invented. Built by nomadic hunters on the cusp of settlement, the implications of Göbekli Tepe are staggering and overthrow the way we think about our common past, the shift to agriculture and the religious impulse.


On that first visit, Isis still roamed the borderlands and the Turkish army was launching punitive raids against Kurds across the frontier. Nobody was travelling. We saw the dig and even went to a distant hill called Karahan Tepe, where the tops of similar stones stuck up through the limestone and the wizened grass. There is only one Stonehenge, but it seems there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of Göbekli Tepes, waiting to be unearthed. It was January, raining, cold; the local farmers took us into a house as bleak as the landscape, where invisible women prepared tea in tulip-shaped glasses. Then came the pandemic — and the archaeologists kept digging. When Jeremy proposed a further recce, we booked flights.
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Mr Meaker understood I didn’t want to come home with flat, uninformative photographs taken on a mobile phone. I wanted to engage. I wanted to draw. I drew bottles in the round and tried pencil and charcoal and dust. My tutor showed me how to make a watercolour wash of cerulean blue and raw sienna. ‘I’m sure you must have done this before,’ he said, encouragingly. ‘That’s what you say to all the girls,’ I said.
In Istanbul, I discovered what amateur artists have known for centuries: that a man with a sketchbook is an acceptable quantity. Snap indiscriminately with your iPhone and people immediately dislike you — and why not? You are not stealing their souls, perhaps, but you are trivialising their existence: they exist as background, frozen in an unrepresentative moment of your choosing.

But settle in a corner with a pencil and a sketchbook and you become a more agreeable, or at least tolerable, voyeur. You must have seen something interesting, beautiful and composed to stop and draw. You’re not catching people on the hop or on the fly. You are joining in.
My pictures are atrocious. The lines go in the wrong direction, the shading is cartoonish, the ensemble is feeble and fussy and flat. But in those moments of composition, I had time to look, and looked hard, at stones and shapes and meanings and mysteries that have not been seen by any of us for 12,000 years.

https://www.countrylife.co.uk/travel/jason-goodwin-the-ruins-7000-years-older-than-stonehenge-which-overthrow-the-way-we-think-about-our-common-past-242914

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Post by PeterMac 28.05.22 8:19

I have been interested in this site for a long time.
The WIKI article is fairly comprehensive
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe.

Rather like at Troy with Schliefmann, or Knossos with Evans, the first person to do the archaeology forced his preconceived ideas on what was found.  Kenyon at Jericho had a more cricial and open-minded approach and therefore got up the noses of people who wanted it all to fit neatly into their own preconceptions.

The  first chap wanted Göbelki Tepe to be noting more than a place or worship for the surrounding nomads, which sounds great until you calculate the man-hours involved in its construction, work out the size of the work force, the amount of food and accommodation and the length of time it would have taken.

Like building a mediaeval cathedral an entire small city would be build first, to house, train and feed the craftsmen and labourers. They were called "Craft Lodges" [ring a bell ?] and lasted for the many generations it took to complete the work.   Durham was one of the quick ones, taking ONLY 40 years to be official complete.

So the site implies a huge workforce of skilled craftsmen, who had to be supplied with tools, food and home comforts for however long it took. And that implies a sophisticated social structure, not just a few wandering shepherds placing a pebble on a cairn.
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Post by Verdi 28.05.22 13:20

It's been on my mind to start a history thread for ages - pardon the pun.


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Post by Verdi 29.05.22 1:39

Douglas Murray: 'The West is under vicious, remorseless attack' | SpectatorTV

May 4, 2022


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Post by PeterMac 29.05.22 8:26

There are two fascinating Discovery programmes about the building of the pyramids, blowing apart the nonsense of starving slaves being whipped, and replacing them with skilled craftsmen, living in a very large dormitory village, with communal dining areas.  The excavation of the ground shows fish bones, and beef and sheep, showing a very good protein rich diet.
And also a clear indicating that it was seasonal work, so these may/will have been farmers who then came to do the manual work one the harvest was in, bringing with them wives and daughters to do the food preparation. and the Nile flood may have provided a way of floating the stones closer to the work area ready for the next phase
A massive logistical exercise before a single stone was quarried or shaped.
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Post by Verdi 30.05.22 0:45


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Post by Tony Bennett 13.06.22 10:46

[quote Jill Havern] If you're visiting somewhere extraordinary such as Göbekli Tepe, don't snap away on your phone — take a sketchbook. Jason Goodwin explains why. ‘I would like,’ I said, ‘to learn how to draw. I only have 10 days.’

These are the earliest human structures ever found. Stonehenge is 5,000 years old; the Pyramids much younger. Göbekli was erected 12,000 years ago, in about 10,000BC, above the plains of Mesopotamia where farming was to be invented. Built by nomadic hunters on the cusp of settlement, the implications of Göbekli Tepe are staggering and overthrow the way we think about our common past...

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Are the works at Gobekli Tepe, Turkey, 12,000 years old, “7,000 years older than Stonehenge”?
____________________________________________________________________________

As Petermac notes, the claimed “earliest religious monument in the world”, said to be 12,000 years old, at Gobekli Tepe, doesn’t, at first sight, look like a structure “built by wandering nomads”.

What is striking, however, is that, by general agreement, the world’s earliest settlements are all found in Turkey. When I was at Sheffield University in the late sixties, I was taught that Çatal Hüyük was the world’s first village. That is in central Turkey.

But contrary to the thinking of those who say these early villages in Turkey are 7,000 to 12,000 years old, they actually probably date from around 2,200 BC i.e. are no more than 4,200 years old.

To understand why I feel confident about that date, we need to look first at the history of the dating of the Egyptian dynasties, pyramids, monuments and artefacts.

Before the explosion of Egyptian archaeology in the nineteenth century, much of it done by British and European archaeologists, much of the Western world dated the Creation of the Earth and the universe at around 4,000 BC. Other cultures did too, like the Mayans and the Incas. Likewise, Europeans accepted that there was a worldwide Flood in around 2,450BC. Similarly, over 500 cultures around the world have a ‘Flood Legend’, an account very much like that in the Bible, but slightly corrupted along the way by ‘Chinese whispers’.

Nineteenth century archaeologists, trying to decipher the timescale for the various dynasties, gradually came to accept that the Bible’s chronology was incorrect. They extended the date for the main phase of pyramid-building from around 2,100 BC to 3,500 BC or even further back.

Yet in recent decades, this has been exactly reversed. Through books such as David Rohl’s A Test of Time - but also to many others with similar conclusions - the Bible’s Old Testament chronology has been precisely verified, time and again. The most significant error made by the nineteenth century archaeologists was to assume that all the dynasties were successive. In fact, many of them were contemporaneous. Sometimes there were up to four dynasties ruling at the same time, over different parts of Egypt.

So accurate is every historical detail in the Old Testament that it is reasonable to rely on what it says. Not one verifiable historical detail in it has ever been disproved. Biblical details have enabled modern archaeologists to construct a much more accurate timeline of history. One part of the Bible (1 Samuel 14 vv 13-15) even helped the British to defeat the Ottoman Empire in 1917: https://patternsofevidence.com/2018/11/16/wwi-victory-gained-using-bible/

The Bible says that the Flood of Noah lasted for a whole year, at one time covering the whole of the earth, and landed somewhere on “the mountains of Ararat”, in or about 2,450 AD. It also states that just eight people were aboard the Ark: Noah; his three sons, Ham, Shem and Japheth; and their respective wives. Pretty much all evidence of human occupation prior to the Flood was destroyed during that year. Therefore, after the Floodwaters receded, we would expect to find the earliest human settlements spreading outwards from the Ararat mountains, which is exactly what we do find. They are located in central and south-eastern Turkey and in northern Iraq, around the upper reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers.

Moreover, the Bible records the first attempt to build a city at Babel (i.e. Babylon). This may have been a century or two after the Flood, i.e. around 2,300 BC.

The first religious monument to be built after the Flood is also recorded in the Bible, thus (Genesis 8 vv 13-20):

“And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.
And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was he earth dried.
And God spake unto Noah, saying,
Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee.
Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.
And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him:
Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.”

Even the very day on which the Floodwaters were ‘dried up’ is given.

As to the date of Stonehenge, this cannot be ‘5,000 years ago’, if the Flood was in 2,450 BC. In fact, much of the northern hemisphere was covered with ice immediately after the Flood. In Britain, the ice covered most of the British Isles down to a line roughly from Gloucester to Southend, only retreating gradually as the Earth warmed up. It is doubtful whether any meaningful occupation of Britain could have taken place much before 2,000 BC. A more likely date for Stonehenge is around 1,500 BC i.e. 3,500 years ago.

Incidentally the famous blue stones used to build one of the stone circles at Stonehenge are known to come from the Preseli Hills in west Wales. There has been much speculation as to how the men who built Stonehenge managed to get these huge stones from the Preseli Hills, over 200 miles away. As it happens, they probably didn’t. We now know that a body of ice moved south-eastwards from the Irish Ice Cap, dragging with it material from the Preseli Hills all along the way, right up to Wilshire, where Stonehenge was built.

Also, it’s clear that both those who built the Pyramids and Stonehenge had amazing knowledge of astronomy. The best explanation for this is that, at the Creation, God endowed Adam with this knowledge, which was passed down to Noah and his sons during the c. 1656 years between the Creation Week and the Flood. One of Noah’s three sons, Ham, had a number of children, including Mizraim (Genesis 10 vv 1-10). Mizraim was the first Pharaoh of Egypt and gave his name to the country, which Egyptian still call ‘Misr’. His reign could have begun as early as 2,350 BC.

One final point. Petermac quoted Dame Kathleen Kenyon as a genuine researcher who, on the basis of decreeing that Jericho was basically an Early Bronze Age settlement rather then Late Bronze Age, held that the Biblical account of Jericho (that the walls fell down at the sound of thousands of trumpets and a ‘shout’) was false. However, her work has now been superseded; her ideas were incorrect, see e.g. www.chinese.creation.com/the-story-of-Jericho

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIIX0oCDAs0


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Post by Verdi 14.06.22 13:17

Video interview with Neil Oliver on Neolithic Orkney and Skara Brae

Oct 15, 2021


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Post by Jill Havern 28.06.22 22:56

Early human fossils found in cave are a million years older than expected

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M4 montage: Four different Australopithecus crania that were found in the Sterkfontein caves, South Africa. The Sterkfontein cave fill containing this and other Australopithecus fossils was dated to 3.4 to 3.6 million years ago, far older than previously thought. The new date overturns the long-held concept that South African Australopithecus is a younger offshoot of East African Australopithecus afarensis

Fossils of early human ancestors from a South African cave are 3.4 million to 3.6 million years old -- making them a million years older than previously suspected and shaking up the way researchers understand human origins and evolution.

More here: https://edition.cnn.com/2022/06/28/world/sterkfontein-cave-australopithecus-fossils-age-scn/index.html

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Post by Verdi 29.06.22 13:25



What Prehistoric Cave Paintings Reveal About Early Human Life

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What does the oldest known art in the world tell us about the people who created it? Images painted, drawn or carved onto rocks and cave walls—which have been found across the globe—reflect one of humans’ earliest forms of communication, with possible connections to language development. The earlest known images often appear abstract, and may have been symbolic, while later ones depicted animals, people and hybrid figures that perhaps carried some kind of spiritual significance.

The oldest known prehistoric art wasn't created in a cave. Drawn on a rock face in South Africa 73,000 years ago, it predates any known cave art. However, caves themselves help to protect and preserve the art on their walls, making them rich historical records for archaeologists to study. And because humans added to cave art over time, many have layers—depicting an evolution in artistic expression.

Early Cave Art Was Abstract

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In 2018, researched announced the discovery of the oldest known cave paintings, made by Neanderthals at least 64,000 years ago, in the Spanish caves of La Pasiega, Maltravieso and Ardales. Like some other early cave art, it was abstract. Archaeologists who study these caves have discovered drawings of ladder-like lines, hand stencils and a stalagmite structure decorated with ochre.

Neanderthals, an archaic human subspecies that procreated with Homo sapiens, likely left this art in locations they viewed as special, says Alistair W.G. Pike, head of archaeological sciences at the University of Southampton in the U.K. and co-author of a study about the caves published in Science in 2018. Many of the hand stencils appear in small recesses of the cave that are hard to reach, suggesting the person who made them had to prepare pigment and light before venturing into the cave to find the desired spot.

The markings themselves are also interesting because they demonstrate symbolic thinking. “The significance of the painting is not to know that Neanderthals could paint, it’s the fact that they were engaging in symbolism,” Pike says. “And that’s probably related to an ability to have language.”

The possible connection between cave art and human language development is something Shigeru Miyagawa, a professor of linguistics and Japanese language and culture at MIT, theorized about in a 2018 paper he co-authored for Frontiers in Psychology.

“The problem is that language doesn’t fossilize,” Miyagawa says. “One of the reasons why I started to look at cave art is precisely because of this. I wanted to find other artifacts that could be proxies for early language.”

One particular thing he’s interested in is the acoustics of the areas where cave art is located, and whether its placement had anything to do with the sounds people could make or hear in a particular spot.

Telling Stories With Human and Animal Figures


Over time, cave art began to feature human and animal figures. The earliest known cave painting of an animal, believed to be at least 45,500 years old, shows a Sulawesi warty pig. The image appears in the Leang Tedongnge cave on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island. Sulawesi also has the first known cave painting of a hunting scene, believed to be at least 43,900 years old.

These Sulawesi cave paintings demonstrate the artists’ ability to depict creatures that existed in the world around them, and predate the famous ​​paintings in France’s Lascaux cave by tens of thousands of years. The Lascaux paintings, discovered in 1940 when some teenagers followed a dog into the cave, feature hundreds of images of animals that date to around 17,000 years ago.

Many of the images in the Lascaux cave depict easily -recognizable animals like horses, bulls or deer. A few, though, are more unusual, demonstrating the artists’ ability to paint something they likely hadn’t seen in real life.

The Lasacaux cave art contains something like a “unicorn”—a horned, horse-like animal that may or may not be pregnant. Another unique image has variously been interpreted as a hunting accident in which a bison and a man both die, or an image involving a sorcerer or wizard. In any case, the artist seems to have paid particular attention to making the human figure anatomically male.

Cave and Rock Art in America

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In North America, rock and cave art can be found across the continent, with a large concentration in the desert Southwest, where the arid climate has preserved thousands of petroglyphs and pictographs of ancient puebloan peoples. But some of continent's the oldest currently known cave paintings—made approximately 7,000 years ago—were discovered throughout the Cumberland Plateau, which stretches through parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. Indigenous peoples continued to create cave art in this region all the way into the 19th century.

Many of the Cumberland Plateau caves feature a spiritual figure who changes from a man into a bird, says Jan F. Simek, an archaeology professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who has studied and written about cave and rock art in the region.

It’s clear from the way that some paintings in the Cumberland Plateau caves are grouped that the artists were telling a story or narrative.

“There’s a cave that’s actually relatively early in time in middle Tennessee that has a number of depictions of a boxlike human creature…paired with a more normal-looking human,” he says. “And they are interacting with each other in relation to what appears to be a woven textile.”

He continues, “there is a narration there, there’s a story there, even though we don’t know what the story is.”

That’s true of a lot of cave art as well. Even if archaeologists can’t tell what an early artist was saying, they can see that the artist was using images purposefully to create a narrative for themselves or others.

https://www.history.com/news/prehistoric-cave-paintings-early-humans

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