Opinion of new Gobekli Tepe finding, by Nick Farrell
The archaeological press appears to have been hit by a touch of the Andrew Collins lately Gobekli Tepe story seems to have gripped otherwise serious magazines.
The story claims that the Vulture Stone on one of the world’s oldest temple sites Gobekli Tepe in southern Turkey has been decoded and shows comet fragments striking the earth and causing wide spread death and destruction. According to the tabloids stone offers proof of the floods that caused the destruction of the Atlantis civilisation.
However, all the story proves is that archaeology is being contaminated by some bollocks thinking based on one fact being linked to another disconnected fact to explain something else.
Central to this theme is a legitimate study into something called the platinum anomaly across the North American which suggests that during the Younger Dryas period the earth was hit by a comet which created a mini-ice age and forced humanity to be more dependent on agriculture.
The new study, by Martin B. Sweatman and Dimitrios Tsikritsis School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh has taken that information and looked at the Vulture Stone. After all if the Gobekli Tepe builders were looking at the sky at the time, they should have spotted something.
An Edinburgh team thinks the symbols at Gobekli Tepe are actually constellations and used computer models to match the carvings of animals to patterns to stars. They said that the shapes fit the astronomical situation of the time at 10,950 BCE date fits the theory.
The date also matches cores from Greenland, which pinpoint the Younger Dryas period as beginning around 10,890 BCE, give or take a few decades. According to the models, the comet was visible for about 10,000 years earlier getting brighter all the time until it hit the planet.
“Considering the obvious symbolism humans attributed to it and the massive impact the comet had on the planet, it’s easy to understand why the event was given such a great importance and was immortalised on the Vulture Stone.”
Reading through the research paper though the engineers seem to be making some rather sweeping assumptions. Firstly, that the animals represented on the Vulture stone are star patterns, secondly that these same patterns identified the same star patterns as the Babylonian zodiac. This requires some hammering of the depictions:
“One could argue that the form of the carving of the longnecked bird does not precisely fit the Libra constellation in terms of the position of corresponding stars.
However, this symbol remains partly obscured, and moreover it is possible the artist(s) of Pillar 43 did not intend to depict an accurate star-map of the sky – rather their intention was perhaps to provide a symbolic representation of the order and approximate placement of the constellations as they saw it, sufficient to enable interpretation of pillar 43.”
But we are only looking at it as a star map because Martin B. Sweatman and Dimitrios Tsikritsis are working on the premise that it is a star map, rather than Occam’s razor which means you have to rule out the fact that they are mythical animals or gods before hand.
“It is also worth noting that the patterns being matched here are animal symbols from a thirteen thousand-year old megalith with the standard set of constellations or asterisms known today. We are not surprised that the same stars are used in each case, but we do find it very interesting that similar patterns are used in most cases, because these are much more arbitrary. However, in most cases, it appears the people of GT had different interpretations for these patterns, i.e. they all appear to be individual animals with specific poses.” The paper says.
But it is incredibly unlikely that humanity has joined up the dots of the night sky in the same way since the last ice age.
Then there is Sweatman and Tsikritsis’ decoding of the headless man at the bottom of the Gobekli Tepe stone as “the worst day for humanity.” But why would a headless man be a symbol of a terrible cosmic event? People do not usually lose their literal heads in a natural disaster. A headless man might be a good symbol for a death in war, but not a great one for a comet hitting north America. If humanity was starving and forced into dependent on agriculture in the wake of a Younger Dryas event, why would a headless man symbolise this?
Sweatman and Tsikritsis make lots of references in their work to Andrew Collins 2014 book Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods: The Temple of the Watchers and the discovery of Eden. Including one situation where they describe the image of a belt buckle being a representative of a shock wave from when a comet hits. There are some more scientific sources, but Collins belongs to the school of archaeology where you gather evidence based on your premise and ignore everything that does not fit.
In an interview with me over his From the Ashes of Angels book he said that the premise that the Nephalem were ancient alien-like shamans started from a scrying session he assembled historical evidence from that.
In this case Sweatman and Tsikritsis appear to have ruled out the role of Göbekli Tepe to the culture which built it. Why would a hunter, gatherer society build a huge astrological site unless it were for religious reasons? In which case the astrology will be secondary to the religious implications.
For example, the Pantheon in Rome is arranged so that on April 21 when the midday sun strikes a metal grille above the doorway, saturating the courtyard outside with light. The Romans celebrated April 21 as the founding date of the city. You can say that the temple was built for this purpose and it was an astrological site, but it was more an stage effect for the temple’s main use.
Without finding out what the religious reasons were for Göbekli Tepe, or, as in the case Sweatman and Tsikritsis just ignoring it, they are just projecting outside, possibily disconnected events upon the site.
The site is far more interesting than that and needs a lot more work which does not involve bizarre science and Atlantean theories.