What if I told you in the last 20 years, history has been slowly being rewritten? It is not a very publicized fact, as many mysteries and fascinations still surround these ancient neolithic civilizations. In particular, the hotbed for discoveries centered around Mesopotamia, and Göbekli Tepe ruins were discovered there. Let’s dive in and explore these revolutionary discoveries almost unsung in our daily lives but open the doors to so much wonder.
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Lost civilizations in Turkey
Much of this revolution in our understanding of human history comes from Göbekli Tepe. Excavations did not start here until 1995; up to this day, only 5% of the site has been excavated. The more excavated here led to a massive discovery of significant monuments and an understanding that the people here were much more advanced than we believed people to ever be during this period.
These buildings would have been constructed during the early Neolithic period, the pre-pottery period. This was before we believed humans started to develop agriculture and were typically hunter-gatherers. The size of Göbekli Tepe alone questions how a hunter-gatherer society could build such sophisticated monuments.
This leaves us with more questions than answers. Further, the general culture found in Göbekli Tepe is starting to match more and more cultures from across the world. We are starting to discover more and more early Neolithic civilizations, and it would seem the people of this time were more unified in culture and religion than we think.
How old is Göbekli Tepe?
One must consider the Egyptian Pyramids to understand how old these civilizations are. As great as they are, they are around 6,000 years old from us today. On the other hand, the cultures of Göbekli Tepe are 12,000 years old. This takes us back to the oldest mega structures of humankind known. Further, the biggest mystery of all of it is Göbekli Tepe was buried, along with many other Tepe sites around Mesopotamia. Burying such mega structures is an astronomical effort, yet this civilization chose to do so; why? Further, Göbekli Tepe is not an original site. We are discovering more and more sites like Göbekli Tepe that have not even started being excavated.
The ice age and the great flood
What was the full scope of this seemingly advanced civilization? How far did their empire go? They would have built these structures off the coattail of the ice age or perhaps did these structures exist even before the ice age, and the people only continued to build upon them? What caused everything to eventually fall apart, leading to the mass burial of these cities?
It is important to note I am an avid adventurer, educated, and an engineer. I am not an Archeologist with deep knowledge and connections to this world. Thus, any of my ponderings here are simply theory craft. However, given there are worldwide accounts in religions and historical documents mentioning a great flood that occurred on the Earth, possibly around 5,000 BC.
This seems as if this civilization understood the causes and build-up to the great flood. It may be conceivable that they prepared for it by burying their most important structures. But, of course, it is not well understood when the great flood occurred. Right now, it is believed Göbekli Tepe was buried around 8,000 BC. Could it have been a losing war, perhaps a civil war of their empire? A significant regime change that wanted to bury their past? There is a lot to wonder about here but more questions than answers.
One sure thing is that as time progresses and we continue to dig more into Göbekli Tepe, we will discover our history. We will get a stronger and more visible window back into time and understand more of the vastness of this ancient empire. And thus, a deeper understanding of ourselves and our history.
Ancient civilizations in the Americas
Even more fascinating is more discoveries and understanding of the history in the Americas are also leading to ancient neolithic civilizations. Some ancient sites are still actively being discovered with today’s modern technology. The Americas have not always been associated with very ancient civilizations, but what if the great empires and cultures of the Inca and Mayan were much more extensive and older than we initially imagined? As time goes on, more discoveries will continue to be made, and possibilities for excavations will open up in the Americas to help us understand these truly ancient civilizations deeper and how expansive the unified cultures and technologies were.
We hope you learned something new about these groundbreaking excavations happening worldwide. We also hope we truly inspire some wonder in you as you travel to keep an open mind from all the world’s perspectives, cultures, and history. The world is truly a fantastic place to explore.