Amazing ancient Gobekli Tepe

Discussion in 'History and Mythology' started by iBrian, Jul 19, 2003.

  1. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Mesopotamia is usually regarded as the birthplace of civilisation - but it wasn't. It was the birthplace of consistant civilisation. The actual birth of civilisation as we know it is recorded in Turkey. In fact, I'm astonished to stumble on this topic after only a brief reference to a book review in New Scientist.

    Forget about Erich Von Daniken, Conspiracy Theory, and Atlanteans for a moment. Let me introduce to you Gobekli Tepe.

    I'll risk quoting from other sites, as I don;t want to lose either the references, or the links.

    The first link is to this site:



    The subject of Gobekli Tepe is also covered on a traveller site here:



    As an addendum, a reference to the following site
    strongly suggests that Gobekli Tepe and the surrounding area is only minimally excavated


     
  2. Dave the Web

    Dave the Web Well-Known Member

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    This is quite interesting. I had heard of cities such as Jericho having an extremely ancient pedigree going back to around 7000 years. I had no idea that there had been anything so utterly remote in history as this. What is the possibility that the Turkish sites have been wrongly assigned a date? Is it possible that the actual archeological dating could be wrong and later corrected?
     
  3. philippgrote

    philippgrote Member

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    antiquity of culture

    Hi Brian, thanks for the links.
    There was a very interesting program on on BBC (a few years back) suggesting quite plausibly that any ancient human civilisation dating to the ice age would have had its cultural centres near the sea and that such sites would now be far beneath the ocean. Some alledged sites have been found in Japan and India. The melting of the ice could have resulted in the dislocation of many ice age cultures, giving an explanation for the existance of flood myths in most cultures around the globe.
    Also, civilisation is not necessarily the only argument for the existence of culture. 'Culture' is the way a community can assimilate and incorporate the ways of other entities around it. Ice Age conditions may not necessarily encourage cultures that delve in their exhuberance as may be seen in warm periods when life on land abounds. It would seem that at a time when life on land is restrained the notion of culture would be to preserve rather than to exploit.
    Culture has a lot to do with attitude and does not merely rely on intelligence. A domestic animal can enter a culture-relationship with a human person that diverts from its 'natural' habitat until it forms its own species. However it seems that humans are masters at instigating such relationships. The roots for this ability may go back millions of years. Other animals that display culture in their behaviour (and incidentally an enlarged cortex) are usually aquatic mammals.
    There are many arguments for an aquatic past in humans (the straight pelvis being one). If indeed humans have an aquatic past, then not only the size of the human brain has to be taken in consideration when comparing humans to other apes but also its structure.
    Philipp
     
  4. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    That's a very interesting point, and one I had not actually considered. Certainly there's going to be some inevitable loss to sea-rises, but the extent of the loss never hit. Especially as human's have a nasty habit of settling along major delta areas, you would have the loss of these low-lying settlements included.

    I am under the impression though, that archaeology generally doesn't see much expectation of signs of civilisation to any extent happening around the time of the last ice-age. Still, it would be absolutely remarkable if Gobekli Tepe repersents a lost norm, rather than an isolated case.
     
  5. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep Well-Known Member

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    Instant civilization

    About the rise of society, civilization, and culture, try this experiment.

    Get a number of new born babies together and put them in a controlled environment, some kind of a laboratory in a contrived wilderness setting.

    No, that’s not feasible.

    Let’s do it this way:

    Get a number of gown-ups and remove their memory by artificially induced total amnesia, even language skills. Put them in a controlled environment of wilderness where they are challenged to survive among themselves – but make sure they don’t become an extinct species.

    Sounds familiar?

    Now, see if they produce a society, a civilization, and culture.


    If they survive long enough – and they should, because we make sure they don’t become an extinct species, and reproduce among themselves, I think they will produce a society, a civilization, and culture.


    Susma Rio Sep
     
  6. philippgrote

    philippgrote Member

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    ancient culture

    Hi Brian, there is an important difference between culture and civilisation. Culture is an exchange that occurs between different entities which provides value respectively to such entities. Usually such entities mark different species or different cultures but they may also be abstract. It may exsist between a person and a mountain, an asket meditating a wall. I once met a man on Crete who was living in a tiny hollow in the face of a mountain listening to the faint noises of a radio transmitter (to him voices of the cosmos). Culture does not have to leave any traces. It can be a Buddah sitting in an empty room. We perceive a lot of things that are man-made because our life is full of rituals attached to them. This is a mark of civilisation. Civilisation needs a lot of artificial things because it relies on huge populations that dwarf our surroundings. What I perceive during the ice age is a lot of culture and faint civilisation. However, when the human race was tossed into the warm period and inter glacials, not only were these faint civilisations dislocated but they also encountered what existed ouside their perimiter. They left the garden of their existance and exploded into a world of space and toil. Life during an ice age is not one of abundance on land, only in the oceans. However, by 10,000 before present there had already been an interglacial (warm period) and arguably this would have helped early civilisations well on their way. I see evidence for this in the sudden disappearance of the Neanderthal culture (never mind the people). The Neanderthal had culture (tools, ancestor worship etc), yet they lived in very small (tribal) groups. The people that followed were not just a lot more prolific but also a lot more specialised and therefore lived in a much larger network of people. They certainly traded and had cultural relationships with areas far beyond traditional Neanderthal territory. That is not just a matter of intellect. It is a matter of infrastructure, of logistics and therefore of cultural centres where people would congregate. Until the emergence of early civilisations has fully been explained, in my view, the possibility of early ice age civilisations has to be considered as a viable option.
     
  7. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep Well-Known Member

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    Civilization and culture

    Dear Philip, you say (among other things):

    I lost you somewhere in your post about the important difference between civilization and culture, your promise at the very beginning of your post-reply to Brian. And I was thinking that finally someone will tell me what’s the difference between the two.

    Can you please in your next post tell me then in more definite delineation the difference between civilization and culture?

    Here’s my own attempt on their difference:

    Civilization is a stage of human life in community that marks a clear transition from that of non-human so-called savage animals. Humans can lapse back to the kind of life led by savage animals so-called. One civilization can be distinctly different from another, but all civilizations are clear transition from the life of so-called savage animals.

    Culture is the more concrete lines of developments in a civilization. Thus there is culture in cuisine and in hairdo which can be very different from one civilization to another.

    For example, ancient Roman civilization is distinct from ancient Chinese civilization.

    As to culture, ancient Roman couture and hair fashion are distinct from those of ancient Chinese. Today Japanese dining with their buttocks on the floor is culture, while Westerners dining with their buttocks on an elevated support is their peculiar culture different from that of Japanese. But both Japanese and Westerners today are possessed of civilization.

    Salva meliore opinione from you.


    Susma Rio Sep
     
  8. philippgrote

    philippgrote Member

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    Dear Susma, thank you for your reply.
    I am not sure how much I can help you. Let me point out that to me civilisation is not so much an achievement as it is a phenomenon that occurs when many people live together. There are many reasons why at certain times and places many people manage to live together while at others they do not.

    Sincerely yours

    Philipp
     
  9. mahogan

    mahogan tgyhuj

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    There are some interesting finds in Egypt, although not as old, the results can be extrapolated to argue that humans have been a bit busier than we tend to think.

    First, the Egyptians used Lapiz Lazuli, which comes from Afghanistan (Kabul to Cairio is as far as Cairo to London, as a little further than New York to Mexico City).

    Second, trade was carried out with Central Africa until the climate changed.

    Thirs, trad continued accross the North African desert, despite its inhospitability.

    When we have found written records, they are hardly 'new' but speak in a confident voice and clearly articulated language of what we call myth, or legend. Clearly, this all had a pre-history that we do not know but which at the time must have been reasonably well known, if it was not, I would have expected the surviving stories to have exlanations; I can't help but think that whoever read or listened to these stories must have understood the context better than we do at the moment.
     
  10. philippgrote

    philippgrote Member

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    Hey Mahogan, thanks for your reply.
    I have studied Jean Clottes Report on Chauvet Cave in France. The images are believed according to carbon dating to be between thirty to thirtytwo thousand years old. However, I believe that there are still sites of huge interest in that cave that seem to suggest an older link with the Neanderthal culture. Cave art stopped about ten to fourteen thousand years ago, around the time of the great floods. A lot of what is going on at Chauvet and other caves suggests a progressive formalization of style and content. The caves are all located along water ways which suggests a context with an unknown seafearing culture.
    My main interest in anthropology and prehistory is as an artist with a slant towards shamanism. I believe that if I empty my mind I connect with a more ethereal world. I recommend Holger Kalweit on shamanism. Also, I do not think that there is any ground for the interpretation of species according to bone structure in humans since what shapes humans and domestic animals is culture. The same applies to aquatic mammals. Which is why I believe there is a good argument that humanity had aquatic origins and that the further we venture back in time the more we ought to look for an aquatic context. Culture is not dependent on the size of the brain, but of the structure of it. The size of the brain, the social brain, determines the size and extend of culture. The evolution of the human (social) brain is the evolution of culture. Culture is the result of different approaches to life merging into one. That is why all high cultures have a shelf life. Sooner or later the establishment becomes so rigid that it cannot absorb new ways of thinking. This sort of social failure is well known in the business world where an elite task force is under too much pressure to conform and where the detection of flaws or weaknesses are seen as a critisism and disturbance of the cosy general upbeat mood.
    I maintain that the end of the ice age and its warm interglacials changed the social dynamics of human culture. Ice age culture is more spiritual and deep. It requires greater sacrifices of the individual. Therefore groups are smaller and individuals larger and stronger (not along tropical belt). In warm periods there is room for cultural explosion, huge populations and all the results this yields. Life is focused more on exploiting resources.
    The Egyptians derive their knowledge from various ice age cultures that were dispersed with the great floods and regrouped along the main rivers such as the Nile, the Euphrates, the Tigris, and the Indus. Early Egyptian human depictions are more varied than later ones. This seems to support the idea that early Egyptian culture was more cosmopolitan, and that a lot of its optimism came from the sense of achievement that came from the merging of several different cultures, from Asia, Africa and Europe.
     

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