24 March, 2013
Stone Temple Erected at Urfa - New Way of Life in the Mesolithic
What is this new way of life? The province of Urfa in southeastern Turkey has come to be known as the cradle of human civilization. It has been discovered that nearly 12,000 years ago, people banded together and built this magnificent complex of a Stone Temple (Göbekli Tepe). This structure is the world’s oldest known religious structure. It is not the size or the depth of these structures that is remarkable, but the carvings and sketches that are on them and their age. What is amazing is that prehistoric people, who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery, built it. It changed our thinking about the beginning of civilization by about 6,000 years .It was thought that before their discovery that only a society of complex hierarchical civilization could build such a monument, and that could only be accomplished with the invention of agriculture. The people at the time of the erection of these temples were merely hunters and gatherers. The building of the temple could signify the beginning of man settling. Before the building of the temple, people used to live a very nomadic life. The building of the temple meant that people had to come together in order to undertake the huge task of building. It is believed that the temple was used as a place of worship for nearby communities. It is believed that it served as a “type of central sanctuary for several of the tribes living in the region. The carved animals are believed to have been there to protect the dead” (Coppens). “We used to think agriculture gave rise to cities and later to writing, art, and religion. Now the world’s oldest temple suggests the urge to worship sparked civilization” (Mann). It is believed that the early beginning of agriculture was started in this region at this time. “The need to build and maintain this temple, he says, drove the builders to seek stable food sources, like grains
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