This maybe doesn’t exactly answer the question, but here’s for the people who don’t know what Göbekli Tepe is. There’s an introductory essay, some supplementary fact-lets, and then sources with fun quotes.
Göbekli Tepe is an archaeological site in southeastern Turkey. It’s around 13,000 years old, which means that it existed right around the time of the Neolithic Revolution—the time period in which people went from living in small tribes of hunter-gatherers to (comparatively) large agricultural villages. It is helping to make people reconsider exactly how that revolution occurred.
The site is located on a tall, round hill surrounded by a bunch of plateaus. At the time that the site was in operation, 13,000 years ago, the land would’ve been forested over and laced with rivers; nowadays, it’s a desert. Right nearby the pre-Neolithic ruins are the remains of a Byzantine military outpost, which originally caused the site to be dismissed as a Byzantine graveyard. An archaeologist named Klaus Schmidt, however, disagreed, so he convinced some people to pay him and a few other people to dig there. They quickly uncovered a whole bunch of circles of these standing pillar things, much like Stonehenge (but way older). The pillars were rather thin and T-shaped, and various ferocious animals were often carved into them, such as lions and scorpions—food animals, such as gazelle or ducks, were never depicted. Occasionally, a pillar would possess humanoid characteristics, such as arms or a loincloth. As of yet, no residential buildings have been found, which has led many to believe that the site was mainly used for religious worship and festivals. It’s still only about 15% unearthed, however, so surprises may lie in store.
This doesn’t sound too exciting—until you realize that people supposedly built all this before agriculture was invented! Indeed, the lack of houses around the site supports the idea that people were still living in a nomadic hunter-gatherer society. Now, in general, it is thought that culture and civilization were allowed to develop because people settled together into villages made possible by the spontaneous invention of agriculture; thus, agriculture was the cause of complex societies. Structures like those at Göbekli Tepe, however, which would’ve taken several hundred people to construct, suggest that complex cultures and perhaps large, loosely-bound societies existed before the advent of agriculture; indeed, certain people have proposed that the effort required to build these monuments spurred the intense cultivation of wild grains. Thus, a complex culture would cause agriculture.
The disinterment of Göbekli Tepe is still an ongoing process, putting it at the cutting edge of modern archaeology. It’s forcing people to reconsider the causes of the Neolithic Revolution, shifting the focus from agriculture to social culture. Many now take the stance that the Neolithic Revolution may have differed from place to place—there was no single cause. Even if new evidence does not support this culture-before-agriculture hypothesis, however, Göbekli Tepe will remain an exciting find—it will be the oldest discovered agricultural village ever!
 “spontaneous” isn’t quite right; the development is thought to have been semi-accidental and driven by climate change.
 “cultivation” means caring for and re-planting wild plants, whereas “agriculture” implies domestication of the plants—selectively re-planting them enough times that they undergo genetic alteration.
 They proposed things like this even before Göbekli Tepe, but now they’re gaining a lot more credibility.
– “Göbekli Tepe” means “Potbelly Hill”.
– The standing stone circles seem to have been occasionally knocked down and buried, with new, smaller stones erected in their place.
– The entire site was carefully buried after it fell out of use (around 10,000 years ago, I think).
– There’s evidence to suggest that the people who built the thing may have used wheeled carts; if not that, then probably sleds.
– Similarly engraved T-stones have been found at nearby sites, suggesting a wide-spread religion.
– People have found stone basins that may possibly have been used to hold beer, supporting the hypothesis that festivals may have taken place there.
– Aside from T-stone circles, people have also found hardened limestone floors and small, rectangular rooms (not residential, though).
National Geographic (Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine)
“Bewilderingly, the people at Göbekli Tepe got steadily worse at temple building. . . . the effort seems to have petered out all together by 8200 b.c. Göbekli Tepe was all fall and no rise.”
“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.”
Smithsonian (History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places)
“On the day I visit, a bespectacled Belgian man sits at one end of a long table in front of a pile of bones.”
“There’s more time between Gobekli Tepe and the Sumerian clay tablets than from Sumer to today.”
Wikipedia (Göbekli Tepe)
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