We used to think agriculture gave rise to cities and later to writing, art, and religion. Now the world’s oldest temple suggests the urge to worship sparked civilization.
The 11,500 year old Göbekli Tepe temple complex in Turkey was unearthed in 1995 by a team of archaeologists led by Klaus Schmidt of the German Archaeological Institute of Istanbul.
Göbekli Tepe represents one of the most exciting discoveries in Turkish archaeology this century. It currently stands as the oldest known Megalithic Temple complex in the world (9,000 BC).
This archaeological find could represent the one location in time and space where humanity first lit the spark of civilization that led mankind towards farming, urban life and all that followed. It is the one great find of the Twentieth Century that could rewrite the whole of human histo
Today on Far Future Horizons we present the National Geographic Channel’s documentary Lost Civilization and join a team of archaeologists to unearth the treasures of this mysterious and enigmatic archaeological site.
In 1995, under the dusty soil of a Turkish hill, a complex was unearthed that is older than the Egyptian pyramids and pre-dates Stonehenge. However, with the true significance of the site only now becoming apparent, the find is making experts re-evaluate their theories about the history humankind's entire sociological development.
Could this incredible monument really have been the catalyst that started humanity's journey from the Stone Age to the Space Race?
The site has numerous intricately carved T-shaped megaliths, covered with exquisite images if birds and animals. A rail-tunnel project has led to the discovery of artifacts proving that an ancient city is much older than originally believed. Some of the megaliths are estimated to weigh onwards of 50-tons apiece. Turkey has produced some exceptional and unique archaeological surprises that have forced us to reconsider the traditional view of prehistory in the Middle East.
For a long time, it was said that civilization began in Egypt but the discovery of ancient Turkish cities and industrial complexes, combined with evidence of skills and technology, geometry and astronomy, are revealing a very different picture from that prescribed in most history books.
Discoveries include the earliest evidence of metallurgy in the world, dating at 7,200 BC and the use of mud-bricks for structures as early as 6,500 BC.
As well as this, there is the underground city at Derinkuyu which was connected to four other similar sites, creating an urban center with the potential capacity to support 100,000 people.
Be sure to read the following informative articles concerning this incredible archaeological find: The World's First Temple by Sandra Scham and the National Geographic's article The Birth of Religion and pictorial Building Göbekli Tepe .
This and other National Geographic Channel documentaries can be purchased on DVD from their online store.
National Geographic - Lost Civilization (2012)
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