Adventure Travel

Göbekli Tepe Gives New Insight On The Beginning Of Civilization

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Göbekli Tepe Gives New Insight On The Beginning Of Civilization

Archaelogists are hard at work at a site in Southern Turkey that may be one of the first permanent structures ever created by humans. Göbekli Tepe dates to around 10,000 B.C., a shocking 3,000 years before some of the earliest recorded civilizations in Mesopotamia. It’s an even more intriguing find because it also predates systematic agriculture, long considered to have been the basis for human civilization.

It’s a fact that makes Göbekli Tepe something of a puzzle. The massive structures would have taken a huge amount of manpower to build, far more than a hunter gatherer culture could create. However, if they also predate agriculture, how did the builders of this temple feed themselves?

Klaus Schmidt, the original leader of the excavation had a hypothesis. He suggested that rather than agriculture making civilization possible, it might have actually been civilization that led to agriculture. When groups of people met to honor a common god with monumental building, they may have realized that they needed a regular source of food. It may have been this demand for a renewable supply of sustenance that led to perennial crops being developed.

It may have been at sites like Göbekli Tepe that agriculture was first developed, giving rise to the complex societies that shaped the rest of human history. Currently a serious effort to bring new life to the site is underway. The Dogus Group has pledged 15 million dollars to support excavation at the site. The Turkish government hopes that it will revitalize tourism to a site that has been increasingly neglected by travelers. The area is close to the Syrian border where the ongoing civil war is scaring away visitors who once would have brought much needed interest and money to the Göbekli Tepe excavations.

This increased interest in the site may also help to reveal some of the secrets the site still holds and shed some light on the history of human civilization.

Wyatt is a writer and your friend. You can follow him on Twitter @WyattRedd.

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