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The paper documents the date for the initial construction phases of Layer III of structures D (middle 6th millennium BC) and structure C (end of 6th millennium BC - beginning of 5th millennium BC) at Gobekli Tepe. It is a sequel to the author's September 19, 2016 paper "Dating Gobekli Tepe". It uses comparative Architecture and Design analysis from Catalhoyuk and Nevali Cori as well as Jerf El Ahmar for the dating process. It also employs Alexander Thom's schema of classifying stone enclosures, by appropriately expanding it and applying it to Gobekli Tepe. The paper also traces linkages between Gobekli Tepe, Carnac, Malta, Stonhenge and Menorca.
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Gobekli Tepe: a 6th millennium BC monument
Dimitrios S. Dendrinos Ph.D., MArchUD, DiplArchEng.
Emeritus Professor, School Of Architecture and Urban Design, University of
Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA. In residence at Ormond Beach, Florida.
Contact at:
November 25, 2016
Gobekli Tepe: Aerial View of Structure C.
Table of Contents
A note on chronology
Spatial and temporal contexts
The site plan
The stone enclosures’ construction
On the artifacts and their dating
Shape and dressing of the megaliths
An overview of structures C and D
Alexander Thom’s typology of stone enclosures
Structures C and D morphological details
The megaliths’ shadows
Structure C’ date: Late Mesolithic to Early Neolithic, circa 5000 BC+/-250y
Appendix: Gobekli Tepe, Malta, Stonehenge, Menorca
Addendum: topographical photos of the site
Legal notice
This paper is a sequel to the author’s paper in reference [1]. Material here is not duplicative, thus
the two papers need be read in sequence. In the earlier paper evidence was presented which
established that Gobekli Tepe’s Layer III (for structure D) part of the monument, the oldest
structure (excavated thus far) at Gobekli Tepe (GT), is post PPNB construction. This paper adds
more to that evidence, and proposes a date for GT’s initial Phase for structure D: late Mesolithic.
Specifically, the paper expands on refuting the generally accepted dating of GT, evidence that is
based on carbon-14 dating of enclosure C, set at 7560 – 7370 BC which, as pointed out in [1], was
in turn based on contaminated evidence from the fill. This paper also expands on the Central
Place Theory notions from Economic Geography first suggested there, in placing GT within a
spatial and temporal context. Basically it establishes that a complex cultural center the size of GT
could not have appeared in a vacuum and at the time period of the Younger Dryas.
On the basis of new comparative architectural (structural and morphological) analysis this paper
documents that the construction date of enclosures C (the major two-ring stone enclosures of
GT excavated thus far) should be 5000 +/- 250 years BC. It is argued that GT’s construction is
slightly earlier than the stone ring at the western end of Carnac’ Le Grand Menec (circa 4500 BC)
and later than Catalhoyuk and Nevali Cori’s Mesolithic construction. The claims on setting upper
and lower limits on GT’s structures C and D initial construction Phases are based in part on
analysis of certain time-marking monumental structures’ floor plan and a scheme developed by
Alexander Thom on stone circles and ring structures, further expanded by this author and given
a temporal dimension. It is also argued that the site was buried at the start of the Bronze Age,
GT as an active ceremonial site lasted well into the Neolithic. This paper concludes that the
burying of the GT structures was to an extent malevolent. It also expands on the role shadows
played in the positioning of the T-shaped megalithic pillars and orthostats inside each structure.
A note on chronology
Pre-pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) is considered to be the period 10000 BC – 8500 BC; pre-pottery
Neolithic B (PPNB) is the period 8500 7000 BC; Mesolithic is the period 10000 – 5000 BC,
whereas Neolithic is the 5000 – 2500 BC period. 2500 BC is considered to be the beginning of the
Bronze Age in Europe and the Fertile Crescent (including Egypt and Mesopotamia). Chalcolithic
is considered to be the period from late Mesolithic (circa 6500 BC) to the Bronze Age. The 7000
BC cutoff point is adopted as a 5-century long period-boundary to the Mesopotamian Ubaid
period [11], a period commencing circa 6500 BC, when a confluence of events occurred: metals
mining (especially copper) commenced, the potter’s wheel was discovered, and key
demographic, geographic, social, economic, urban and architectural developments took place,
significantly altering the way human settlements formed and self-organized in space. Some key
factors in that transition we analyze here, as they pertain to GT’s historiography.
It is recognized that many authors and analysts employ different chronological sequences and
periods in discussing matters of Archeology. However, this author considers the above
breakdown as the most efficient, informative and accurate in roughly depicting the significant
social and environmental events that marked the period following the Upper Paleolithic as
punctuated by the Younger Dryas environmental event, and before the Neolithic megalithic
monumental explosion of the 5th, 4th and 3r d millennia BC, that eventually led to the emergence
of the Bronze Age in the second half of the 3rd millennium BC.
Spatial and temporal contexts
Gobekli Tepe in a Central Place Theory framework.
To fully understand GT one must place it and its Architecture in its proper space-time context.
Doing so implies linking it to neighboring human settlements surrounding it in a Central Place
Theory (CPT) framework, and to their evolution. A CPT framework allows one to conceptualize
the hierarchical network of a setting’s two-way spatial interactions and influences (in affecting
and being affected by a milieu). It must be argued that a complex monumental structure of GT’s
scale could not have appeared out of the blue, on virgin territory, in isolation. It must have been
a part of a network of human settlements, and as its large scale indicates, a part of a significant
and spatially expansive network of centers of a lesser scale.
In [1] this author produced evidence, based on Economics, Demographics, Urban Planning, Urban
Design and Architecture to document that GT is a post PPNB construction, i.e., a post 7000 BC
ceremonial center of a considerable in scale spatially diffused sedentary residential activity. The
current archeological community refers to it just as an isolated “sanctuary” visited by peoples
living far away from the site. In [1] the author argued that GT must have been far more than just
a sanctuary, given its scale, and in the middle of a considerable in terms of population size
network of human residential settlements surrounding it. This aspect of GT is expanded here.
In reference [13] a survey is found of 35 Mesolithic and Neolithic Upper Mesopotamian
archeological sites in the broader region where GT is situated, given by their geographic
coordinates. Dating of all these sites is primarily based on carbon-14 analysis of either their
structures or their fills. In certain instances this dating technique is accurate, especially when
successive layers of construction are involved at a particular site. Certainly it is not accurate when
a one-time filling of the monument without any later construction on top of it is to be used, since
dating based on the fill’s carbon-14 analysis, as pointed out in [1] is misleading in this case. This
author will take (with the exception of the carbon-14 dating of Gobekli Tepe) as valid evidence
of Mesolithic construction all the rest of the monuments listed in [13], but only for the purpose
of establishing a network of Mesolithic human settlements in the region.
Following is an attempt to delineate the region in question, and estimate its size, based on the
geographic coordinates of the 35 sites in [13]. The northernmost site listed (Cafer Hoyuk) is at
3825’N, while the southernmost (Bouqras) is at 353’N. The easternmost (Shimshara) is at
450’E, and the westernmost (Mezraa/Teleilat) at 3759’E. Parenthetically, ref. [13] erroneously
has GT’s longitudinal coordinate at 3655’, whereas the correct GT longitudinal coordinate is
3855’. This Upper Mesopotamian region (as covered by that survey) represents an approximate
200 miles (north-south) by 330 miles (east-west) rectangle with Gobekli Tepe close to its western
border, about one third down from the northernmost latitude.
What this area clearly indicates is the following: first, GT was at the very center of a teaming
Mesolithic Upper Mesopotamian human settlement activity by the time it came about; and that
given its approximate 330 mile distance to Catalcoyuk (to the east) it means that GT was at the
very core of a Central Place Theory human settlement hierarchical structure covering a
longitudinal spectrum of about 650 miles and a latitudinal spread of about 200 miles. Thus, one
now can appreciate and understand its scale as a dominant human settlement at late Mesolithic
early Neolithic (circa 6000 BC) in the Upper Fertile Crescent region. This detailed spatial analysis
provides further support to the arguments in [1], that GT must be viewed as a core human
settlement in that region of the Fertile Crescent and Mesopotamia in a CPT context.
The current archeological community considers GT to be a PPNA/B structure i.e., a pre-7500 BC
monument, some even consider it to be a pre-9000 BC construction [13]. They base their
evidence in part on carbon-14 dating, obtained from both the fill with which GT’s structures were
buried and from the plaster on certain structures’ pillars dressing. The author argued in [1] that
fills do not date structures, and that whatever carbon-14 dating is produced from a PPNA/B fill is
not reflective of GT structures, as these structures have been contaminated by the fill. Similar
contamination of the evidence includes the plaster that has covered the T-shaped pillars and
orthostats of GT’s enclosures. Moreover, demographic evidence was presented to argue that the
early Mesolithic population in that region could not support a monument the scale of GT. Finally,
architectural, Urban Design and Urban Planning based evidence was presented to demonstrate
that GT had a number of older sites in the northern Mesopotamian Fertile Crescent Region pre-
dating it in their simpler Architecture, Design and Planning configurations.
Here, more evidence is supplied to back the author’s claims that GT is a post 7000 BC
construction. The new evidence is based on a morphological and structural analysis of
settlements within the regional hierarchical network of GT and pre-dating GT. That network of
spatially distributed human settlements were forming clusters within a CPT framework. Their
respective population and capital stock sizes (i.e., their building types, their Architecture and
Engineering), formed a frame of reference for GT. They include the following specific Fertile
Crescent and Upper Mesopotamian sites: Jerf El Ahmar (156 miles southwest of GT), Cayonu (75
miles east of GT), Nevali Cori (30 miles northwest of GT) and Catalhoyuk (333 miles east of GT) in
their various phases of construction. Due to their Architecture, these sites must be viewed as
offering a terminus post quem for GT. In this paper, and in a comparative context, their influences
are considered in a geographical distance-based framework of spatial inter-connectivity and
interaction flows affecting GT’s scale and cultural activities over space and in time.
Inter-spatial architectonic influences.
On the architectonic and engineering fronts, evidence about morphological influences are traced,
particularly linked to the morphology of GT. The approximate rectangular structures at
Catalhoyuk (see reference [18] for a detailed description of all buildings excavated and studied
thus far), Cayonu and Nevali Cori (which in addition sported simpler and smaller orthostats and
T-shaped pillars as encountered at GT) are discussed. The pseudo-elliptical shaped stonemasonry
wall enclosed structures of Jerf El Ahmar, qualitatively very similar to GT’s structures C and D,
although far more archetypal, define a nodal point in floor plan evolution. On the other hand,
evidence from the pseudo-elliptical architectural design of stone circles at Carnac in Brittany
(through the early Neolithic, circa 4500 BC, construction at Le Menec, see [2] and [3]) are viewed
as offering a terminus ante quem on GT.
The regression from a rectangle cum orthostats geometric form at the near to GT but directly on
the Euphrates River settlement of Nevali Cori (a key site of reference for GT’s Architecture) to a
pseudo-elliptical morphology influenced by Jerf El Ahmar (another key site in this analysis) is
analyzed, and the time sensitive forms are used to further calibrate the dates of construction at
both Nevali Cori (and Catalhoyuk). Moreover, GT’s Architecture is seen as having influenced that
of Le Menec’s western stone enclosure at Carnac. This particular enclosure, along with a large
number of stone enclosures and ring circles found at the middle to late Neolithic and at the early
Bronze Age on the British Isles, have been analyzed with a typology produced by Alexander Thom.
This typology is a subject addressed at some length in this paper, as it bears directly on the
morphology of structures C and D at GT. Influences from GT to the Maltese Architecture and Art,
as well as to the monuments at Menorca are touched upon at the Appendix of this paper.
Key in understanding the flow of influences, during the late Mesolithic and early to middle
Neolithic, between the Western European Art and Architecture (Brittany and the British Isles)
and that of the Fertile Crescent (including Mesopotamia and Egypt) is Malta. The Maltese
Archipelago (specifically the early temples at the islands of Malta – initial Hagar Qim and Tarxien
phases – and especially the island of Gozo, with the Ggantija phase temples) was at the
crossroads of such inter-spatial and inter-temporal influences. Recording the direction of these
influences and their timing is critical in understanding the Architecture of both the Fertile
Crescent Region and that of the North-West Europe in the Neolithic.
The strong links in Architecture and Art between Malta and GT are demonstrated in a brief
analysis and a set of photos in the Appendix “Gobekli Tepe and Malta, Stonehenge and Menorca”.
Similarities between GT and Malta are evident at the macro and micro scale. On the architectural
front, the concept of inserting orthostats in shaping the arcs of dry masonry walls, as well as the
hierarchical clustering of pseudo-elliptical monuments are concepts in which the Maltese
architect was clearly influenced by GT site and floor plans. On the artistic front, the iconography
of friezes, reliefs and sculptures depicting small groups of lined up animals is a feature
highlighting the GT influences on Maltese symbolism and Art. Their equivalences are indeed
GT appeared at the edge of the transition from the extensive, spatially dispersed, relatively low
population density, rather autarchic in agricultural production and consumption network of
human settlements of the Upper Mesopotamian, to the dense and densely populated
settlements of the Lower Mesopotamian region (centered around the early Phases of Uruk), in
the so-called Ubaid Period. That transition saw a shift in locational comparative advantages from
the upper sections of the Euphrates River (in what is today eastern Turkey, eastern Syria and
northern Iraq) to the lower Euphrates and Tigris River flatlands in southern present day Iraq and
Kuwait. That North to South shift was primarily due to a drastic change in agriculture based trade
patterns. It was a major, tectonic in scale, shift resulting from a transition in the organization of
human settlements from autarchic in foodstuff (but based on trade in obsidian) communities of
Upper Mesopotamia, to agricultural and mining trade-dependent human settlements of Lower
Mesopotamia. It was a period of significant advances in riverine and maritime transportation,
human migration and flow of peoples, commodities and ideas from Mesopotamia to Europe.
Along with that transition, riverside communities and human settlements in Upper Mesopotamia
(like Nevali Cori) gave way to more inland and mountainous residential patterns for their cultural
centers, an escape to more secure higher grounds (like Gobekli Tepe). Flat lands, defenseless and
lacking walls direct river-accessible locations, became vulnerable to outside raids. The walled
settlements, trade dependent densely populated urban areas of Lower Mesopotamia were about
to succeed the low density, autarchic defenseless towns of Upper Mesopotamia. It was the time
when the era of Empires was dawning, and trade flows were becoming their backbone, blood
and lifeline. The profound implications of this transition created gales of technological change,
emergence of new cities, and with it new Architecture and Design. It is within this phase
transition in urban dynamics that GT must be viewed. The beginning stages of that transition was
its rise; the end phase of that phase transition saw GT’s fall and burial.
Tracing architectural design and construction details within that critical phase transition among
spatially and temporally neighboring communities to GT offers a window into this period and an
appreciation of the socio-cultural forces which shaped the urban landscape of that region of the
Fertile Crescent in general and GT in specific during the pre-Ubaid transition phase. By the time
that transitive phase was over, GT had vanished, buried, but apparently not totally forgotten.
Some of its iconography and symbols survived and migrated not only south to the nearby
Akkadian, Summer, Assyrian and Babylonian cultures that followed, but also to faraway places in
different lands and seas, to the Mediterranean basin and beyond, to Malta and then the British
Isles and then later on down to Menorca. These are the broader themes discussed in this short
paper, along with certain architectonic details, as in Architecture of a period, the period’s culture
is reflected. In site plans and stone structures, forms and their dressing one can read cultural
influences and prevailing socio-economic conditions. This is exactly what we are set to do here.
Besides floor and site plans, another architectural and design issue extensively discussed here is
the processing and dressing of GT’s T-shaped monolithic megalithic orthostats and pillars, into
orthogonal shapes with a very refined processing (dressing). This practice is encountered in the
Maltese (Hagar Qim) Temples Phase, an early 4th millennium BC construction tradition. Certain
pictograms and motifs carved on GT’s megalithic stones are also found carved on the Maltese
Tarxien altars.
Friezes from GT are analyzed as to their late (post PPNB) iconography and style. It supplements
similar analysis of the Art at GT found in [1]. More broadly, the megalithic stones’ overall
processing and shaping as well as dressing and coating, in combination with the terrazzo type
floors at structures C and D (a feature also encountered at Nevali Cori), and the setting of the
megaliths on pedestals (bases) at GT is carefully reviewed, since it hardly matches PPNA/B
architectural construction anywhere in Western Eurasia.
GT was not built inside a hill; the hill it was found inside is an artificial tumulus (a topographic
tell), which was largely made by humans. The tumulus was intentionally constructed to bury the
structures currently known as “structures A, B, C, D, E and F”, with an unknown number of such
structures still to be excavated. These structures have been interpreted by the archeologist in
charge of the excavation, Klaus Schmidt, and many others who have written about the
monuments at GT, as being sanctuaries” at the time of their construction, an interpretation
which we shall review and analyze to an extent in this paper. The intent to bury the structures
remains largely unclear and unexplored, and here some analysis will be supplied, to determine
whether the intent was benevolent or malevolent or both.
At present, the site is at an elevation above current sea level of about 2500 feet, according to
Google Earth map of 7/23/2016. When made, see Figure 1, these structures were at the ground
level of a mountainous gently sloped landscape, dominated by the hill on which the GT cluster of
monuments is located. The monuments excavated thus far do not exactly sit at the very top of
the mountain itself, but their foundations rest on the bedrock of a natural elevation.
Figure 1. The broader region of Gobekli Tepe. The Euphrates River (now a dam) is approximately
27 miles to the northwest; the distance (as shown) between Urfa and Gobekli Tepe is about ten
miles. Flat, abundant and fertile agricultural land is to the south of the site. Nevali Cori (now
inundated by water due to the dam) was about 30 miles northwest of GT at the upper left hand
side. Photo taken from an altitude of about 35.5 miles. North is up. Source: Google Earth maps.
A closer look at the area excavated is shown in Figure 1.1, from a Google Earth map. The photo
shows the serpentine mountain ridge the site is at, set at almost the top at the very center of the
photo. To the northwest, a mild mound is situated, shown in Figure 1.2 but not so as to block the
sunset of the summer solstice. More detailed views of the site are given in Figures A2, A3, A4,
and A5 at the Addendum to the paper. They potentially depict areas on the mountaintop where
potentially neighboring sites of archeological interest might be lurking. Mountain crevices are
ideal spots offering considerable security and protective coverage for Neolithic residences
perched on a hill, taking advantage of the ground’s gentle slopes to anchor apse type
stonemasonry construction sporting broad vistas, while freeing up flat land for agriculture related
uses. This must be kept in mind while analyzing GT’s surrounding settlement sites of 5000 BC.
The viewshed of the site is towards the north and partly to the west. The site is flanked by a
mound couple of dozen feet above the site, extending from the east to the south, see Figure 1.2.
The sunrays would hit the pillars and the orthostats of GT’s northernmost structures (from
structure D and above) at sunrise between the spring and autumnal equinoxes, but blocked from
the sunrises between the autumnal and spring equinoxes. It is unknown why that specific location
was chosen to build the system of structures found at GT. The site is situated relatively close,
hundred meters or so, from where the megaliths used as orthostats and pillars were quarried.
Figure 1.1. The location of Gobekli Tepe’s system of structures (3713’23”N, 3855’21”E); the
monuments are situated almost at the top of an elongated fishbone or serpentine shaped mound
running on a northwest to southeast direction, at an azimuth of about 120. Access to the site
was from the southwest, as is today. The photo is taken from an altitude of about 12000 feet.
North is up. Source: Google Earth map.
As the surrounding area is relatively flat and currently used for agriculture, it is very likely that
more than one (possibly a set of) thriving human settlements of considerable scale must have
been nearby during the Late Mesolithic and Early Neolithic, a number (35) of them already
discussed. The region in that specific section of the Fertile Crescent is quite close to the River
Euphrates, and undoubtedly this aspect of locational comparative advantages was a major factor
determining the choice of the site and the ensued scale of the monument. The gentle slopes of
the mountain were areas of cultivation since the Mesolithic era, and agriculture has been the
locals’ occupation on those slopes to this day. The abundance of PPNA/B material found in the
fills of GT’s structurers as well as off them constitute evidentiary proof of such abundance.
Aspects of Demography, Spatial Analysis, Economic Geography and Central Place Theory related
topics and applicable to the scale of GT’s monumental structures and its broader region are
addressed in [1].
Figure 1.2. The yellow line depicts a gently shaped, contour-following topographical distance of
about half a mile northwest from the monument; the archeological site of Gobekli Tepe is
situated on a plateau which links to the north with another mound through a promontory seen
in this photo to the upper left. The site is flanked to the east and south by a slightly higher hilltop,
and so is too from the northwest. Photo is taken from an altitude of about 5400 feet above
ground level. North is up. Source of photo: Google Earth maps.
Around the site, areas of quarrying limestone abound, as a major reason for the mound to have
eroded is the quantity of quarrying that has taken place there over the millennia. To this day,
some pillars are still in the ground, not fully separated from and levered out of their bedrock
source but partially shaped. One of them, even seven meters in length and three meters wide,
according to K. Schmidt’s description of the terrain [24] is still in situ. This amount and scale of
quarrying activity alone is a very strong indication of the intensive use of the area, not only as a
source of stones for monumental construction but also for agriculture and living (residential)
activity as well. Lithic evidence found in the fill and all around the site attests to that. All this
activity is the result of sedentary living, a lifestyle in which residents acquired the right to claim
land for ownership and use, and place a stake on it. These are not patterns of a mobile, migratory
population, using land as a fly-by operation.
In considering the manner in which this site was buried, and the amount of quarrying and soil
removal involved allows one to gauge the extent of land use intensity and densities occurring
there since the late Mesolithic. The exact amount of soil used to create the artificial tumulus to
bury the GT system of monuments must have been significant. See the interior of structure C in
Figure 1.3, for an appreciation of the amount of soil needed to just fill on enclosure. A well with
a 7-meter diameter and a height of about seven meters (the approximate average volume of the
GT structures A, B, C, and D’s Layer III) requires about 270 cubic meters of soil to be filled. Five
wells of that type would require more than one thousand cubic meters of soil. And that is only to
fill the interior space’s volume.
The overall artificial tumulus is about 200x300 meters, and about fifteen meters in height, see
[5]. At the time of the structures’ burial the tumulus height must have been even greater. That’s
about one million cubic meters of soil. Where did all that fill come from is a topic which when
resolved might shed considerable light on the chronology of the site. Most likely, at least part of
the fill must have come from the quarry, source of the considerable number of megalithic stones
utilized in GT’s monumental construction. It must also have originated in places where PPNA/B
activity took place, thus the source of its carbon-14 dated material in it. Tumulus soil erosion over
the millennia exposed the tip of the pillars that led in the 1990s to the discovery of the entire
site’s buried structures.
Figure 1.3. Gobekli Tepe structure C during excavation. Source: [15].
The site plan.
The site’s regional Macro Geology has not undergone significant change since the monument’s
construction and burial. Sea level during the late Mesolithic to early Neolithic at that part of Asia
Minor were a few meters below its present level, see [12]. Save the effects from the recent dam,
the broader large scale landscape must not have looked very different than what it is now. In
Figure 2.1 the site’s excavation area as of 2000 is shown in more detail. In that site plan and
contour topographic map, the 2-hectare area under excavation is shown.
Figure 2.1. Gobekli Tepe, excavation site map showing the extent of the archeological area.
Structures A – F are found in the vicinity of the 100x100 meter square defined by the
coordinate points (L, M - 8, 9). Source: [4].
Figure 2.2. Gobekli Tepe’s six structures known so far, enclosures A, B, C, D, E, and F, including
the pillars and orthostats’ numbers, according to a Rodney Hale’s unscaled schematic floor plan
diagram, as provided by A. Collins in source [5]. The inner rings are the oldest layers, designated
as Layers III. The structures take an area of about 60 meters by 50 meters i.e., about a third of a
hectare. The archeological team in charge of the excavation estimates, on the basis of ground
penetrating radar readings, that not even a sixth of the entire site’s enclosures have been
excavated. It must be noted that not all of the unexcavated thus far enclosures are of the
structures C and D size or type. Most likely, based on chances drawn from the six enclosures
already excavated, the unexcavated circles likely involve type/size A, B, E, and F structures.
Structure C seems to be the dominant enclosure in terms of size and complexity; structure D is
intermediate in import, followed by enclosures B, A, F, and E in that hierarchical order. Not
showing on this graph is a rectangular enclosure at GT, see Figure 2.3. The orientations of
enclosures C and D as drawn in the above diagram by R. Hale are not those according to this
author, see Figures 2.7, 3.1, 5.3 and 5.4. In these Figures the difference between the pillars’
orientation and the enclosures’ axis of symmetry is pointed out. They form almost 90 angles.
In Figure 2.2 an unscaled schematic drawing shows the relative sizes and morphology of the six
enclosures already excavated as of 2013. Their relative location is identified. Also included in the
drawing is the reference number for each of the megaliths included in the six structures’ inner
and outer rings. The approximate apparent orientation of each enclosure is shown, along with
the orientation of each megalith. On the orientation of the megaliths some of this paper’s
findings regarding the role and use of their shadows will be based and discussed in a later section.
Figure 2.3. A rectangular stone enclosure at Gobekli Tepe, with four free standing central T-
shaped pillars. It belongs to Layer II structures and it is of course younger then the pseudo-
elliptical inner rings (Layer III) structures C and D. The difference in floor plan must indicate a
different use, possibly auxiliary to the other enclosures’ use(s) and function(s). Very likely this
structure was meant to have a wooden roof and the central pillars played the role of load bearing
columns. Source of the photo reference [14]:
A structure which in floor plan design doesn’t quite fit, given the current narrative regarding the
chronology of geometric shapes in the design of structures during the Mesolithic and early
Neolithic (see [2]), with the rest of the structures at GT is the one shown in Figure 2.3. This
structure is however especially helpful and a key in calibrating not only GT’s initial construction
phase, but also better gauge the chronology of some other structures, very closely related to GT,
namely Nevali Cori and Catalhoyuk. The construction in Figure 2.3 is a rectangular structure, in
which the surrounding dry stonewall does not contain orthostats. Four pillars are located almost
symmetrically in the enclosure’s interior rectangular space. This single-room structure (it seems
to be subterranean from Figure 2.3) must be an auxiliary and subordinate space to the multiplicity
of functions carried out by the pseudo-elliptical shaped enclosures C and D (and possibly others
still to be excavated). GT was a large in scale site, and it is clear that many spaces were needed
and apparently planned for many different land uses.
There are however rectangular in shape structures at both Catalhoyuk (see Figure 2.4), and Nevali
Cori (see Figure 2.5). Nevali Cori is thought (erroneously, in this author’s view) to be two millennia
older than Catalhoyuk. However, architectural construction doesn’t seem to support this dating,
as their walls’ composition and thickness are very different, thus their age also differs but not in
the manner conventional Archeology suggests. Catalhoyuk’s walls, floors and ceilings are adobe
types; whereas Nevali Cori’s rectangular shaped temple’s stonemasonry walls are almost
identical to those of GT – in construction material and thickness and both more advanced at least
in durability and quality than Catalhoyuk’s construction.
Figure 2.4. Catalhoyuk’s rectangular residential structures. This must be considered an earlier
construction than Gobekli Tepe’s and about contemporaneous to the rectangular shaped Temple
at Nevali Cori. Source of photo:
Catalhoyuk’s tell (tumulus) is of extreme importance in dating both Nevali Cori and GT. Tells (like
that at Hisarlik that contains the nine layers of Troy), the ways they form chronicle urban
evolution in space-time. The oldest layer is at the core of the tumulus, and newer strata form on
top and at its sides, expanding in space over time, both horizontally and vertically. Older strata
are usually stripped from their varied and useful furniture (artifacts etc.) that is used in the newer
upper and further out strata, in general. The older stratum construction material (in the case of
Catalhoyuk, adobe bricks) either disintegrated under either natural or human causes; or it was
used for newer construction above it. Otherwise, it performs the role of a foundation for the
upper stratum. Thus tells form: inner and lower strata are older than upper and outer strata.
Then, tumuli are formed the GT way: buried by human hand, its material never reused, just buried
intact and standing. The first way (Catalhoyuk) is far older than the second way in forming tells.
And this is a strong hint as to their relative chronology, first layer in Catalhoyuk vs. Layer III
structures at GT. But there are far more telling signs on relative chronology between the two.
Figure 2.5. Nevali Cori’s rectangular Temple. Notice the manner the pillars at the center interior
space are supported: they do not use a base, as those of Gobekli Tepe do, and they are anchored
inside ground recesses. Similar to Gobekli Tepe is also the floor of the Temple. Benches surround
the perimeter wall just as they do at Gobekli Tepe’s structures C and D. In addition, noteworthy
is the ring to the right in the above photo surrounding the inner Temple space masonry wall, as
do the outer ring walls in structures A, B, C and D (see Figure 2.2) at GT. Source of photo:
The thickness of Nevali Cori and GT’s dry stone wall is indicative of far more recent than the
thinner stone walls of the Natufian (about the tenth millennium BC) masonry construction, made
out of much thicker and bigger stones. Moreover, the rectangular shape temple at Nevali Cori is
far later of a shape in the design of either homes or temples, than the arc and almost circular
Natufian structures. Thus architectural construction design strongly indicates that Nevali Cori is
of a much later date than the Natufian culture and possibly a later construction (at least its
Temple date) than Catalhoyuk earliest phase. Furthermore, beyond the specific type of wall in
consideration here, Nevali Cori’s orthogonal temple structure pushes its construction phase
closer to Catalhoyuk’s upper layer construction, making it quite younger than Catalhoyuk’s
bottom layer, and contemporaneous or slightly younger than Catalhoyuk’s upper layers.
A note on Catalhoyuk’s various layers is in order here. In some layers there, houses’ mural
artwork is of extreme interest in so far as the interpretations of certain iconography is concerned
found on these interior walls. It has been suggested that some depict the urban design and site
plans of the settlement, a suggestion proposed by the original excavator of Catalhoyuk which, if
correct, would indicate a far more developed and advance settlement than currently thought by
the mainstream archeological circles. On this subject, see ref. [19], which disputes this
interpretation and suggests that the design is that of a leopard’s skin. A predatory animal,
possibly a leopard, is also depicted by one of the sculptures in one of GT’s monoliths, which will
be discussed in a later section of the paper.
Both sites’ initial construction is pegged closer to GT’s initial (and quite later) construction phase.
It is noteworthy that Nevali Cori also contains the interior altar-type or bench lower level
perimeter structure that GT also contains, except that at Nevali Cori, the altar (or bench) is
capped by flat shaped large in size finer dressed limestone.
Furthermore, see Figures 2.3 and 2.5, the rectangular structures at GT and Nevali Cori clearly
indicate some close proximity in their respective construction dates. Due to the apparent
auxiliary function of GT’s rectangular enclosure, the “GT is a later construction than Nevali Cori”
proposition is hard to argue against. However, what mainly makes GT a late Mesolithic building
activity is the construction at Jerf El Ahmar, as it was argued in [1], among the numerous other
factors mentioned there and here.
In Figure 2.6 the view from the east of structure C is offered where at the upper part of the photo
the hill to the west-northwest is pictured. Similar in direction is the, at dusk to nocturnal, view of
the structure shown in Figure A1 at the Addendum. A more complete set of GT’s topographical
features is supplied in the set of photos from Google Earth maps in the Addendum. It seems that
the site, where structures A F were placed, although in a relatively dominant high ground, it
was not directly and equally visible from a ground level and from all directions. Structures C and
D’s unrestricted viewshed was mainly to the southwest and north.
Figure 2.6. Structure C viewed from the East. To the right is structure D. Notice the central
pillar’s shadow as cast on the ground and onto its companion central pillar. Photo credit and
The stone enclosures’ construction
In this subsection, certain subjects that pertain to the Architecture and Engineering construction
detail of the GT enclosures are elaborated. Topics of morphology and design are addressed at
length in a later section of the paper. Much construction detail of these monuments is found in
reference [7]. Structures A, B and D seem to flank in an arc the western side of structure C, which
seems to occupy a central position in the site plan of what has been excavated so far and shown
in Figure 2.2. Structures B and C seem to have been designed in the form of roughly concentric
rings, forming likely corridors between them, with a mild spiraling flow in their deployment.
The pseudo-elliptical in shape walls of all six enclosures unearthed thus far are made out of
unworked partly crashed dry stones. The stone walls are not extended to the top of the
enclosures, rising up to various levels below an individual’s height. Stonewalls’ depth varies, but
it is approximately matched by the width of the T-shaped orthostats in them. No mortar was used
and neither was any plastering performed on these walls. Plastering was however applied onto
the enclosures’ megaliths, and it was of some thickness, since carvings, reliefs and friezes of a
variety of pictographs and figures was imprinted on them. Apparently, some of these carvings
were erased at times and replaced by other motifs.
The stonemasonry enclosing walls were punctuated along usually uneven (but not very much so)
intervals by the use of free standing, no load bearing T-shaped orthostats. These one-piece
megaliths were directly set on the enclosure’s ground or in limited instances they were elevated
slightly above ground and settled on the dry masonry walls’ specially formed stepped up
recesses. Not all megaliths have the same height. Those embedded in the wall (the orthostats)
are always lower in height than those two T-shaped megalithic pillars which dominate the stone
enclosures located at center stage of the pseudo-elliptical structure. The central pillars height
varies between three and six meters. Even the two T-shaped pillars at the center do not have
identical heights, one seems to play a dominant role over the other and certainly in reference to
the wall’s orthostats.
At structure C, the two central pillars sit on an individual base, a type of broad pedestal, and the
size of these bases are significant in reference to the entire floor area of the monument. The
bases’ length is about twice the pillar’s length, while its width is about five times the pillars’
thickness. Bases are carved from the ground’s bedrock. The pillars although they get some partial
support from the base, they must be anchored into the ground.
Figure 2.7. Orientation of the four pairs of pillars from structures A, B, C, and D at Gobekli Tepe.
Schematic drawing by the author over an aerial photo. See also the section on the morphology
of structures C and D and Figure 6 for more on the issue of orientation of these two structures.
Source of photo ref. [6].
All unearthed thus far orthostats seem to have an orientation in the general direction towards
the enclosure’s center space, but they are not always and exactly oriented towards some
centrally fixed point. It seems that the architect wanted to have different shading conditions on
them, as well as orientation. The two central pillars of all enclosures seem to be oriented in a
manner generally parallel to the enclosure’s apparent overall orientation, as shown in Figure 2.2,
but not exactly so. As we shall see in the section on the structures C and D’s detailed morphology,
this isn’t the intended orientation of either structure C or D; the real orientation of structure C is
towards the summer solstice rising sun, and so is the approximate real orientation (axis of
symmetry) for structure D.
Looking carefully at the two central pillars for all enclosures reveals that the two T-shaped
megaliths do never run exactly parallel to each other and they do not align exactly as to be level
on their narrow sides they are set as if one pillar “follows” slightly yet discretely the other.
There doesn’t seem to be a consistent apparent orientation of the enclosures, as Figure 2.2
indicates when entrances are taken as indications of “orientation”.
A non-discernible pattern in the orientation of the central pillars is also shown in Figure 2.7.
However, azimuths need to be estimated with some accuracy for each structure’s pillars,
particularly the two largest, C and D’s central pillars, to be exactly calibrated. Given the elapsed
time period and the motion of the Earth’s axis of rotation in its 26000-year cycle, allowance must
be made since the current azimuths do not reflect precisely the then orientation of these
structures, although according to the Thom’s in [10] this change in Earth’s ecliptic isn’t very
significant. In a later section on the Architecture of the structures’ floor plan, a different sense of
orientation and symmetry in structures C and D in specific will be revealed.
As this paper is not dealing with symbolism per se, any interpretation that can be drawn from
these stones’ layout, relative sizes, orientations etc., is left to the interested reader. Obviously,
symbolism is attached also to the number of monoliths embedded in each structure, beyond the
possibly male/female (deity/ancestral) dichotomy depicted by the two central pillars.
There are five megaliths in structure A; nine in structure B; 21 in structure C, the inner ring
containing eleven plus the two at center, while the outer ring contains eight; and fourteen in D.
All of these 49 megaliths are numbered in Figure 2.2. In addition, there are four non-numbered
megaliths, two in each of the structures E and F. In total, so far these have been the 49 uncovered
megaliths. There could be more, as spaces seem to have been made to accommodate more
megaliths in structure C. And of course, more monolithic megaliths may be still in the ground,
waiting excavation.
The most well and regularly spaced megaliths embedded in the stonemasonry wall are those of
structure D. Whether this has any special meaning is not clear. The fact that the orthostats at
structure D number twelve could possibly indicate some hexadecimal system in place (possibly a
clock related function). If the space between stones #13 and #24 in structure C was to place a
twelfth orthostat there, then that would imply some inter-connected calendar type purposeful
function for both C and D. The hexadecimal system is encountered in the Neolithic, see [2] for
more discussion and references on that subject. Their difference in the state of preservation
might indicate some difference and intent in their burial; see for more on this the last section.
Their floor, set on bedrock, was coated by an archetypal type cement like material quite similar
to terrazzo (burnt lime). This is the type of floor we encounter in the case of Nevali Cori as well.
Some of the pictographs have been erased [7] and some of the T-shaped pillars have been
broken, or had their head chipped or chopped off. Some of the orthostats have been displaced
or missing. See for instance the two pillars of structure C in Figure 2.3. All pillars and orthostats
are from locally (and close-by) quarried limestone.
Limestone is easily shaped, far easier then basalt granite or marble, although not as durable and
so it presents a good tradeoff to architects, especially in the Mesolithic when the tools to work
stone were harder stone not metal. Thus, limestone became a stone of choice for large scale
construction in the Mesolithic, a suitable material to work with in building the megalithic
structures at GT, as it was at Nevali Cori. But GT and Nevali Cori differ significantly in a major
aspect: Nevali Cori is a single nucleus structure, whereas GT is a multi-nucleated set of structures
a maze of structures, some large some smaller in size, far more complex in site design, thus
younger than Nevali Cori. In that multi-nucleated pseudo-elliptical set of structures, GT
resembles the site plan of Jerf El Ahmar. But it is far more developed and complex than Jerf El
Ahmar in design, thus younger than Jerf El Ahmar. This is the central element of the argument
regarding GT’s dating, based on the Architecture of the monument. For the site plans of both
Nevali Cori and Jerf El Ahmar see [1].
There is the floor plan rectangular issue: at Nevali Cori (as is the case also with Catalhoyuk) we
encounter rectangles, a pure geometric shape which is not supposed to be there at the
Mesolithic. One can address the Catalhoyuk case as a matter of distance: being 330 miles away,
this innovation in design of residential construction might have been an independently derived
innovation. But this isn’t the case with Nevali Cori – same region as GT only 30 miles away.
In fact this is an anomaly in the evolution of design. From circular and apse/arc type structures
of the Mesolithic to the pseudo-elliptical structures of GT is a straightforward linear transition.
Rectangles were still ahead, a few centuries possibly a millennium downstream from Upper
Mesopotamia’s GT in Lower Mesopotamia and Uruk. What was a rectangle temple doing at
Nevali Cori two to three millennia too early? One must consider this as a flash in the pan type
innovation, a new design that was far ahead of its time. It is the only component of the
historiographic scenario that doesn’t quite fit. Or, alternatively, the dating of Nevali Cori (and
Catalhoyuk) is far too off the mark, and instead it is much closer to a 6th millennium BC GT.
It is worth noticing that the orientation of the central T-shaped pair of megaliths in all four
structures (A, B, C, and D), see Figure 2.7, follow in general a direction from the northwest
towards the southeast, they do not seem to align either inter-structurally (among structures) or
intra-structurally (within a structure), with the possible exception of the pair of monoliths in
structure A (pillars A1 and A2 from Figure 2.2, it is pillars #1 and #2). From an inter-structure
viewpoint, pillar C2 from structure C seems to align with pillar B2 of structure B (these are pillar
numbers #35 and #9 in Figure 2.2). Whether this was by design, or just an unintended
consequence remains an open question. However, these orientations will be revisited in the
section of the paper where the role of the monoliths’ shadows in these structures will be explored
more fully.
On the artifacts and their dating
Because artifacts of an older period have been located inside the various layers of GT’s structures,
it doesn’t necessarily follow that they are of GT’s age, or that GT is of their age. Fills do not date
a monument, so whatever is contained in that fill (including artwork) doesn’t put a date on the
structure. If an artifact in that fill is securely dated, then this is a terminus post quem for the fill
(but not the structure), i.e., the fill could not have been of an earlier date than the artifact was
made. However, the filling by dirt containing this artifact could have taken place later.
Figure 3.1. The salamander; a GT related artifact-relief embedded on a roughly cut T-shaped
stone. Obviously, the salamander is carved so that a human face is abstractly detectable in the
petroglyph. In many other renditions of animals and other symbols this “ambivalence” in imagery
is apparent at GT. An approximate symmetry in the salamander rendition is also noted. Symmetry
is not a characteristic of Mesolithic Art. Furthermore, noted is the fact that this relief is not carved
on the pillar’s plaster coating (there isn’t any coating here), but directly on the limestone core.
This salamander should be contrasted with the “predator” (possibly a leopard) sculpture on the
narrow side of the perfectly rectangular T-shaped orthostat #27, at the inner (Layer III) ring of
structure C. It is much older than the #27 art form.
Figure 3.2. The perfect symmetry megalith. Reliefs on a Gobekli Tepe rectangular megalith
containing on both sides the same symbols in perfect symmetry and reverse roles. On the long
side, the symmetric symbol “H” is carved, symmetrically flanked by two apses. On the frontal
narrow side, the roles are reversed, as a set of five H’s (two vertically and one horizontally
positioned at the left hand side, two horizontally positioned at the right hand side margins) flank
a set of male/female apses facing up. The pair of hands are symmetrically placed and so are their
fingers. The exquisitely fine outline and shape of the hand’s fingers and the rest of the symbols
is unseen even in late Neolithic Art; noticeable is the undifferentiated length of the fingers on
each hand, with the exception of the thumb. The degree of sophistication, symbolism, quality of
work, symmetry and dexterity are extraordinary. The relief is carved on the stone’s coating.
What is of interest is that the artwork associated with GT, be that on its pillars and orthostats, or
of the fill used to bury the structure are of very different artistic vein and of vastly different time
periods. In [1] the author extensively discussed the art content of GT, and specifically certain of
its pictographs associated with the purification symbols at the top of the T-shaped orthostat #43
of structure D, see Figure 2.2. Here the analysis expands on those points raised in [1].
An example of a very early Mesolithic type artifact is that of Figure 3.1 depicting the very rough
form of a salamander. One is struck by the very rough working on both the limestone it was
carved and the figure itself. In contrast to this older salamander depicting petroglyph is the fine
carving on the orthostat, and possibly the iconic pillar of GT that portrays a human embrace of
the stone. The relief depicts a finely carved pair of hands and their ten fingers, as well as the
perfectly symmetric symbol “H” and an apse on the side and the set of symbols at the narrow
front of the megalith with the apse again being a dominant element of the composition, Figure
3.2. Not only the specific symbols carved on both the front and sides of the orthostat are
processed in much detail and very carefully worked, but the framing of these representations is
of note. This is obviously a Neolithic era petroglyph of a very refined quality, an artifact belonging
to a different era than the salamander of Figure 3.1. Since the glyphs were periodically erased
and re-carved, it is possible that not all sculptured figures are contemporaneous with the initial
construction phase at either the enclosures they are found in or GT’s first stone enclosure. As the
functioning of GT as a ceremonial site (among its many other uses we suggest here) lasted for
well over two millennia, evolutionary changes in artwork styles and the culture itself may have
accounted for the various art pieces and their school of Art they belong and imprinted in these
In Figure 3.3 another artifact (a perfectly rectangular cistern, or a libation container - vessel)
found in the fill’s lower strata of enclosure B is shown. It was found broken into two pieces (see
Figure 4.3). The cistern’s design and fine cut out of limestone is another strong indication that
the filling with soil and burying of the monument occurred in a Neolithic time period.
Figure 3.3. A rectangular cistern (libation container) found at the fill of structure B. See also
Figures 4.3 and 4.4 at the end of the next section of the paper regarding this container.
The shape and dressing of the megaliths
The processing, carvings, and dressing with stucco or plaster type cover the stones and pillars at
GT is of a date and type not encountered until late into Neolithic, at the Hagar Qim phase Temples
of the Maltese Archipelago, early 4th millennium BC. One of the most astonishing features of GT’s
Architecture is the fine processing of the megaliths, be either those of the central T-shaped pillars
or the T-shaped orthostats embedded in the enclosures’ masonry walls. Part of that fine
processing is their almost perfect rectangular shape. Rectangular shape orthostats we also
encounter in the case of Nevali Cori. However, it is not of the very refined stage of GT – this being
another feature attesting to the succession regarding initial phase being built: Nevali Cori first,
followed by GT.
Rectangular orthostats and pillars we encounter much later at the Hagar Qim Temples of Malta.
It seems that GT strongly influenced the Maltese Architecture and Art, and that influence must
had been recent, when the GT site was just buried. Otherwise, its legacy would had died with it,
forgotten and lost to collective memory. Unless the influences emanating from it and reaching
Malta at the time of Hagar Qim’s initial construction phase were recent.
The dressing of the pillars and orthostats was made from pedogenic carbonate coatings, see [7];
this is a form of plaster. Although the practice of plastering walls is a phenomenon common and
quite older than GT in the Architecture of Mesopotamia, the plastering of free standing stones is
unheard of and unseen at any PPNA/B site, anywhere in Eurasia. This component of the GT
structures is a contributing factor in dating the monument significantly post PPNA/B.
One of the impressive (although not uncommon in stone carvings of the Mesolithic in Eurasia)
features that some of the GT’s coated megaliths sport is the round recesses at their top.
Undoubtedly, these recesses were made to hold some flammable liquid, possibly olive oil, to light
them up at night during ceremonies.
Another critical component of GT’s Architecture is the coating of the structures’ floor with a form
of cement, terrazzo (burnt lime). This is also encountered in Nevali Cori’s temple floor; otherwise,
the practice is unheard of for the early Mesolithic. It is met at the 6th millennium BC Danube
residential site of Lepenski Vir, see for more on this [2].
Dressing of stones is encountered in isolated cases in the Neolithic by Babylonians and Assyrians
and later by Egyptians who used calcium carbonate to make mortar with gypsum [8]. The issue
of contamination from the fill of the pillars and orthostats’ surface was addressed in [1]. Carbon-
14 analysis of the stones’ plaster coverage was found to be for enclosure C’s Layer III from the
7560 7370 BC period, whereas for the enclosure B (a much more primitive form than the C
structure) from the 8280 – 7970 BC period. The argument of this paper is that the key enclosure
C dating is off by about two millennia. In summary, the Art and Architecture as well as Urban
Design aspects of the GT site supply very strong evidence that these are very late Mesolithic to
early Neolithic structures. We now turn to their Architecture and Design proper and their context.
An overview of structures C and D
Figure 4.1. Aerial view of Gobekli Tepe’s six structures; for orientation of the central pillars of all
four structures (A, B, C, and D) see also Figure 2.7. North is up. Photo credit Nick Becker,
German Archeological Institute. Source of photo: [6].
In Figures 4.1 and 4.2 the floor plan can be seen (the author has no access to the architectural
drawings of these enclosures, if such drawings exist). Thus all references to a floor plan for the
two structures, especially structures C and D that will preoccupy our analysis here, come from
approximate dimensions and aerial photos available on the internet or the various publications
about GT cited here. In any case, since much of the discussion utilizes modular lengths (which are
based on ratios) the difficulty emanating from a lack of exact architectural drawings is largely
bypassed. A strong feature, especially in structure C’s floor plan, but also a feature encountered
in structures A, B, and C, is the outer rings. Obviously, they were walkways and also features of
isolation and insulation of the core central stone enclosure. Some of them have benches, some
create wider spaces, places where individuals could stand or sit between raised orthostats there.
Figure 4.2. Gobekli Tepe close up aerial photo of structure C. Notable is the eccentric location of
both central T-shaped pillars in reference to their base and to each other. The real orientation
and axis of symmetry of this structure is towards the northeast, possibly towards the rising sun
at the summer solstice. Then the shadow from the pillar to the right falls on the pillar to the left.
This also occurs at sunset during winter solstice, when the roles are reversed. It is suggested in
the paper that shadows played a significant role in the positioning of the orthostats and pillars in
all structures. Beyond male-female allegory in these two megaliths’ alignments involving their
shadows within the enclosure, shadows likely played a major choreographic role in the design of
the entire structure(s) and the positioning of megaliths in them at Gobekli Tepe. That role
potentially included the determination of time during the day, so that the enclosure acquired the
form of a complex sundial. Notable is the differentiation in use of the enclosure’s space: the
northeastern section must have involved a far more complex function than the rest of the
enclosure’s space. North is straight up in the photo. Source of photo [23].
From Figure 4.1, the structure D can be seen as having a clear “egg” shape, “egg” being a term
coined by Alexander Thom, to whose work we shall go in the following section. The shape of
structure C (the dominant structure in the set of six enclosures shown in Figure 4.1) will be the
subject of a section following that in which we review the father and son Thom’s classification of
enclosures of qualitatively similar form. In short, structure D is a slightly older structure than C,
maybe constructed before C became part of the complex. However, one can hardly talk about
“phases” separated by a significant time period, as the two structures bear strong similarities.
Figure 4.3 Structure B’s interior during excavation. The broken into two pieces cistern (possibly
a libation vessel) is shown as found in the lower strata of the fill. The scale of the monument can
be directly gauged from this photo. The structure’s smallest net (benches not counted) interior
space is about as wide as twice the length of the average pillar, a very human scale indeed.
Notable is the fact that the megaliths here bear no relief motifs. Source of photo [14].
Outer rings as integral parts of these structures, played a role far more complex than simply
supportive and auxiliary, acting as just corridors. These sections of the structures could be
covered, if indeed the central ring stone enclosures were meant to be an open air structures. This
will be further explored in a bit. In Figures 4.1 and 4.2 the floor plan can be seen (the author has
no access to the architectural drawings of these enclosures, if such detailed drawings exist). Thus
all references to a floor plan for the two structures, especially structure C that will preoccupy our
analysis here, comes from the aerial photos available on the internet or the various publications
about GT cited here.
Figure 4.4. A similar cistern to that of Figure 4.3 is shown here, at the lower strata of fill in Layer
III at Gobekli Tepe. This is in design detail a much rougher cut in limestone than the one in Figure
4.3, thus older. However, the double rectangle shape and varied functionality of the libation
vessel (implying some differentiation in content and purpose between the two rectangles) as well
as the detailed artwork for the four animal figures at left renders it post middle Mesolithic (i.e.,
later than 7000 BC.) it may suggest a period of more affluence in the community that maintained
the structure at the time the cistern was made and used, than that of the period the cistern in
Figure 4.3 was made and used, although their dates of make could be (possibly totally) unrelated
to the construction date of the two structures. The cistern above also acts as a terminus post
quem on the cistern of Figure 4.3. Since both were dropped inside these enclosures by the end
of the site’s use, although they can’t be of any use in dating the structures, they are informative
regarding the dating of the fills.
From Figure 4.1, structures C and D can be seen as having a clear “egg” type pseudo-elliptical
shape, “egg” being a term coined by Alexander Thom, to whose work we shall go in the following
section. The shape structures C and D (the dominant structures in the set of six enclosures shown
in Figure 4.1) will be the subject of a section following that in which we review the father and son
Thom’s classification.
In short, Architecture confirms that structure D is an older structure than C, due to C’s higher
complexity in design than C’s floor plan. Very likely D was constructed before C was part of the
complex. One can hardly talk about distinct “phases” yet among structures, construction and
styles, separated by a significant time period, as much is still in the ground waiting excavation.
Alexander Thom’s typology of stone enclosures
Alexander Thom and his son Archibald S. Thom in a classical by now work on megalithic
monuments of the British Isles and Brittany, France tried to deconstruct their Neolithic stone
circles and also petroglyphic ring circles. They attempted to de-compose these approximate
circles (actually, these monuments have shapes far more complicated than simple circles) into
their constituent parts. As a consequence of this effort, they came up with a scheme of classifying
these forms, a scheme of some use here to deconstruct GT’s structures, especially enclosures C
and D. Analyzing this classification is the focus of this section of the paper.
In [10] chapter 3, Alexander Thom’s classification is offered of stone circles, and also what he
refers to as “ring circles”, in effect petroglyphs which bear circular or elliptical or spiral motifs,
iconography or pictographs on them. Thom’s insightful analysis is of interest here. It is captured
in his diagrams of p.18 in [10]. We shall disregard the argument by the Thom’s as to the unit
length basis of these circles and rings. The father and son Thom argue that the modulus is their
“megalithic rod” (two times their “megalithic yard”, a length equal to about .83 meters) in the
construction of the stone circles (enclosures/monuments) of all the megalithic sites (which
include Neolithic and Bronze Age Architecture and construction) in Brittany as well as all the
British Isles (including Ireland and the Orkney Archipelago). They do not employ the term
“modulus” (they are not architects) but that’s what in effect they imply.
Their claim, that the “megalithic rod” was used in Brittany’s Carnac monuments has been in part
refuted by the author in [2] and [3], based on evidence from the monuments of Le Grand Menec
and Crucuno, at Carnac. Nonetheless, their analysis of the “egg” shaped stone enclosures is very
important and useful here, since the stone enclosures referred to as “structures C and D” at
Gobekli Tepe do exhibit similar shapes to those analyzed by the father and son Thom.
The Thom’s call these shapes “egg” shaped structures or “flattened circles”, and they consider
them (correctly so) intermediate shapes between pure circles and ellipses. They classify them
according to the complexity the shapes exhibit in their design. Complexity is measured by two
factors: first, the minimum number of arcs the “flattened circle” or the “egg” structure can be
broken down, thus the number of circles required to (approximately, i.e., to an acceptable
degree) trace all arcs and complete the enclosures’ circumference; and second, the position of
the circles’ centers within these shapes and the computing of their radius. The Thom’s also find
some (weak) relationships (ratios) linking all these circles’ radii. Their efforts centered on showing
that these ratios involve integer numbers (incorrectly so, since in many instances these ratios
produce rational fractions or even irrational numbers). It should be mentioned that accuracy in
measuring even in situ the exact lengths of these circles’ radii, diameters or circumferences at
times leaves a lot to be desired.
All cases analyzed by the Thom’s involve stone circles that exhibit two fundamental features in
their morphology: first, at least half of the enclosure consists of a single circle, whereas the
remainder of the circumference is a composite of an odd number of arcs (thus they contain,
counting the initial half circle, always an even number of arcs in toto); second, the enclosure is
perfectly symmetric along an axis which bisects the part of the enclosure that contains the
semicircle, this being the orientation of the enclosure.
Figure X. Alexander and Archibald S. Thom symmetric (indicative of the enclosure’s orientation)
along the yy-axis schema of a flattened circle, according to reference [10]. Drawing by the
Here are the eight types found in the Thom’s analysis, p. 18 in [10]. In principle, their underlying
design schema is quite simple. Seven cases (out of eight, the eighth case being simply an ellipse)
involve drawing multiple circles. Four of these cases have (in part) circles drawn as in Figure X,
that is, by drawing two circles. A smaller radius circle is drawn first, tracing the bulk of the
perimeter with center at C and radius (CA). It leaves space of some angle to be traced by an arc
from a second circle. This longest-radius (AB) circle has as its center the point where the
symmetry axis (yy) of the entire enclosure (being also its orientation) intersects the main circle
(with center at C) of the enclosure at A. The rest of the cases involve arcs which are drawn from
circles with a radius and a center derived through some simple algebraic formula specific to each
case. It should be noted that at the points of intersection of two arcs from different circles, the
perimeter undergoes a discontinuity, since the two joining curves at that point do not share the
same tangent.
The eight specific cases suggested by the Thom’s are as follows: (i) Flattened circle type A (a 4-
circle case); the shape involves a 240 arc of a circle, the rest of the enclosure’s perimeter (120)
are traced by a pair of small circles’ arcs (part of circles with a radius determined by an algebraic
expression) and an arc of a large circle with radius equal to the distance between the intersection
of the symmetry axis with the 240 circle and the end of the small circle’s arcs, for an arc of 30.
(ii) Flattened circle type B (a 4-circle case); the shape involves a semicircle, flanked by a pair of
70 arcs with small radius (determined by an algebraic expression) a third of the semicircle’s
diameter, cupped by the (approximately 35) arc of a circle with a long radius equal to the
distance between the point of the semicircle’s intersection with the symmetry axis and the end
point of the small circle’s arc. (iii) Flattened circle type C (a 4-circle case) qualitatively similar to
the case in A, except that the long radius forms a 20 arc. (iv) Flattened circle modified type B (a
4-circle case); the small radius is a quarter of the semicircle’s diameter, and the arc of the long
radius’ circle is about 50. (v) Egg shaped circle type I (a 4-circle case); it consists of a semi-circle,
a pair of arcs drawn by two equal in length long radii, their centers’ position on the semi-circles’
diameter (split approximately in thirds), each forming an approximate 50 angle, the rest of the
enclosure’s perimeter is formed by an arc of a small radius about half the length of the two long
radii. (vi) Egg shaped circle type II (a 2-circle case plus two linear segments); the shape consists
of two different arcs and two equal linear segments parts of two squares. The major feature is
an approximately 280 arc of a circle, two linear segments of length determined by the long side
of a triangle which the Thom’s categorize as a 3:4:5 right triangle with its hypotenuse on the
symmetry axis, and an approximately 100 arc of a circle with a radius equal to the linear
segments. (vii) Egg shaped circle with semielliptical end, type III (a 3-circle type plus an ellipse);
this type involves half of an ellipse cut in half at its major axis, flanked by two 20 arcs of circles
with centers at the half-ellipse’s ends and long radii equal to the half-ellipse’s major axis, cupped
by an approximately 140 arc of a circle, with center at the point where the two long radii
intersect the symmetry axis of the enclosure. (viii) Ellipse (a single type form stone enclosure).
The “flattened circle” types have always their long circles’ radii on the perimeter; whereas the
“egg” shaped circles have a more complex structure, and their formation requires a more
involved process than the simpler “flatted circle” cases. The author in [2] suggested that there is
an evolutionary aspect to these schemes, whereby simpler cases must have preceded more
complex cases. Such a “complexity index” could be used as a marker to determine dating of these
stone circles (enclosures, cromlechs) or ring circles (in petroglyphs). In general, “flattened circles”
(being simpler in form) must predate “egg” shaped enclosures, a hypothesis which is subject to
statistical testing, if specific dates are known for these enclosures/rings from their archeological
What is of interest also here is that the stone enclosure at the western end of Le Grand Menec
at Carnac, Brittany, France (a monument with a starting phase circa 4500 BC) is a (v) case
enclosure, i.e., an “egg” shape circle type I (according to Alexander Thom and his son A. S. Thom)
[10] chapter 6. It turns out that the “egg” shape enclosure C, at GT, is also a variation of an “egg”
type enclosure of far greater complexity. Whereas the older structure D has a simpler pseudo-
elliptical shape. This is a major factor why the dating of GT must be considered relatively close to
the dating of the early phases at Le Menec, Carnac, Brittany, France. Given the above brief review
of the Thom stone enclosures’ forms, we turn to examining the GT, structures C and D stone
enclosure’s morphology. The reader is also referred to [2] for more on the Thom’s work.
Structures C and D morphological details
Having reviewed the Thom’s classification of stone circles, the analysis now switches first to
structure C of GT’s set of monuments. In Figure 5.1 the deconstructed design structure of the
enclosure’s morphology is shown. We are addressing the interior circumference, i.e., the
structure’s inner ring (Layer III) disregarding the shape of the benches. The outline of the
structure’s exterior surface (the exterior of the dry masonry wall) is very irregular in both
thickness and outline, thus it is next to impossible (given the available resolution) to draw any
firm conclusions regarding its structure’s form. An interior altar or bench runs the perimeter of
the wall, at a level of about a meter. Its outline closely follows the interior circumference of the
enclosure. We do not include the width of the benches (or possibly altars, or whatever other use
the masonry step next to the enclosure in the structure’s interior may have been).
Following the Thom procedure, the minimum number of arcs (in effect, circles) into which the
structure can exactly (that is, at an excellent level of approximation) be de-composed is
discovered: four. Although the exact size of the stone enclosure in meters is unknown, it ranges
between seven and ten meters, the discussion regarding dimensions of the scheme below and
its various components is in modular units.
The western section of the enclosure’s perimeter is a circle with a radius three modular units
(about three to four meters). Its center is at point C, see Figure 5.1. This circle offers an almost
180 arc (section AB, almost a semicircle) in its contribution to tracing the interior circumference
of the structure. Next in size is a circle drawn with a center at point K and of radius KE, of 2.5
modular units, contributing an arc of about 60, arc (DE). Between points A and E on the interior
circumference of the stone wall, an arc is added (EF) by drawing a circle with center at point L,
and a radius of 5.8 modular units. It is noted that the two orthostats marking the southern-
eastern entrance to the structure define a section of the perimeter which is not included in the
circumference’s trace through arcs, since it is no part of the masonry wall. The fourth and final
section of the enclosure is an arc (BD) traced by a circle with the longest radius, ten modular
units, and its center is at point M.
Figure 5.1. Deconstructing structure C, and discovering its constituent elements. Structure C’s
floor plan, inner circle, interior stone wall’s perimeter (not inclusive of the bench or the outer
rings) are shown. The axis of approximate symmetry CE is found to possess a southwest-
northeast direction, at an approximate azimuth of 65. Recesses in the outer rings’ stone walls
indicate spaces of floor usage beyond walkways. Drawing by the author from aerial photo in [23].
A number of observations can be made, and some conclusions drawn from this morphological
decomposition of structure C’s Architecture and the discovery of its constituent elements.
First, the real orientation of the monument is along the axis of approximate symmetry of the half
circle with center C, and arc (AB). This axis, line CE, has a southwestern to northeastern direction
and an azimuth of about 65, possibly coinciding with the then sunrise during summer solstice.
Second, the radii (in modular units) of the four constituent circles (2.5, 3, 5.8, 10), beyond any
regularity they may entail, reveal that the structure’s floor plan’s eastern section was not as
simple (it required three arcs from three circles to trace) as the single semicircle form of the
western part. This asymmetry is noted as it seems to imply that the intent by the architect was
to emphasize the duality of the two sections (eastern and western) of the structure.
Third, there are some alignments of note. The locations of the two centers (K, L) required to trace
the eastern section of the circumference fall exactly at the edges of the two central T-shaped
pillars’ bases. The third center (M) falls almost on the AB diameter of the main circle (outlining
the western section of the enclosure). The fact that it doesn’t exactly fall on the AB line is a matter
of slight construction imperfections (normal for any, not just this, structure). Moreover, there are
certain alignments and some ratios of interest. The centers K and L are on an alignment with
point E on the perimeter, as are points C, K, and D. In proportions, two key ratios are
approximately equal: (LK)/(KE)=((AM)/(AC). Furthermore, points D, F, and M are in alignment. In
addition, line CL bisects the 90 angle formed by the monument’s axis of symmetry (CE) and the
diagonal AB).
Fourth, line LC has an orientation close to the sunrise rays during winter solstice. Pending more
exact determination of its azimuth, orientation of line CL may be the sunset rays of the summer
Fifth, and in summary, the overall form of the enclosure can be characterized as a complex
pseudo-elliptical type structure, at par with the most complex “egg” shape stone circle of the
Thom’s analysis. This is another indication that this is a rather recent (in Neolithic terms)
construction, definitely not much older than the 5000 BC date. The closest type, of the eight types
analyzed in the previous section, to this structure is Alexander Thom type (v), the same type that
is descriptive of the “egg” shaped stone enclosure at Le Menec’s western end, at Carnac (with a
4500 BC initial construction date). See [2] for more on this enclosure.
One must ask here in the case of structure C’s morphology, as one must ask the same question
in the case of any Neolithic monument bearing such an unusual not geometrically pure (like for
example, triangle, circle, rectangle, etc.) shape: was this form drawn by design, or is it simply a
randomly drawn, out of local in space-time utility and not by design form. The fact that these
forms (in some variety of course) appear in a wide Region (from the Middle East to Western
Europe) and over a wide range of dates (late Mesolithic, through Neolithic, and even during the
Bronze Age), i.e., it is a form which demonstrates spatial and temporal durability, it must lead
one to the conclusion that it was intentional. The author prefers to use the term “pseudo-
elliptical” rather than “quasi-elliptical” because the latter implies an effort to approximate an
ellipse, while the notion of an ellipse was very far from Mesolithic and Neolithic designs tools.
Figure 5.2. Gobekli Tepe structure C, alternative floor plan: perfect symmetry along the red line,
but under a very rough approximation (notice the northwestern section of the enclosure).
Drawing by the author.
This pseudo-elliptical morphology must have had some deep roots in religion, custom, culture,
society, and economics. To become a stable and strong architectonic feature of major megalithic
monuments, it must have had some very strong symbolic meaning in it. It can’t be just thought
of and dismissed as a failed or primordial attempt to draw either circles or ellipses (the quasi-
elliptical notion). The pseudo-elliptical morphology of structures C and D at GT, along with all
other similar structures in Brittany and the British isles, became a fundamental design tool in late
Mesolithic and especially during the Neolithic.
Although GT was not the first place where this pseudo-elliptical form appeared (Jerf El Ahmar
was), GT must have been the place it was launched from and spread out on its way to Europe.
A lower approximation, but also with a lower number of circles scheme and an exact symmetry
in replicating structure C’s morphology is shown in the alternative floor plan of Figure 5.2. Now,
an approximately 270 arc from a circle with center C and radius 3.5 modular units traces almost
three quarters of the entire interior perimeter of the masonry wall of the stone enclosure. The
rest of the circumference is traced by an arc (DF) with angle equal to about 60. It is part of a
circle with center at E and a radius of 2.5 modular units, equal to the one in the previously
discussed floor plan. The two arcs are joined by two straight lines BD and AF. This is exactly what
Alexander Thom and his son Archibald S. Thom classified as an “egg” shaped structure category
(vi) type II, see previous section.
This alternative floor plan, although simpler in form than the previous floor plan, and much more
“egg” like in shape exactly fitting a Thom type classification, it doesn’t enjoy the fine
approximation of that shown in Figure 5.1. It suffers from an almost unacceptable deviation from
the existing conditions at the norther section of the floor’s design. One may be tempted to
assume some construction imperfection there at that section of the perimeter wall is responsible
for that deviation of an otherwise intended perfect “egg” shape. However, this would imply
taking undue liberties with the design. Since much rides on such approximations, namely
complexity in design thus age of the structure, one must be very cautious in accepting such
deviations. In any case, a more precise actual floor plan, preferably in digital form, is of course
needed to resolve this tradeoff between the two shapes in Figures 5.1 and 5.2.
A lower approximation, but also with a lower number of circles scheme and an exact symmetry
in replicating structure C’s morphology is shown in the alternative floor plan of Figure 5.2. Now,
an approximately 270 arc from a circle with center C and radius 3.5 modular units traces almost
three quarters of the entire interior perimeter of the masonry wall of the stone enclosure. The
rest of the circumference is traced by an arc (DF) with angle equal to about 60. It is part of a
circle with center at E and a radius of 2.5 modular units, equal to the one in the previously
discussed floor plan. The two arcs are joined by two straight lines BD and AF. This is exactly what
Alexander Thom and his son Archibald S. Thom classified as an “egg” shaped structure category
(vi) type II, see previous section.
This alternative floor plan, although simpler in form than the previous floor plan, and much more
“egg” like in shape exactly fitting a Thom type classification, it doesn’t enjoy the fine
approximation of that shown in Figure 5.1. It suffers from an almost unacceptable deviation from
the existing conditions at the norther section of the floor’s design. One may be tempted to
assume some construction imperfection there at that section of the perimeter wall is responsible
for that deviation of an otherwise intended perfect “egg” shape. However, this would imply
taking undue liberties with the design. Since much rides on such approximations, namely
complexity in design thus age of the structure, one must be very cautious in accepting such
deviations. In any case, a more precise actual floor plan, preferably in digital form, is of course
needed to resolve this tradeoff between the two shapes in Figures 5.1 and 5.2.
Figure 5.3. Structure D’s Layer III decomposition into its constituent parts; the enclosure’s axis of
symmetry and orientation is shown (the xx line has a current azimuth of about 80, that is almost
15 more than that of structure C), roughly pointing to the sunrise during summer solstice. This
might be the springboard to all pseudo-elliptical classifications the Thom’s offer in [10]. Author’s
We now switch to the floor plan of structure D, shown in Figure 5.3. This is a symmetric floor plan
design calling for four circles, as did that of structure C of Figure 5.1. The eastern and western
sides of the interior circumference are traced by two equal in radius semicircles, one at center C
and one at center F with a radius equal to 2.5 modular units. The eastern half semicircle has
diameter AB, whereas the western semicircle has diameter DE. Arcs AD and BE belong to two
equal in radius circles, one at center G and the other at center H, and radius about equal to 6.5
modular units. The distance between the two larger circles’ centers is about 8.5 modular units.
The symmetry axis, xx, which goes through the two centers C and F. has a current azimuth of
about 80 and of course bisects the distance GH. The HG line is at 355, and it is almost parallel
to the orientation of monolith (T-shaped pillar) #18, see Figure 2.2. Radius EF of the western
semicircle touches the other pillar, monolith #31 and it runs parallel to its orientation. Almost all
six orthostats’ orientation to the right (the eastern semicircle) face center C; whereas all six at
the left (the western semicircle) face center F. The implications of these convergences by all
twelve monoliths shall be addressed in the next section, regarding the megaliths’ shadows.
In reference to the Alexander and Archibald S. Thom classification scheme, structure D’s
configuration does not correspond to any of their types. The closest is that of type {(vi) II}, if one
is to approximate the arcs of the two large circles by straight lines, a practice admissible under
the Thom’s classification. It is however the author’s view that the symmetry of the structure, its
primitive form containing two equal in radius circles just placed at a distance close to their radius
might be an indication of a primordial schema pre-existent to even the simplest case in Thom’s
scheme of stone circles as found in [10]. In that capacity, GT is the springboard to the unravelling
of the whole gamut of the Thom’s configurations of Western Europe. If so, the temporal
proximity of the two designs must be assumed, since buried and lost from collective memory
complex forms such as these pseudo-elliptical configurations do not suddenly “revive” or get
“resurrected” or are “rediscovered” after millennia of total and deepest oblivion.
It would be of interest to seek some functional (besides formal) explanation for these “egg” like,
or pseudo-elliptical shapes. To interpret these almost but not quite elliptical shapes as attempts
to draw an egg, possibly as an archetypal form or symbol of “beginning” or of “genesis” is a strong
possibility of course, but an easy route to take towards an understanding of the late Mesolithic
to early Neolithic psyche. It would simply be too simplistic. Other, far more elaborate and
complex cultural factors must have been in place to explain this degree of strength and durability
of such a complex morphological scheme. And it must have had something to do with
architectural function.
Such pseudo-elliptical forms must have offered some advantage over other, simpler and by then
well-developed floor plans. The key to answering this perplexing question must be sought in the
real (not apparent) orientation of the enclosure. The top of the (possibly narrower, smaller in
radius) arc could have been the place the top of the hieratic body in that society’s elite structure
would occupy, with the lower echelons and the participants in these cultural gatherings and
ceremonies occupying the wider arc. The floor plan thus obeys the old architectural maxim, that
form follows function. It will be of interest to ponder further this aspect of both functional and
symbolic representation of Neolithic architectural form, especially in conjunction with the
artwork found on the megaliths of GT. But this isn’t the forum to do so. It is left for future work.
A point in reference to the outer rings of the structures at GT, also related to architectonic
functionality: it seems that these rings do not stand at the same floor level as the central Layer
III rings. Individuals standing there or seating at their benches could observe the happenings at
the central ring enclosure. As these outer peripheral rings were later additions to these stone
enclosures, they must represent phases of growth, possibly reflective of overall demographic
growth in the human settlements served by the site and reflective of the growth rate in the
capital stock accumulation of the site itself over time.
The megaliths’ shadows
No perfect understanding and appreciation of GT can be obtained unless the shadows of the
monument’s structures, especially the shadows of its megaliths, are fully studied and analyzed.
From a casual look at any photo of these orthostats and pillars, and the drawings of Figures 2.6,
2.7, 5.1, 5.3, 5.4 which contain the real orientations of both structurers and their monoliths (the
T-shaped pillars and orthostats), as well as from Figures 2.2 which has a drawing with the
megaliths’ approximate and the structures’ apparent orientations, one recognizes that these
stones’ width to depth to height ratios and direction of the monoliths’ width in conjunction with
their locations were not random or haphazard. They not only obeyed some concrete architectural
rules, but they also had some abstract symbolic meaning for the architect of the monumental
structures. They have been so placed and oriented so that they inter-relate both in an intra-
structure and inter-structure manner. The megaliths do not only define the enclosure, but they
also define connections among enclosures. Of course these connections go far beyond mere
symbolism, which is not a topic of this paper, but determine architectural and engineering
conditions for the monument – sizes, proportions, spacing, and the like.
Furthermore, these stones were placed at specific points so as to interact to the extent that their
shadows are concerned, during the sunny days and at moonlighted nights. In their shadows’
motions interactions occur during both day and night. Light is a prime component in an architect’s
design, and light and lighting played a major role in Neolithic Architecture, see [2] for more on
this subject in the case of the Neolithic megalithic monuments at Carnac, in Brittany, France.
From the set of Figures 2.2 to 5.4 and given the orientation, height, width, depth and placement
of the T-shaped monoliths within each structure, it is evident that some choreography was
staged within each structure, and some male-female allegory was intended. The shadows of the
two pillars at the center of these structures in their daily motions leaned on the various orthostats
during specific times of the day, and on each other. That role, in combination with the artistry on
the pillars and orthostats, was part of a decision that influenced their specific location and
orientation. It is highly likely that the shadows’ interplay was intend to convey some symbolism.
An example: for T-shaped orhtostats #23 to the right and #11 and #12 to the left of the outer ring
of structure C, Figure 2.2, as standing above the level of the central ring and casting shadows
from the southern side of the enclosure, these shadows cast must had enough lengths to hit the
two central pillars, thus linking their themes. The specifics of course in that interplay require a
far more accurate floor plan and front sections than the gross floor plans supplied here.
Figure 5.4. Structure C’s multi-directional orientation of the T-shaped pillars (the two lines in blue
running from the northwest towards the southeast) and orthostats (indicated by the red lines) in
reference to the axis of approximate symmetry and the enclosure’s orientation (the blue line
running from the southwest towards the northeast). The whole enclosure ensemble of pillars and
orthostats was a staged choreography by way of their shadows’ daily motion. Author’s drawing.
In the specific case of structure D, with the twelve orthostats tugged into the enclosing masonry
wall, it may suggest that a hexadecimal daily clock system was in effect, whereby specific
shadows of specific orthostats during the day would indicate a specific hour of the day. More
precise drawing (possibly by scanning) of these orthostats and their exact orientation might offer
the possibility to test this suggestion.
As mentioned in [2], any pillar raised from the ground and free standing (be that a stone, a
menhir, or in this case a megalith at the center of structures C and D), can automatically act as a
gnomon of a sundial. To what extent this is translated into a clock of course depends on the
culture that raised the monolith sophistication in Metrology and Astronomy. For that to be
determined though, far more exact drawings of these structures are required.
What makes this particular monument of interest is the variance in the number of monoliths in
each structure. It allows for a far more complex sundial system to be set up, than a simple case
of one rod with one style on a horizontal reference plane. Especially if the monoliths have
different leanings and they are positioned at different angles to the ground level. In fact some of
the pillars and orthostats top section “the head” of the monolith, has inclines that are not to be
dismissed as errors or shortcomings in the quarrying process. Then, possibly, fractions of the time
unit length (whatever that time unit might have been) could be obtained, as different angles
would be involved on the flat plane of reference. As already noted, the twelve orthostats of
structure D may indicate the presence of a hexadecimal type daily hour system embedded in
these structures. This is an angle of work with a great potential to further pursue in regards to
the archeological site at GT.
Structure C’s date: Late Mesolithic to Early Neolithic, circa 5000 BC+/-250y
Gobekli Tepe’s burial: a Bronze Age event
Before we suggest a date for both the initial construction at GT, the sequencing of the various
structures unearthed thus far, and how long these structures lasted as sites of ceremonial and
other cultural activity, one must address the topic of its burial, both in dates and in its underlying
motivation. To answer the question on “when” did the burial occur, one must identify the “why”
was the structures buried. It is assumed that they were all buried at about the same time. This
will guide the analysts in addressing the question as to when they (whoever these peoples were)
did it.
Evidence already discussed points to the fact that at least part of the burial was due to a
malevolent intent. The destruction seen in the monoliths and the erasing of some of the reliefs
on them are indicative of some hostile action as being the agency that buried in part the
structures. The unfinished decoration of certain megaliths (see case of structure B) points to the
fact that the burial occurred at a time when more construction and possibly more decorative
activity in the form of reliefs on T-shaped orthostats and pillars were anticipated.
However, there are some indications that the act of burial had a benevolent intent as well. Not
all megaliths were damaged, and some filling by soil was carefully done to preserve artifacts and
structures. Thus, one is led to the conclusion that, in part, maybe the initial phase of the burial
was done with intent to preserve from apparently perceived imminent danger and destruction.
Whereas, the last phase of the burial was undertaken with intent to partly destroy and bury into
oblivion whatever cultural meaning was embedded into these structures at GT. From the state
of preservation in structures C and D, it seems likely that structure D was buried first, and under
a benevolent intent to preserve it; while structure C was buried by the tail end of the burying
operation, and under a somewhat malevolent intent.
Who were the agents of the malevolent burial is not known. However, one can speculate that
outside (from both the north and the south) cultures could have invaded this fertile lands of
Upper Mesopotamia and the riverbanks of the northern Euphrates and buried the structures –
of both, the older Nevali Cori and the younger GT. There are some candidates for this invasion,
the southern cultures of Imperial by now Ubaid phase Lower Mesopotamia, and the invading
culture of what would eventually become the Hittites from the north. In none of these cultures
do we observe the architectonic features of the Nevali Cori and GT megalithic structures. We do
however observe some decorative relief patterns from GT, specifically the triple purification
symbol at the top of orthostat #43 of structure D (discussed more extensively in [1] by the author)
in later Lower Mesopotamian cultures and the Sumer of the Eanna District of Uruk V. It was about
the beginning of the Uruk XVIII Eridu period that very likely saw the construction of enclosure C
at GT; it was very likely the end of Uruk II when GT’s structure C was buried. It was the time when
significant social upheavals occurred in Mesopotamia, especially at the Lower Euphrates.
This set of arguments now sets a time frame for Gobekli Tepe’s burial, just prior to the beginning
of the Bronze Age.
Gobekli Tepe’s start up: middle Mesolithic
Given our analysis in previous sections, about the initial construction phase of structure D (the
oldest structure according to the archeological team, its so-called “layer III” phase) and our
detailed analysis of structure C, which we already pegged to a post Jerf El Ahmar and after
Catalhoyuk/Nevali Cori at a late Mesolithic time frame, one can now roughly estimate the time
period within which the rest of GT’s structures A, B, E, and F were constructed, and refine the
initial construction dates for structures D and C. One can also identify the migration phase of the
GT influences towards the European subcontinent of Eurasia and the early construction at both
Malta (see more in Appendix) and Carnac (see [2]).
None of the arguments discussed in [1] will be repeated here, except to refine the architectural
points made there and elaborated in previous sections of this paper. As we defined: first, the
upper bounds for Gobekli Tepe’s dating, the Jerf El Ahmar Architecture on the pseudo-elliptical
forms in structures C and D, and the Catalhoyuk and Nevali Cori architectural elements for both
the rectangular structure at GT, as well as the intermittent and regular spacing insertion of
orthostats along the masonry wall of the enclosures; and second the lower bounds of GT’s
structures from both, the Carnac’s le Menec western cromlech, as well as the apse type clustering
of the Maltese Archipelago megalithic structures combined with its artistic influences from GT.
Next, we are now attempting to put a more specific date on GT’s structures C and D, and the rest,
including the rectangular structure of Figure 2.3.
Structure D at GT must have been constructed into middle 6th millennium BC, as the primary
anchor center surrounded by secondary possibly auxiliary structures E as well as B, this from an
Urban Design viewpoint. Access to the entire monument was from the south. From the ground,
the position of structure D was the most visible, from the east, north and west – keeping in mind
that north was the key direction: that was where the Euphrates flowed, and there was where the
older Nevali Cori settlement was located on the Euphrates riverbank. This proximity must be the
key reason why structure D is the oldest structure at GT.
Apparently, residential density increased, population and demographic conditions improved, per
capita foodstuff production and consumption grew around the GT site close to the end of that
last Mesolithic millennium. As a result, additional demand for monumental expansion was
generated. That led to the construction of the more architecturally complex, multiple-ring, and
now more dominant structure C, along with structures F and A. It was also the time in all
likelihood that need for auxiliary space, possibly to house the growing in size hieratic elite, was
generated and the rectangular structure of Figure 2.3 was built.
A striking feature of the GT archeological site is the multinucleated articulated structure of the
monument. Multi-nucleation in Urban Design and Planning occurs when the economies of scale
generating a force leading into concentration of activity into a single spatial unit start to break
down, and diseconomies of scale settle in (in the form of high densities, congestion and the like).
Then, the dynamic self-organizing principle of human settlement activity produces a hierarchical
scheme of networked and linked centers, usually taking the form of a dominant central core
surrounded by a number of peripheral sub-centers. This multi-nucleated form is the spatial
structure of GT and evident in the monuments of Malta which were influenced by GT’s site plan,
see Appendix.
This historiographic narrative would put structure C’s construction startup close to the end of the
6th millennium BC and the dawn of the Neolithic in Western Eurasia. This threshold marks a
significant date, place and form, as it was at that junction that structure C’s morphology became
basically a Neolithic form of choice – that of the pseudo-ellipse – and it got hold of the grounds
at megalithic construction sites in Eurasia over the next three millennia or so. Although the origin
of that form was Jerf El Ahmar, it was GT that adopted it, expended it, and diffused it in space-
time. Usually, in the Mesolithic and Neolithic one must supply a date with a spread from the plus
to the minus of at least ten percentage points (i.e., about five centuries in this case). It is under
this rule that the date is given as 5000 BC +/-250 years. It turns out that this roughly coincides
with another critical date, the approximate initial construction date of the western cromlech at
le Menec, at Carnac, in Brittany, and most importantly it matches well with the estimated elapsed
time the spreading of an innovation required back then.
Time involved in the spreading and diffusion of innovation in architectural design can be pegged
to the speed of movement of other technologies at that time, especially the speed in the
adoption of agriculture during the Mesolithic. The author has addressed this issue in his paper in
reference [16]. Adjusting for potentially higher speeds in the early Neolithic, from those of the
early Mesolithic, as ease of travel must had improved considerably, one can safely estimate that
the speed of diffusion must had been cut at least in half possibly to one third for such long
distance influences to reach their destination, be adopted and materialize.
In Figure 18 of ref. [16] the author points to a speed of movement in the adoption of animal
husbandry in Western Eurasia in the Mesolithic (the 10000 to the 5000 BC time period). The
speed of movement was such that an innovation from the Taurus Mountains of southern Asia
Minor to Malta took about three millennia, and to reach Brittany approximately four millennia.
By the turn of the Neolithic, however, an idea in design must have travelled in considerably higher
speeds and had taken a significantly less time period to reach Continental Europe and then
Brittany to the West and Malta to the south. Within this framework, it is reasonable to expect
that the time from GT to Carnac for the pseudo-elliptical form to travel would vary between one
millennium and half of a millennium. QED.
In this, largely Architecture based analysis of the monuments at Gobekli Tepe, a number of
propositions were stated and evidence was supplied to document them. Key among the
propositions advanced here in this paper (and in conjunction with [1]) are the following.
Structures C and D have complex floor plans which can be quite effectively de-composed into
their elementary parts by employing slight variations of a scheme developed by Alexander Thom
and his son Archibald S. Thom, as expanded by this author in [2]. This scheme deconstructs all
pseudo-elliptical floor or site plan shapes into a minimum set of arcs and/or straight lines, and
pegs an evolutionary path according to their complexity. It was found that both structures C and
D comprise of “egg” shaped stone enclosures.
The Architecture lineage of the Gobekli Tepe structures was reviewed and found to be later than
that Architecture of both Catralhoyuk and Nevali Cori. Lineage, through the “egg” shaped
structures to the Architecture of Jerf El Ahmar was established in a previous paper by the author
and expanded here. Potentially, the pseudo-elliptical shape of structure D’s stone enclosure
could be the simplest “egg” form and the springboard of all types in the Thom’s classification
scheme found in [10]. Further, the Architecture of rectangular shape structures found in
Catalhoyuk, Nevali Cori and Gobekli Tepe was analyzed and used to more finely calibrate all three
sites’ chronology.
Orientations of both structures C and D and their monoliths were analyzed. These structures
were shown to possess an apparent (point of entry based) and a real orientation, the latter being
their axis of the stone enclosures’ floor plan symmetry. Real orientations point to a link with
sunrise during the summer solstice.
Elements of the enclosures’ construction (plaster coating of the megaliths and the terrazzo floors)
and the monoliths’ perfectly rectangular shapes and artwork were analyzed and found to belong
to late Mesolithic and Neolithic practices.
Shadows of both central pillars and orthostats cast in the enclosures were viewed as a means to
embed a symbolic choreography, and possibly as parts of a complex sundial type mechanism
based on the hexadecimal system implanted in the stone enclosures’ structures. The hexadecimal
system is largely based on the twelve orhtostats of structure D.
The burial of the monuments was done in a hurry and it likely commenced as a partly benevolent
act; it ended with a likely malevolent action by the end of the Neolithic and just prior to the
beginning of the Bronze Age.
A concluding comment connected to the news regarding GT’s potential nomination for UNESCO
World Heritage List is in order as it touches upon some major archeological issues here and in
general. The recent decision by the Turkish government to nominate GT for inclusion in the
UNESCO World Heritage List, see [21], is of course a richly deserved nomination. However, it is
worded in terms that are not accurate. Obviously politics are involved in the nominating process,
and politics will be involved in the determination proceedings. That is quite unfortunate but
maybe inevitable. In any case, this paper in conjunction with [1] hopefully documented and made
clear that GT is not a 12-thousand year old structure, and definitely not Humanity’s “first” temple,
although it is a monument to human ingenuity, artistry and skill, and its influences have been far
reaching over millennia throughout Western Eurasia, as it has been documented here. A “first”
Temple would not had the extraordinary complexity in construction and design that GT’s
structures C and D display. A much better candidate for “first” Temple is found at Nevali Cori’s
Temple and Jerf El Ahmar’s central pseudo-elliptical building, see [1]. Complexity in architectural
design and construction engineering usually is associated with significant advances in a culture’s
wealth and sophistication; they are not the outcome of start-up construction processes, of early
stages in a culture’s developmental path. Gobekli Tepe is not, by any stretch of imagination, a
“start-up” phase of a poor in resources and restricted in foodstuff culture. The Younger Dryas
were a period of harsh environmental conditions, when organized agriculture had not gotten full
and firm hold yet of the fertile lands of the Upper Mesopotamia. Demographics were bleak. No
culture, under such social conditions is likely to have built the scale of a monument Gobekli Tepe’s
structures represents. Then, millennia later, when the foodstuff is abundant, demographically
and environmentally conditions had considerably improved, it goes ahead and buries it. It simply
doesn’t make much sense.
APPENDIX: Gobekli Tepe, Malta, Stonehenge, Menorca
This paper doesn’t intent to discuss in any great detail the Architecture and Art of the numerous
Phases of the various Maltese Archipelago Temples. Only some general and abstract remarks will
be made to point out the strong similarities and equivalences and in effect the specific
morphological and structural influences exerted from GT’s Art and Architecture on the Maltese
artifacts and construction. The author in [16] has analyzed some elements of the Maltese
Architecture, and some key references are supplied there about its megalithic construction. In
Figures 6.0 – 6.4 four photos from Malta’s megalithic temples and a photo from GT are provided.
In Figure 6.1 floor plans and artwork from GT and Malta bearing striking similarities are shown.
In addition, a photo is presented, Figure 6.5, from the Spanish island of Menorca, which depicts
one (out of many) pre-Talaiotic and Talaiotic culture monuments there. Although the sites were
inhabited by late Bronze mainly Iron Age set of cultures, when these monuments were built, their
Architecture has been linked to that of Stonehenge, see [20]. Be that as it may, the T-shaped
megaliths as well as the dry masonry wall which enclose these raised megaliths bear a lot of
similarities in their construction to GT structures’ Architecture. It is obvious that the architectonic
influences from Jerf El Ahmar, to GT, and through GT to Malta, to Stonehenge, to Menorca have
been deep indeed.
Figure 6.0. Malta, the site plan of the Hagar Qim complex of temples. Of special interest is the
northern temple B with the half pseudo-elliptical apses structures; these apses were transformed
into the full pseudo-elliptical shapes in the C section of the Hagar Qim complex (Southern temple)
Phase. Notice the scale of the pseudo-ellipses, almost identical in size as the structures of GT.
Clustering of the temples’ sections is reminiscent of GT. Source: reference [17].
Figure 6.1. Malta: the Tarxien Phase Temples (post 3100 BC to 2500 BC) in aerial view,
clustering of pseudo-elliptical enclosures on a hill. Globigerina limestone construction.
Figure 6.2. Malta, Hagar Qim Temple C. The element of using orthostats embedded on the
pseudo-elliptical floor plan of a structure is an element first encountered in the floor plan of Jerf
El Ahmar, and also at Nevali Cori. Architectural construction and plan details bear strong
similarities to those at Gobekli Tepe; they are more complex and thus of later construction,
possibly in an inverse relationship between an increase in complexity and time ellapsed.
Figure 6.3. Gobekli Tepe: a flock of dodos in relief at the base of a central T-shaped pillar.
Figure 6.4. Malta, Tarxien Temple altar relief; a herd of ibex.
Figure 6.5. Menorca, Spain: Taula de Torralba an early Iron Age monument, interpreted as a place
of healing and with orientation towards the Constellation of Cassiopeia. The raised T-shaped
megalith (the two-piece pillar, consists of an orthostat and a lintel) is anchored deep into the
ground. Its dry stone enclosure is punctuated by orthostats, in a qualitatively similar manner as
that of Gobekli Tepe. Source of photo: [20]; see also [21] for more on this cultures and their
Figure A1. Structure C viewed from the North-East at sunset. The western-northwestern tell is
seen to the right. Source of photo: National Geographic ref. [9].
ADDENDUM: topographical photos of the Gobekli Tepe site
The following photos, all from Google Earth maps and from different angles, are offered as a
means to obtain a good bird’s eye view type of perspective on the immediate area surrounding
the GT site. What is apparent by viewing these photos is that the choice to locate the complex of
stone enclosures there, had much to do with accessibility and visibility. By occupying that site the
ceremonial, social, cultural (in fact multi-functional) complex was accessible to locations East,
North (towards the Euphrates River) and West. In altitude, although at a high ground, it isn’t
situated in too high of an elevation, just about 500 feet above the mound’s ground level but yet
quite dominant over the immediate landscape.
In terms of visibility, it commended a wide viewshed from the North, and partial from East and
West. Although it could be seen in part or in toto from all of these directions, yet it was high
above all and in relative isolation. Thus, this location was a double play on both accessibility and
dominance. As pointed out though in the text, the immediate surrounding area at GT must have
been the grounds for a widespread, relatively densely populated human settlement during the
late Mesolithic. This was the conclusion drawn from the mere scale of the GT complex.
Figure A2. Aerial view from 3670 feet above ground; contour-following distance .43 miles.
Notable is the current agricultural use at the photo’s right. The area in the photo is about .35
square miles. North is straight up.
A brief note on the term “Gobekli Tepe” is also appropriate and in order at the end of this study.
Archeological names carry heavy a baggage, with far reaching associations and implications. The
term Gobekli Tepe (meaning “potbelly hill” in Turkish) is a name of course not reflective of either
the culture or the name that culture used in referring to this place when the structures at that
site were constructed. Metonomasia (), i.e., change of a (topographical in this
case) name, is a phenomenon critical in the study and understanding of the often violent socio-
cultural transitions a location has undergone through its history. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case
here, where an apparently recent (and irrelevant) name has been attached to a place, without
any reference to its original history or culture.
The same observation applies to a set of other names used for human settlements in Asia Minor
tied to the site and explored in this paper. This is in sharp contrast to a neighboring site, Sanliurfa,
a site rich in history and with a plethora of metonomasies (plural term for “metonomasia”) over
the course of its past three or so millennia of written history. However, this remark about GT’s
name goes far beyond sites in Asia Minor. “Newgrange” and “Stonehenge” aren’t terms used by
those (unknown) cultures that built those monuments there as well. Regrettably, these more or
less arbitrary names often cloud and distort a locale’s historiography and bring in political
considerations, totally unrelated to those magnificent monuments’ essence and to their builders.
It would had been far more efficient and optimal from a Science perspective, if all these sites
were to be given some abstract designation, such as a letter and a number, similar to those
assigned to objects (such as Quasars, Galaxies and Stars) on the celestial sphere in contemporary
Astronomy and Cosmology.
Figure A3. Aerial view from 3670 feet above ground level; distance in yellow line is .63 miles
Figure A4. Aerial view of the Gobekli Tepe site from the East from 3670 feet altitude.
Figure A5. Aerial view of the Gobekli Tepe site from the Northwest (3670 feet altitude).
Figure A6. Aerial view of the Gobekli Tepe site from the South (3670 feet altitude).
[1] Dimitrios S. Dendrinos, 2016, “Dating Gobekli Tepe”, found here:
[2] Dimitrios S. Dendrinos, 2016, “In the Shadows of Carnac’s Le Menec Stones: a Neolithic
Supercomputer”, The paper is found here:
[3] Dimitrios S. Dendrinos, 2016, “A Carnac Conjecture: Neolithic Experimentation with Primitive
Pythagorean Triples?”, The paper is found here:
[4] Klaus Schmidt, 2000, “Gobekli Tepe Southeastern Turkey: A Preliminary Report of the 1995-
1999 Excavations”, Paleorient, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp: 45-54. The paper is found here:
[5] Andrew Collins, undated:
[8] Robert G. Blezard, 2004, “The History of Calcarious Cements” in P. C. Hewlett (ed) Lea’s
chemistry of cement and concrete, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Amsterdam; pp 1-24. The
paper is found here:
[10] Alexander Thom, A. S. Thom, 1978, Megalithic Remains in Britain and Brittany, Clarendon
Press, Oxford.
[16] Dimitrios S. Dendrinos, 2016, “From Newgrange to Stonehenge: Monuments to a Bull Cult
and Origins of Innovation” in The paper is found here:
[19] Stephanie Meece, 2006, “A bird’s eye view of a leopard’s spots: a Catalhoyuk “map” and the
development of cartographic representation in prehistory”, Anatolian Studies, Vol. 65, pp: 1-16.
[24] Klaus Schmidt, 2006, Sie Bauten die ersten Tempel, Verlag C.H. Beck, Munich.
The author wishes to acknowledge the contribution that his Facebook close friends have made
to this work, and in fact to all papers written in the past two years or so. Their continuous support,
encouragement and constant stimulus they supply, as well as the almost daily interaction with
them on Facebook have been invaluable.
Most of all, the author feels a deep sense of gratitude to his wife and two daughters, for their
daily dedication, appreciation of his efforts and work, and for putting up with his odd working
hours during the day and night.
Legal notice
The author, Dimitrios S. Dendrinos retains full legal copyrights to this work. No
parts or the whole of this paper can be reproduced in any form without the
written and explicit consent of the author, Dimitrios S. Dendrinos
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... The reader is directed to the references in [5] for more information on certain isolated efforts to deal with shadows in monumental Architecture. In so far as how the expected shadows cast by monoliths have directly affected the architectural design of the monuments themselves during the Neolithic (and beyond, down to the design of monuments in Classical Greece) the reader is referred to the papers in [1] and [2] written by this author. It is an extension of these two specific papers that this paper is written. ...
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... Put differently, whether an "egg" was indeed the shape these Neolithic architects intended to implant there, versus some other possibly simpler form; or whether the process Thom suggested in the 1970s was actually the process indeed that the original architect of the assumed cromlech followed in drawing an egg, is a set of questions we address here head on. Moreover, in combination with the paper on Gobekli Tepe, [74], we ask the question: where did this shape come from? Did it originate there at Carnac, or did it migrate from the Fertile Crescent? ...
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... İnsanlığın ilk ibadet tapınağı inşa ettiği bu destinasyon, turizm ve inanç ilişkisinin en cezp edici noktası olarak görülen mekanların başında gelmektedir. Göbeklitepe'nin bugüne kadar bilinen altı yapısı, A, B, C, D, E ve F Rodney Hale'in ölçülmemiş şematik kat planına göre sütunlar ve ortostatların sayıları ile sağlanan diyagram bulunmaktadır (Dendrinos, 2016). ...
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A conjecture is advanced in this paper, which is a sequence to the paper by the author "In the shadows of Carnac's Le Menec Stones: a Neolithic proto supercomputer". It states that on the strings of stones at Le Menec, there are primitive Pythagorean triples embedded in them, measured in modular lengths. These triples may have determined the size of the monument. The modulus is estimated to be 3.60 meters.
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The paper analyzes the evidence regarding the dating of the Gobekli Tepe complex. First, it examines the C14 dating information supplied by the archeologist in charge of the Gobekli Tepe excavation, Klaus Schmidt, and a number of others. This is claimed as evidence that Gobekli Tepe is of the at least PPNB period. The evidence they analyzed was obtained from both the fill, as well as from the plaster at the surface of certain Gobekli Tepe structures. The paper also examines the lithic based evidence regarding the fill at the site. Clear evidence that counters these claims is presented is presented in this paper. Although the Gobekli Tepe site can be shown to be of much later construction date than PPPNB, the paper sets as a modest aim to show that the structures at GT so far analyzed are of a later than PPNB date. Evidence covering both C14 dating, as well as architectural, urban design, urban planning, demography and art evidence is offered to back this argument. Extensive use is made of architectural elements from PPNA Natufian settlements, as well as PPNA/B settlements Hallan Cemi and Jerf el-Ahmar.
The striking wall paintings uncovered in the excavations at Çatalhöyük have fascinated archaeologists and non-archaeologists alike, and many interpretations of their content and meaning have been proposed. This article re-evaluates the claim that one of these paintings is a map of the village, with Hasan Dağ erupting above it. It is argued that the excavator’s first interpretation of the objects depicted in the painting, i.e., that they are a leopard skin above a panel of geometric design, is in fact a far more reasonable one, when this painting is contextualised within the entire corpus of painting and other art objects found at the site. Implications of this re-interpretation for our understanding of Neolithic spatial and symbolic representation, and the origin of map-making are considered, as well as the importance of the depiction of animals and felines in the Neolithic period.
The PPN mound of Göbekli Tepe is situated on top of a mountain north of the Harran plain, near the town of Şanhurfa in Southeastern Turkey. No comparable site is known so far in the Near East in terms of the topographical setting, its megalithic architecture, large scale stone sculptures and several other unusual items. The importance of the religious function of this site can hardly be denied. To the common model of Early Village Farming Communities of the Near East, molded by ecological and economical factors, Göbekli Tepe offers a quite different point of view. Le tell PPN de Göbekli Tepe est situé au sommet d'une montagne de la plaine de Harran, près de la ville de Şanhurfa au Sud-Est de la Turquie. Aucun site comparable sur le plan de sa localisation topographique, de son architecture mégalithique, de ses sculptures sur pierre de grande échelle, et d'autres objets très inhabituels, n'est connu à ce jour au Proche-Orient. L'importance de la fonction religieuse de ce site peut difficilement être niée. Au contraire du modèle habituel des premières communautés villageoises, qui répondent à des facteurs écologiques et économiques, Göbekli Tepe frappe par son aspect très différent.
In the Shadows of Carnac's Le Menec Stones: a Neolithic Supercomputer " , The paper is found here: https://kansas.academia
  • Dimitrios S Dendrinos
Dimitrios S. Dendrinos, 2016, " In the Shadows of Carnac's Le Menec Stones: a Neolithic Supercomputer ", The paper is found here:
htm [6]
  • Andrew Collins
Andrew Collins, undated: [6] [7]
The History of Calcarious Cements Lea's chemistry of cement and concrete, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Amsterdam; pp 1-24. The paper is found here:
  • Robert G Blezard
Robert G. Blezard, 2004, " The History of Calcarious Cements " in P. C. Hewlett (ed) Lea's chemistry of cement and concrete, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Amsterdam; pp 1-24. The paper is found here: age&q&f=false [9]
Sie Bauten die ersten Tempel
  • Klaus Schmidt
Klaus Schmidt, 2006, Sie Bauten die ersten Tempel, Verlag C.H. Beck, Munich.