The A to Z Challenge – G for Gobekli Tepe


GI’m participating in the A to Z Challenge. For nearly the entire month of April, I’ll write a post for each letter of the alphabet. This excludes Sundays.  I’ll use those for the Sneak Peek. Follow this link to nearly 2000 other bloggers and authors.
The A to Z Challenge – participating blogs

Today’s Calliope’s Writing Tablet post is brought to you by the letter G — G for Gobekli Tepe.

In the 1960s, Turkish and American anthropologists surveyed the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey. In a land studded with history, they came upon limestone slabs jutting a few inches out of the ground and at a glance determined they were Byzantine grave markers. In other words, just another historical site in an area full of archeological sites.

In 1994, Klaus Schmidt of the German Archaeological Institute of Istanbul read the initial findings. Visiting the site, he recognized something much older. The simple limestone-slab “Byzantine grave markers” turned out to be the very tops of intricately carved pillars, some standing 10 feet tall. Today this Neolithic site is called Gobekli Tepe and its discovery has rocked the known history of civilization off its comfortable foundation.

Believed to be a temple built long before the wheel was invented, Gobekli Tepe is at least 14,000 years old –  older than the oldest structures in Egypt, older than Stonehenge, and older than agriculture. The most puzzling piece of information – the site was intentionally buried! That’s more than 30 acres of monuments intentionally covered under one basketful of dirt at a time. Just imagine the scope of that undertaking.

I’ve been following the story since it came to light in the 1990’s. As an author, this mystery certainly speaks to me. New information arises as more of this deliberately hidden site is excavated. It’s definitely news worth following. You can start with these:

http://ghn.globalheritagefund.org/explore.php?id=1327

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/gobekli-tepe.html

Tomorrow, letter H!
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Rose is multi-published award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and discovering interesting things to weave into stories. She lives with her family and small menagerie amid oak groves and prairie in the rolling glacial hills of the upper Midwest.
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22 Responses to The A to Z Challenge – G for Gobekli Tepe

  1. A very interesting mystery! I never read about this before. Thanks for sharing.

  2. mikey2ct says:

    I didn’t know of the GHN website. I bookmarked it Great post !

  3. Yes, this one’s a puzzler, for sure. Sounds kind of like the Monolith in 2001. Have also had my eye on this mystery since the g.p. was informed. As I’m a huge fan of all things megalithic, I look forward to an eventual unraveling.

  4. jeanmarie39 says:

    Fascinating new mystery about man. Absolutely amazing. Thanks so much.

  5. Melissa Keir says:

    I love the information you are sharing! So much to learn! Thanks!

  6. As an anthropologist and person who lived in Turkey, I found this absolutely fascinating. The word “tepe” caught my eye & I thought,,,hmm. Hadn’t heard about this. Will follow your links. And you’re right, it’s the kind of snippet you save because it would make SUCH a great story! Thanks! M. S.

  7. msspencerauthor says:

    As an anthropologist and a person who lived in Turkey, I found this absolutely fascinating! I hadn’t heard of this site, but “tepe” caught my eye. You’re right–it’s the kind of snippet we writers save because it would make SUCH a good story. (p.s. my uncle Kenan Erim was chief archaeologist at Aphrodisias, another Turkish site). M. S.

    • As a child, I used to dream of being an archaeologist. This is especially fascinating because it changes the long-held perspectives. Here’s another story I’m following — the Bosnian pyramids. The people there considered them mountains.

      • msspencerauthor says:

        Bosnian pyramids! Cool. Also, have you read about the new site just down from Stonehenge? They uncovered an ancient road that linked a newly uncovered ruin with Stonehenge. I went into cultural anthropology–archaeology is way too hard!

      • Is that Woodhenge? I’m finally leaving the continent this year. Hubby and I are celebrating our 35th anniversary in the UK. I hope to see both up close and personal. I hear if you book it far enough in advance, you can be inside the circle.

      • msspencerauthor says:

        Must be Woodhenge–I read about it last year I believe. Sounds like a wonderful anniversary present!

  8. Thanks for stopping everyone! Do return, I have more interesting posts for the A to Z. :)

  9. mikey2ct says:

    I held off commenting because I saw a documentary last week on HIST, NGEO or SMITH . I wanted to mention it. The documentary mentioned Durrington Walls which is the area surrounding Woodhenge.More on this documentary later.

  10. msspencerauthor says:

    This is from the article linked above–this is the roadway I remember hearing about. “In 2005, a team of archaeologists from several universities discovered a massive Neolithic trackway, estimated to be ten metres wide, running down to the River Avon from the eastern entrance of the henge. The trackway is metalled with flint cobbles and is the first of its kind to be found in Europe.”

    • fabulous! Thanks for the link. Mike and Meredith, you know….I could build another blog and the three of us could be regular contributors. The web is so vast, no one person can track down every cool tidbit. Just a thought.

      • msspencerauthor says:

        Love the idea Rose! It’s the reference librarian in me I suppose…or the romantic. Let’s try! M

      • mikey2ct says:

        Ok. Here is the flow chart for the documentary (date unknown right now) I saw last week. I lean towards the SMITH channel….Anyway, I followed Durrington_Walls to this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durrington_Walls.The lead scientist on the expedition was Mike Parker Pearson. The wiki article confirms the documentary’s narrative that the road is on the west side of the Avon between Woodhenge and Stonehenge. I think following is very important: You I’m sure, Rose are aware the road is on National Trust land. One link I tried to follow M.P.Pearson led to His uni (University of Sheffield). Evidently, it is a proprietary site. Meredith have you had any experience with this kind of ‘roadblock’ when one doesn’t belong to the club?

      • He’s not listed as faculty on U. Sheffield, but on UCL Institute of Archaeology. Not sure what site you were looking at, but there are quite a few institutions or news organizations that require a fee to read their publications on line. This link: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/people/staff/parker_pearson has info on his sites and work and publications.

  11. mikey2ct says:

    Flowchart (continued)
    : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Parker-Pearson is now lecturing at the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UCL_Institute_of_Archaeology. From 2004-2008, he lead the team on investigating Stonehenge.
    The Stonehenge Riverside Project :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StonehengeRiversideProject/Bluestonehenge is a waystop between on the road between Woodhenge and Stonehenge.

    The NationaTrust site has a link to a Utube channel with a listing of 311 videos which I haven’t looked into yet.

    The professor’s wiki page also mentions NGEO’s documentary Stonehenge Decoded (2008). I found for sale ($9.99) or rent on Amazon.com ($2.99).

    There is also a NOVA mentioned in the same wiki page which I also haven’t checked out yet.

    One of my next steps is to research what the professor’s peers are/have been saying for the last 4 years. I am worried about ‘roadblocks’ in this endeavour. Similar pursuits in the astronomy/astrophysics area lead me to Astrophysical Journal which has a single membership fee/year of $2,745

    As a blast from the past would have sung : Good night, ladies !

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