TURKEY: DISCOVERY OF 12,000-YEAR-OLD TEMPLE COMPLEX COULD ALTER THEORY OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

As a child, Klaus Schmidt used to grub around in caves in his native Germany in the hope of finding prehistoric paintings. Thirty years later, representing the German Archaeological Institute, he found something infinitely more important — a temple complex almost twice as old as anything comparable on the planet.

“This place is a supernova”, says Schmidt, standing under a lone tree on a windswept hilltop 35 miles north of Turkey’s border with Syria. “Within a minute of first seeing it I knew I had two choices: go away and tell nobody, or spend the rest of my life working here.”

Behind him are the first folds of the Anatolian plateau. Ahead, the Mesopotamian plain, like a dust-colored sea, stretches south hundreds of miles to Baghdad and beyond. The stone circles of Gobekli Tepe are just in front, hidden under the brow of the hill.

Compared to Stonehenge, Britain’s most famous prehistoric site, they are humble affairs. None of the circles excavated (four out of an estimated 20) are more than 30 meters across. What makes the discovery remarkable are the carvings of boars, foxes, lions, birds, snakes and scorpions, and their age. Dated at around 9,500 BC, these stones are 5,500 years older than the first cities of Mesopotamia, and 7,000 years older than Stonehenge.

Never mind circular patterns or the stone-etchings, the people who erected this site did not even have pottery or cultivate wheat. They lived in villages. But they were hunters, not farmers.

“Everybody used to think only complex, hierarchical civilizations could build such monumental sites, and that they only came about with the invention of agriculture”, says Ian Hodder, a Stanford University Professor of Anthropology, who, since 1993, has directed digs at Catalhoyuk, Turkey’s most famous Neolithic site. “Gobekli changes everything. It’s elaborate, it’s complex and it is pre-agricultural. That fact alone makes the site one of the most important archaeological finds in a very long time.”

With only a fraction of the site opened up after a decade of excavations, Gobekli Tepe’s significance to the people who built it remains unclear. Some think the site was the center of a fertility rite, with the two tall stones at the center of each circle representing a man and woman.

It’s a theory the tourist board in the nearby city of Urfa has taken up with alacrity. Visit the Garden of Eden, its brochures trumpet, see Adam and Eve.

Schmidt is skeptical about the fertility theory. He agrees Gobekli Tepe may well be “the last flowering of a semi-nomadic world that farming was just about to destroy,” and points out that if it is in near perfect condition today, it is because those who built it buried it soon after under tons of soil, as though its wild animal-rich world had lost all meaning.

But the site is devoid of the fertility symbols that have been found at other Neolithic sites, and the T-shaped columns, while clearly semi-human, are sexless. “I think here we are face to face with the earliest representation of gods”, says Schmidt, patting one of the biggest stones. “They have no eyes, no mouths, no faces. But they have arms and they have hands. They are makers.”

“In my opinion, the people who carved them were asking themselves the biggest questions of all,” Schmidt continued. “What is this universe? Why are we here?”

With no evidence of houses or graves near the stones, Schmidt believes the hill top was a site of pilgrimage for communities within a radius of roughly a hundred miles. He notes how the tallest stones all face southeast, as if scanning plains that are scattered with archeological sites in many ways no less remarkable than Gobekli Tepe.

Last year, for instance, French archaeologists working at Djade al-Mughara in northern Syria uncovered the oldest mural ever found. “Two square meters of geometric shapes, in red, black and white – a bit like a Paul Klee painting,” explains Eric Coqueugniot, the University of Lyon archaeologist who is leading the excavation.

Coqueugniot describes Schmidt’s hypothesis that Gobekli Tepe was meeting point for feasts, rituals and sharing ideas as “tempting,” given the site’s spectacular position. But he emphasizes that surveys of the region are still in their infancy. “Tomorrow, somebody might find somewhere even more dramatic.”

Director of a dig at Korpiktepe, on the Tigris River about 120 miles east of Urfa, Vecihi Ozkaya doubts the thousands of stone pots he has found since 2001 in hundreds of 11,500 year-old graves quite qualify as that. But his excitement fills his austere office at Dicle University in Diyarbakir.

“Look at this”, he says, pointing at a photo of an exquisitely carved sculpture showing an animal, half-human, half-lion. “It’s a sphinx, thousands of years before Egypt. Southeastern Turkey, northern Syria – this region saw the wedding night of our civilization.”

Clay tablet holds clue to asteroid mystery

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British scientists have deciphered a mysterious ancient clay tablet and believe they have solved a riddle over a giant asteroid impact more than 5,000 years ago.

Geologists have long puzzled over the shape of the land close to the town of Köfels in the Austrian Alps, but were unable to prove it had been caused by an asteroid.

Now researchers say their translation of symbols on a star map from an ancient civilisation includes notes on a mile-wide asteroid that later hit Earth – which could have caused tens of thousands of deaths.

The circular clay tablet was discovered 150 years ago by Sir Austen Henry Layard, a leading Victorian archaeologist, in the remains of the royal palace at Nineveh, capital of ancient Assyria, in what is now Iraq.

The tablet, on display at the British Museum, shows drawings of constellations and pictogram-based text known as cuneiform – used by the Sumerians, the earliest known civilisation in the world.

A historian from Azerbaijan, who believes humans originally came to Earth from another planet, has interpreted it as a description of the arrival of a spaceship. More mainstream academics have failed to decipher its meaning.

Now Alan Bond, the managing director of a space propulsion company, Reaction Engines, and Mark Hempsell, a senior lecturer in astronautics at Bristol University, have cracked the cuneiform code and used a computer programme that can reconstruct the night sky thousands of years ago to provide a new explanation.

They believe their calculations prove the tablet – a copy made by an Assyrian scribe around 700 BC – is a Sumerian astronomer’s notebook recording events in the sky on June 29, 3123 BC.

The pair say its symbols include a note of the trajectory of a large object travelling across the constellation of Pisces which, to within one degree, is consistent with an impact at Köfels.

Mr Hempsell said: “All previous work has drawn a blank on what the tablet is about.

 

“It is such a big jigsaw and the pieces we have found fit together so well that I think we have a definitive proof.”

The Köfels site was originally interpreted as an asteroid impact, however the lack of an obvious impact crater led modern geologists to believe it to be simply a giant landslide.

However, the Bond-Hempsell theory, outlined in their book published today, A Sumerian Observation of the Köfels Impact Event, suggests that the asteroid left no crater because it clipped a mountain and turned into a fireball.

Mr Hempsell said: “The ground heating, though very short, would be enough to ignite any flammable material, including human hair and clothes.

“It is probable more people died under the plume than in the Alps due to the impact blast.”

He added that extreme changes caused to rock and other substances at the site had previously led to the Köfels impact being erroneously dated to around 8,000 years ago.

Russia has discovered a 2500 year old advanced civilization.

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Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a 2500-year-old advanced civilization at the bottom of Lake Issyk Kul in the Kyrgyz mountains in Russia.

According to a report in RIA Novosti, the team consisted of Kyrgyz historians, led by Vladimir Ploskikh, vice president of the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences, and other Russian colleagues, like historian Svetlana Lukashova.

The expedition resulted in sensational finds, including the discovery of major settlements, presently buried underwater.

The data and artefacts obtained, which are currently under study, apply the finishing touches to the many years of exploration in the lake, made by seven previous expeditions.

The discovery consisted of formidable walls, some stretching for 500 meters-traces of a large city with an area of several square kilometers.

Other findings included Scythian burial mounds, eroded by waves over the centuries, and numerous well preserved artifacts-bronze battleaxes, arrowheads, self-sharpening daggers, objects discarded by smiths, casting molds, and a faceted gold bar, which was a monetary unit of the time.

All these discoveries suggest that the ancient city was a metropolis in its time.

Some artifacts are in fact so stunning that they point towards an advanced civilization.

For example, a 2,500 year-old ritual bronze cauldron was found on the bottom of the lake. The subtlety of its craftsmanship is amazing. Such excellent quality of joining details together can only be obtained presently by metalwork in an inert gas.

Also of superb workmanship are bronze mirrors, festive horse harnesses and many other objects. Articles identified as the world’s oldest extant coins were also found underwater-gold wire rings used as small change and a large hexahedral goldpiece.

Side by side with the settlements are remnants of ritual complexes of times immemorial, dwellings and household outbuildings.

According to the researchers, the findings lead to the speculation that the local people at that time had a socio-economic system hitherto unknown to historians. As a blending of nomadic and settled life, it either gradually evolved into something different or-more likely-was destroyed by one of the many local floods.

Lake Issyk Kul has played a tremendous role since the inception of human history due to its geographic location at the crossing of Indo-Aryan and other nomadic routes. Archeologists found traces of many religions here-Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Japan researcher says has found an Asian Atlantis

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A researcher investigating underwater rock formations off the coast of Japan believes they are the remnants of an Asian equivalent of Atlantis — an ancient civilization swallowed up by the ocean.

Marine geologist Masaaki Kimura says he has identified the ruins of a city off the coast of Yonaguni Island on the southwestern tip of Japan.

He has worked for decades to prove the rocks found by scuba diving tourists in 1985 are from an ancient city, which he says may have sparked the fable of Mu — a Pacific equivalent of the tale of the lost city of Atlantis.

“Judging by the design and the disposition of the ruins, the city must have looked just like an ancient Roman city,” said Kimura, a professor at Ryukyu University and the chairman of the non-profit Marine Science and Culture Heritage Research Association.

“I can envisage a triumphal arch-like statue stood on the left side of the Colosseum and a shrine over the hill,” he told Reuters Television.

Some of the initial divers notices the rocks were unnaturally smooth and formed a sort of staircase near the island’s shores. Subsequent dives by Kimura revealed irregular rock outcrops over 1 square km (0.4 square mile) and mounds of rubble.

Kimura says he believes the city had a castle, a shrine, an arch, statues and a colosseum.

“In my estimation, the castle was situated right in the middle of the city. And though not as big as the castle, a lot of ruins of shrine-like structures too have been discovered,” he said at his research room.

Kimura believes the city was sunk in an earthquake 3,000 years ago.

Google Earth Sighting – Not sure what this is

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I first seen this image on MUFON’s latest 20 reports list and checked it out for myself using the newer version of Google Earth. It may be nothing but it sure looks like something to me. If you “fly to” Greenland within Google Earth you will notice a very large orangish rectangel which appears to be sticking out of an ice covered area.

Egypt discovers what may be oldest human footprint

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Egyptian archaeologists have found what they said could be the oldest human footprint in history in the country’s western desert, the Arab country’s antiquities’ chief said on Monday.

“This could go back about two million years,” said Zahi Hawass, the secretary general of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. “It could be the most important discovery in Egypt,” he told Reuters.

Archaeologists found the footprint, imprinted on mud and then hardened into rock, while exploring a prehistoric site in Siwa, a desert oasis.

Scientists are using carbon tests on plants found in the rock to determine its exact age, Hawass said.

Khaled Saad, the director of prehistory at the council, said that based on the age of the rock where the footprint was found, it could date back even further than the renowned 3-million year-old fossil Lucy, the partial skeleton of an ape-man, found in Ethiopia in 1974.

Most archaeological interest in Egypt is focused on the time of the pharaohs.

Previously, the earliest human archaeological evidence from Egypt dated back around 200,000 years, Saad said.

Mysterious Iron mass discovered buried in Italy

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www.terninrete.it…

Rough Translation:

ROCCATEDERIGHI. They tried the water, have uncovered “one mysterious mass”, three meters underground, on one hill to two km from Roccatederighi. An extraordinary ritrovamento, about which in country which is spoken sottovoce and on comes made multiple hypotheses, some indeed evocative. Hour on the vicissitude they inquire the police officers of the local station, is an informative one to the Power of attorney of the Republic of Grosseto and from yesterday evening it has been officially invested of the case also the first citizen of the Common one of Roccastrada, Leonardo Marras.

The antefatto one. All it begins during the winter. The owner of a country house, a from Milan one, decides of incaricare of the geologi in order to find, in its property, one water source. He wants to avoid the constant and expensive resource to the tankers in order to provision. We are on a clay hill limekilns, a place from which the Fen is controlled, extraordinary if it were not for that problem: the water, exactly. The geologist makes its must: deepened survey of the ground, geoelettrica surveying with vanguard instrumentations. No source trace, difficult also to suggest a place where to carry out the usual carotaggi. It is risked to work much, to spend equally and not to find one water drop.

Surprise. From Milan tourist makes lever on the relationships of the good environs and asks for being able “to sconfinare”, with its surveyings, in the land of a neighbor. And here something of unthinkable emerges (if one may use the expression). Macché, of the water not is trace. Underground, between the three and five meters of depth, is characterized instead a ferrous mass (would be long beyond twenty meters, wide four). In section it has a strange shape. It remembers a large one, one half platform, perhaps armoring. “Never seen null of similar – it confesses endured the geologist to the commitente – it is a material to elevated conductivity electrical worker, the regular shape. You say what you must make to me”.

A mystery. The searches are stopped. Better one pause than reflection. Meantime the two owners consult, show the papers to an other geologist, ask the delivery for Hush and to the end they choose to postpone. But the curiosity, is known, been a motor difficult to extinguish. Of it they speak, with the colleagues and the University, the geologi been involved. Of it it speaks, in country, the owner of the land. The news is of that they ignite the fantasy, than risvegliano old history, never definitively archiviate. Perhaps the old ones can offer one explanation. Not, unfortunately the old ones do not have idea of what are buried under that hill.

Reactions. They are the geologi, in this vicissitude, to having a role centers them. They not only possess the papers where this anomaly is picked, but also the instruments in order to deepen, for giving clearer answers, without to dig, without to make too much hard work. But to the geologi it has been asked not to speak, to put one to us stone over. When, to the telephone, we contact the discoverer of the mysterious mass before diminishes, then us diffida citing places and names. At last one appeals to the privacy and it threatens the resource to the ways lawyers. It says that one will address a lawyer: “the publicity does not interest me on newspapers. They are disposed to only speak with the police officers”. And therefore it will make.

The confirmations. According to geologist been involved it knows the territory, but it has seen only some papers. it is cautious, nevertheless confirmation, without a shadow of doubt, than “underground, in that property, there is something that would not have is to us”. Confirmation also the nature of the material: a metal, a conductor. It excludes, for the dimensions, than it can be dealt of carroarmato. It suggests, saggiamente, not to make hypothesis hazardous and to invest of the discovery the competent authorities. The first nose-dive, modernized yesterday evening, ends here.