Scientists Have Solved The Mystery Of The World's Oldest Temple Gobekli Tepe
Israeli scientists have found out that the world's oldest religious building Gebekli-Tepe in Turkey was built according to a single plan, and its creators were well versed in the laws of architecture, according to the publication in the May issue of the Cambridge Archaeological Journal.
The Gobekli Tepe megalithic complex in South-Eastern Anatolia is the earliest known temple in the history of mankind. It is assumed that the complex was built by Neolithic hunter-gatherers more than 11.5 thousand years ago before the first human civilizations were formed. This age is indicated by deposits that overlap the building.
For several millennia, the structures were hidden under a hill about 15 meters high and 300 meters in diameter, so the monument is well preserved to this day. In 1994, the Gebekli Tepe complex was discovered by the German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt, and since then it has been the subject of ongoing debate among archaeologists. Images and sculptures of people and animals made by skilled craftsmen are clearly visible on the carefully processed stone slabs, which was hardly possible for the primitive people of the Neolithic era.
It was believed that the complex was built sequentially over a long time, and parts of it may have been built at different times and by different people. Scientists from the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University conducted a computer analysis of the geometry of the buildings of Gebekli-Tepe and found that the Central points of the three monumental circular structures of the complex if you connect them together, form a perfect equilateral triangle, and the volume of the structure is subordinate to the spatial hierarchy. It turns out that the structure, built six thousand years before Stonehenge, was based on a single architectural project.
"Gebekli Tepe is an archaeological miracle," says The head of the study, Professor AVI Gopher, in a press release from the American society of friends of Tel Aviv University. - Built by Neolithic communities 11.5-11 thousand years ago, it consists of huge round stone structures up to 20 meters in diameter and monumental T-shaped columns up to five and a half meters high. Since there was no evidence of farming or animal domestication at the time, it is believed that the structure was built by hunter-gatherers. However, its architectural complexity is quite unusual for them."
Traditionally, it has been assumed that the primary architectural knowledge and planning methods, the use of geometry or building plans, arose in people much later, when hunter-gatherers turned into settled farmers and livestock farmers and began to build buildings for long-term use.
"This study provides important information about the early case of architectural planning, as an example of the dynamics of cultural change in the early Neolithic period," says first author Gil Haklay, an employee of the Israel Antiquities Authority and a graduate student at Tel Aviv University.
The results of the study show that the basic methods of architectural planning were developed in the Levant in the Late Epipaleolithic as part of the Natufian culture, and in the early Neolithic period, abstract design rules and organizational models were already used by the inhabitants of the region.
Now four stone circles have been excavated, but researchers believe that there are two dozen more circles inside the hill that have not yet been studied.