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However there are many smaller versions of T shaped pillars similar to Gobekli Tepe scattered throughout Turkey, and even as far afield as the Island of Menorca, one of the islands off the Spanish mainland. However they are smaller and quite insignificant compared to the site of Gobekli Tepe.
Therefore let us create a picture of what might have been, and see what Klaus Schmidt the lead archeologist at the site of Gobekli Tepe who passed in 2014 has to say about it.
Let us travel back fifty thousand years when the landscape surrounding Gobekli Tepe was a lush primal forest and rivers and streams crisscrossed the landscape. A rocky limestone outcrop overlooked an idealistic paradise where humans had not roamed. There were still many large carnivores roaming without regards to their only predator man, who has not yet appeared to challenge them.
On the barren limestone outcrop stands three circles of unadorned stone pillars, and in their centers two taller pillars overshadow the others, they seem to appear in a triangular configuration. Limestone lintels stretch between the twelve or so pillars and from those lintels, perfectly carved slices of stone come to an apex above the two taller pillars supported by a bridging lintel. There is no decoration on any of the pillars and no evidence of human or other habitation anywhere at the site.
As we gaze at the site we ponder about the remarkable beings who built this mysterious building and were they from earth. For a moment our egos struggle to accept the concept that aliens may have visited the earth in prehistory and built something in stone. We accept the premise that humans are exploring the possibility of colonizing Mars with Rover now collecting data in 2021, and astronauts being selected and trained for the mission. Yet the explanation that an alien race may have arrived on earth and set up a colony in our past leaves us cold, and in fear that we are not at the top of the food chain and the dominant species.
Bring our view of Gobekli Tepe to 12000BCE and we see small bands of hunter-gatherers foraging for food around this small limestone outcrop. The climate has changed and the great primal forests have disappeared replaced by woodlands and grasslands, and the abundance of wild animals makes hunting for food relatively easy. A small band of humans come across three stone circles each of twelve pillars and two central taller pillars. In one of the buildings half of the roof has caved away and the floor is flooded with water.
The tribe positions themselves on the higher limestone outcrop where they are able to see across the grasslands, and to some extent see the fires of other groups in the woodlands. They are therefore afforded protection from others who would harm them, however the great standing stones are of no particular interest to the foragers. They do not threaten or interfere in their daily foraging for food and they are almost invisible in their daily lives.
However on one full moon starry night two hunter-gatherers began staring at the pooled water on the stone floor of the ruins, because what they saw was a reflection of the night sky in all its new found magic.
This may have been the spark of a spiritual moment for these people, as they realized their connection to something greater than themselves which drew heaven and earth together. In this moment of connection there began a long history of manipulation and rearrangement and expansion at this rocky outcrop.
We could call it a Eureka moment in earth’s history.