Saturday, November 15, 2008

Stone Age Temple May Be Birthplace of Civilization


The elaborate temple at Gobelki Tepe in southeastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, is staggeringly ancient: 11,500 years old, from a time just before humans learned to farm grains and domesticate animals.

According to the German archaeologist in charge of excavations at the site, it might be the birthplace of agriculture, of organized religion — of civilization itself.

"This is the first human-built holy place," Klaus Schmidt of the German Archaeological Institute says in the November issue of Smithsonian magazine.

I think it's not only telling that from the very beginning, humans felt not only a need to build altars to God but to recreate the environment around them in their own terms. Here's the accompanying picture to the article which shows a relief of a fox chipped into the rock:

Art, religion. They go hand in hand with civilization.

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