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Gobekli Tepe


... Many animal remains have also been uncovered in situ (Peters & Schmidt, 2004), covering a wide range of species, mainly mammals but also a few birds and the occasional fish. Importantly, several radiocarbon dating analyses have been carried out. The earliest calibrated date of the organic content of some wall plaster from one of the enclosures (Enclosure D) corresponds to an incredible 11,530 BP +/- 220 years (Dietrich & Schmidt, 2010). This is just at the end of, or shortly after, the YD period. This begs the question, is there any archaeological evidence here of the proposed event that initiated the YD period over 1,000 years earlier?
... Let us now consider another feature of pillar 43. We suggest the carved circle in the visual centre of pillar 43 can be interpreted as the sun, and the pillar is communicating a date, i.e. it is a "date stamp". Normally, the zodiacal epoch is defined by the position of the sun being "in" a particular zodiacal sign at sunrise/sunset on one of four auspicious dates in the year: the spring equinox, summer solstice, autumnal equinox or winter solstice. Using stellarium it is easy to see, when the location is set to Sanliurfa in southren Turkey (which is about 10 miles from Gobekli Tepe) and when we consider these four events1, that the hypothetical date stamp likely corresponds to one of the following four dates (with an error of around +/- 250 years - see Figure 6):
2,000 AD - Winter solstice
4,350 BC - Autumnal equinox
10,950 BC - Summer solstice
18,000 BC - Spring equinox
_These dates correspond to those when, according to stellarium, the sun is slightly above the spout of the teapot asterism of Sagittarius, i.e. when the circle-sun is just above the right wing of the vulture on the pillar. Note that it does not matter if we use the morning sunrise or evening sunset to locate the zodiacal sign - they give the same result. However, the orientation of the constellations with respect to the horizon does depend on the choice of sunrise or sunset, and for the best agreement with Pillar 43 we choose the sunset.
_Let us now consider these dates. We understand Gobekli Tepe is an authentically ancient site, and we can certainly rule out 2,000 AD. Given the established radiocarbon date [of GT] we can also rule out 4,350 BC. Of the remaining two dates, by far the closest to the radiocarbon date is 10,950 BC, based on the summer solstice, and we suggest therefore that this is the most likely date. When the uncertainty in this date estimate is taken into account, it is in very good agreement with an estimate for the date of the proposed YD event, 10,890 BC (Petaev et al., 2013).
... CONCLUSIONS. According to the catastrophist viewpoint, the Younger-Dryas event was probably caused by a cometary encounter with the Taurid complex. Can we now confirm this? No. What we can say is the following:
_ It is very likely that the people of GT had been keen astronomers for a very long time, and the low-relief carvings of animals (except snakes) symbolise specific asterisms. Pillar 43 very likely refers to the date 10,950 BC +/- 250 yrs.
_ There is a consistent interpretation of much other symbolism at GT in terms of the YD event as a cometary encounter, which supports the theory of coherent catastrophism. But we cannot be as confident in this proposal as the proposal for the date stamp. Other evidence from further excavations at GT and other sites may help to clarify this. Evidence linking GT to coherent catastrophism is as follows:
_1) A great deal of physical evidence from a wide range of earth sciences appears to support the proposal that a major event occurred around 10,890 BC. A leading candidate for this event is a cometary encounter consistent with coherent catastrophism. The date stamp on pillar 43 corresponds closely with this date.
_2) That the people of GT remained interested in this date even several millennia later suggests it was a very important event that had a significant impact on their cultural development.
_3) The headless man on pillar 43 indicates the event led to loss of life.
_4) Symbolism on pillar 18 is consistent with an event of cosmic origin. The fox symbolism, in particluar, suggests a cosmic event originating from a specific position. The belt-buckle, "eclipse" and snake symbols are consistent with a cometary encounter. But the symbolism on pillar 18 might be consistent with other astronomical interpretations as well that we have not considered.

The Reason Gobekli Tepe Was Buried 8,000 BC


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