Gobekli Tepe decoded

Gobekli Tepe is possibly the World's most important archaeological site. Situated in southern Turkey at the heart of an ancient region known as the Fertile Cresent, it lies at the origin of civilisation, right at the beginning of the Neolithic revolution.

With Dimitrios Tsikritsis, I recently published a paper in the journal Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, Volume 17 issue1, that decodes symbolism at Gobekli Tepe (GT) in the context of the Younger Dryas (YD) event and coherent catastrophism. If our interpretation is correct, it suggests the origin of civilisation has been misunderstood.

The conventional model for the origin of civilisation is that agriculture enabled ever-larger communities to develop, which eventually resulted in specialisms (farmers, builders, warriors etc) and therefore civilisation. Our work suggests the role of the Younger Dryas event in this cultural transition has been overlooked. This concept is also expressed in my latest paper on this subject, publsihed in the new open access journal Archaeology & Anthropology, vol 1, issue 2.

To the best of our knowledge, Andrew Collins was the first to suggest a connection between GT and the YD event as a cometary encounter. in his book 'Gobekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods'. His reasoning was based on his interpretation of various symbolism at GT, mythology, and GT's dating. He made a good guess without any statistical support. A year later, Graham Hancock attempted to decode GT in his book 'Magicians of the Gods' using the ideas of Paul Burley and the YD context provided by Collins, but in our view his logic takes a wrong turn early on, leading him to make some erroneous conclusions. Especially, we oppose Graham's contention that the Vulture Stone predicts a comet impact 12,000 years into their future - around 2030 AD. Such predictions, of course, would have been impossible for them. Nevertheless, the docoding of GT had begun, indicating we are in, or have recently emerged from, a period of coherent catastrophism as predicted by Napier and Clube and their colleagues. Research that predicts the liklihood of future events (i.e. cometary encounters) that takes this period of coherent catastrophism into account does not yet seem to have been published.

The excavators at GT have written a formal rebuttal of our work, and we have responded to their rebuttal, in the same journal - Vol 17, issue 2. All this research is 'open access' and can be freely downloaded.

Finally, on their website 'tepetelegrams' the excavators state that they '... doubt human creativity really can be treated as a statistical case solely.' I am not quite sure what to make of this. It appears, with this statement, that they finally agree with us. But they also appear to suggest there are further layers of meaning beyond our interpretation. We have no issue with this. If, instead, they disagree with out statistical analysis and conclusions, then they should make this more clear and expose the implied flaw in our statistical method. Failure to do this is unscientific.

This debate will be described in detail in a forthcoming book. Also, further work currently under review provides further strong support for our interpretation.

The Vulture Stone
Top of the Vulture Stone
WHat does the fox say?