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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.
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Dating Gobekli Tepe: the evidence doesn’t support
a PPNB date, but instead a possibly much later one
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:
September 19, 2016
Gobekli Tepe pillar from Layer III, showing three purification symbols on top
Table of Contents
Gobekli Tepe’s spatio-temporal setting
K. Schmidt’s C-14 dating evidence
The problems with Schmidt’s C-14 evidence
Why Gobekli Tepe isn’t a PPNA or a PPNB site
Architecture and Urban Design
Urban Planning and Demography
Art and Symbols
Legal Notice
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.
In November 2008, a report was published in the Smithsonian Institution’s monthly magazine,
see [1], where the architect-in-charge of the excavation at Gobekli Tepe, Klaus Schmidt (1953-
2014) in effect “presented” to the wide audience of the world’s community his extraordinary
findings. The site of Gobekli Tepe is indeed of significant interest for multiple reasons, ranging
from Archeology to Architectural, from the Art and symbols it contains, as well as from an Urban
and City Planning and Design viewpoint.
Because of the relatively advanced level of development it enjoys relative to other similar in dates
durable settlements (both in pre-pottery Neolithic A, PPNA a period roughly covering the 12000
– 9000 BC period, and pre-pottery Neolithic B, PPNB, a time period covering the time 9000 – 7500
BC time frame), sophistication that characterizes its various components (stonemasonry
construction), the excellent state of preservation and the crispness of its stone carvings, the
variety of images and symbols it contains on its pillars, the spatial organization of its site plan and
the expanse it commands on a number of hills and elevations at a landscape occupying a strategic
location at the very top of the Fertile Crescent, and last and certainly not least because of its
alleged age according to Schmidt (PPNB), this archeological site has been a strong attractor of
interest far beyond Archeologists.
It has been invariably claimed as a site that has revolutionized not only Archeology but also our
understanding of the human existence, history and experiences since the Upper Paleolithic (Late
Stone Age), after the last glacial maximum (LGM) and the start of the Late Glacial Maximum or
Tardiglacial. In effect it has been presented by some archeologists as potentially the most
significant finding in the history of Archeology. The name of Klaus Schmidt has even eclipsed in
archeological circles that of Heinrich Schliemann and the uncovering of Gobekli Tepe has
surpassed in legend already the discover of Troy.
21 years have elapsed since Schmidt led his team into the excavation at Gobekli Tepe. Sixteen
years have passed since his first formal report on the subject, see [2], and eight years since his
Smithsonian magazine appearance [1]. Henceforth, Gobekli Tepe has been a focal point for any
study of the Mesolithic (12000 – 5000 BC for the purposes of this paper), certainly for the PPNA
and PPNB human settlement literature. The Schmidt and GT-related work is becoming a
chronological marker in Archeology. Any new discovery about PPNA and PPNB sites references
the discovery by Schmidt of the site at Gobekli Tepe. In fact, dating of artifacts are now pegged
to similarly looking items at Gobekli Tepe, see for example [3] and the dating of “T” shaped pillars
at Sefer Tepe. In effect, Archeology, the Mesolithic (or largely the PPNA/B), and Human recorded
History and humanity’s historiography are looked now quite differently post Gobekli Tepe.
By all counts, this discovery has had a significant impact. The extraordinary claim that Gobekli
Tepe’s oldest Phase, Layer III, could possibly be of the 10000 BC age (and possibly earlier) is
profound. UNESCO, in offering a justification as to why Gobekli Tepe is cited for “Outstanding
Universal Value”, states that “Gobekli Tepe delivers the data which re-writes the considered
models and theories of the time period which is called Neolithic in the history of archeological
research”. Very few if any archeological claims can outdo such a profound proclamation by
UNESCO. By all accounts, the current claims about Gobekli Tepe must be considered as
representing the dominant, prevailing “insiders” or the “establishment” view.
But what exactly is this evidence which seemingly supports such absolutely astounding claims?
One might think even assume that the evidence provided by Schmidt is at par with the claim, and
in effect it is itself astounding, watertight, extraordinary, beyond reasonable doubt. This paper’s
aim is to, in some detail, examine precisely this evidence. It will be shown that the evidence
presented to justify the PPNB dates on Gobekli Tepe falls far short of being “airtight” and in fact
contains a number of weak points, that overall do not justify either the claims on Gobekli Tepe’s
dates, or the extraordinary claims requiring a “re-writing” of Neolithic History.
Thus, in questioning the claim about Gobekli Tepe’s date (of PPNB, possibly earlier) one might
think that the one who does the questioning must have extraordinary and abundant as well as
“almost beyond reasonable doubt” convincing evidence to counter what the archeological
establishment has claimed about Gobekli Tepe. In effect, it seems it is no longer asked that the
agency who makes the extraordinary claims about Gobekli Tepe provides the extraordinary
evidence. But instead, the burden of proof has shifted to those who tend to counter the claims.
Be that as it may, the paper will proceed as if the burden of proof is on the counterclaim. The
paper will be setting the most stringent of all arguments and criteria in an attempt to support the
counter arguments, although it doesn’t have to do so.
Gobekli Tepe’s spatio-temporal setting
Given the current dating of the Layer III at Gobekli Tepe (PPNB, circa 10000 BC), one can sketch
out its (claimed) immediate spatial and temporal milieu. Located in South-eastern current day
Turkey and on top of the Fertile Crescent, the claimed PPNB (possibly PPNA) Gobekli Tepe finds
itself having as its immediate spatial and temporal vicinity a number of Upper Paleolithic (also
being referred to as Epi-Paleolithic, with the last period of the late Paleolithic coinciding with the
Younger Dryas geological period 13000 – 11700 BC), Natufian (or early PPNA), PPNA (early
Mesolithic, 12000 – 9000 BC here), and PPNB (middle Mesolithic, 9000 – 7500 BC, here),
Beyond that time frame, there are certain Fertile Crescent settlements of a late Mesolithic (7500
– 5000 BC here) post PPNA/B Mesolithic that is, cities and urban areas that GT can be
comparatively analyzed (like for instance, Catalhohuk). Numerous post-Mesolithic (post 5000 BC
here) Neolithic settlements and monuments that have been excavated over the past half century,
with the vast majority of them in the past 25-year period, and more than half of them in the past
decade (all within the broader region of the Fertile Crescent, as for example the recent
excavations at Uruk), further offer grounds to view Gobekli Tepe in a comparative framework in
reference to its Art and Architecture. However, the focus of this paper will be the PPNA and PPNB
environment, since it is to that environment that Gobekli Tepe has been argued as belonging by
among many, its excavator K. Schmidt.
In reference to that PPNA/B environment, see for a list of settlements reference [4]. This
reference includes sites with some proto agriculture and early agriculture related carbon-14
dating. A number of sites (like Catalhoyuk) isn’t listed there, since Catalhoyuk is considered a post
PPNB site. The ones that are listed include settlements that have not undergone apparently the
process that Gobekli Tepe has, namely their deliberate burial. Some of those sites will be briefly
mentioned here, as they represent significant discoveries, as both the result of their dating and
their contents. They are nodal in a comparative study of human settlements’ evolution.
Upper Paleolithic settlements (nomadic, quasi-sedentary) include (dates are based on C-14
dating on agriculture related items): Abu Hureyra (see [5]) a settlement with initial phases of
occupation in the 11220 BC to the 10750 BC period, and with later inhabitation in the 7450 –
7070 BC period; Mureybet (see [6]), a Natufian (we will examine this more extensively later)
settlement of the 10000 – 9900 BC period, with a later post-Natufian phase reaching to the 8750
– 7950 BC period; Tell Qaramel, see [7], a site showing occupation in three phases, ranging from
10900 – 8850 BC; Hallan Cemi, see [8] and [9], in the 9660 – 9320 BC time period; Mureybet [10]
a late Natufian settlement of the 9600 BC; Jerf el-Ahmar, see [11] and [17], with its various phases
falling in the 9450 – 8600 BC period; Nemerik 9, see [12], a settlement also in the 9800 – 8270 BC
period; and Aswad, see [15], in the period 8500 - 7850 BC. Some of these settlements are
mentioned in the paper by Schmidt that we shall scrutinize momentarily.
All these settlements had undergone repeated habitation and abandonment phases. Their
periodic (occasional over the longer term) inhabitants were residents (whether nomadic or
sedentary isn’t that important for the purposes here) that over the scale of a few centuries would
occupy these sites for a certain period of time. Under a variety of forces (natural causes due to
environmental changes, earthquakes etc., or human factors, such as outside invasions by
different cultural groups, or due to internal strife, or because of demographic declines) these
settlements would undergo cycles of recurring habitation and abandonment. Most would
periodically be reconstructed and eventually abandoned. These cycles often include multiple
phases, extending well into the post Mesolithic period; whereas some contain limited cyclical
habitation only extending into the PPNA or PPNB period.
In all of these settlements some sort of (proto, pre- or mature and organized) agricultural activity
has been recorded. And in fact, it is largely (although not exclusively) because of its agricultural
residual (from plants or animals) that we are presently capable of obtaining their dating by C-14
methods, to the extent that residual organic material has been preserved. Of course, another
significant source for obtaining their C14 dating is through residual carbon from their hearths.
In surveying these (arbitrarily) picked communities from a sample of 85 carbon dated PPNA/B
settlements in [4], one can derive some commonalities, within which one can frame the spatial
and temporal context of the Gobekli Tepe (to be referred to as GT thereon) site. This context will
be analyzed in sections that follow, and some of the above settlements will be more extensively
scrutinized, to place GT in its proper chronological framework. This will be done, once the
evidence on C-14 dating available on GT is presented and discussed.
K. Schmidt’s C-14 dating evidence
In [1] one is struck by a number of issues the report covers, none more impressive than the single
reference to C-14 dating. It is a rather passing reference, a reference made in a type of
“backhanded way”, as if Schmidt didn’t really want to address it in any detail, although it is a very
critical component of his thesis about the GT dating. Here’s the reference: “The archeologists did
find evidence of tool use, including stone hammers and blades. And because those artifacts
closely resemble others from nearby sites previously carbon dated to about 9000 BC Schmidt and
co-workers estimate that Gobekli Tepe’s stone structures are the same age. Limited carbon
dating undertaken by Schmidt at the site confirms this assessment.” (Emphasis by this author).
Of course this single short reference to carbon 14 dating in the Smithsonian report (appearing a
good thirteen years after the start of the excavation at GT) is of interest. In spite the
tremendously important subject of carbon-14 dating, as this is in effect the single factor
determining the age of the structures at GT, given the extraordinary state of architectural and
artistic development this site exhibits a state of evolution that would otherwise place this
complex at a far later date (as we shall see in a bit) – this is the woefully inadequate extent of the
evidence presented. It should be emphasized though that since then much of C-14 dating has in
fact taken place on items from GT, and this evidence will be discussed shortly.
The November 2008 Smithsonian article comes after a preliminary report issued by Schmidt in
2000, cited in [2], where C-14 dating is also addressed. We now shall look at this report and its C-
14 evidence in some detail. Before we do so however, it must be noted that since the eight whole
years that had elapsed between the 2000 report and the 2008 Smithsonian interview (one would
had expected) the hard core and critical C-14 evidence would had been enriched and
strengthened, and as such it would (or should) had presented solidifying the evidence from
2000. As the reader can infer from the quote supplied above, this was not done. It was not done
for a good reason, as we shall see after we discuss at some length the 2000 report C-14 dating
It must be kept in mind while the C-14 evidence is presented about KT the intrinsic peculiarity of
the site: it was buried (under yet unknown conditions regarding dates of burials, the agencies
that undertook it, and their intent, whether benevolent or malevolent or simply ritualistic, thus
neutral) by considerable amount of dirt (it will be later discussed extensively also). Thus, one is
confronted with dating two different entities here: the GT structures, and the soil (and the soil
contents) used as “fills” to bury the monument(s). They involve not only two distinctly different
entities, but as we shall see some external effect – a very serious side effect as we shall show.
In [2], p. 49, and discussing some “sculptures found in the fill” of structure A, Schmidt notes: “Two
14C dates on the fill are around 9000 BC calibrated”. Moreover, on p. 52 of [2], Schmidt comes
back to this C14 dating, by stating in reference to some stone tool evidence, again found in the
fill of the mound, which includes PPNA dates: “But the two radiocarbon dates of around 9000 BC
(cal) mentioned earlier are well in accordance with the appearance of Helwan points”.
This statement follows immediately a statement that asserts: The presence of Helwan points
should clearly attest the existence of PPNA layers in the lower part of the mound, but it has not
yet been possible to show which building layers can be precisely dated to that period.” (Emphasis
by this author). Of course this is so, simply because a fill does not provide such dates. And this
simple fact is not totally lost on Schmidt, who being well aware of this reality in Archeology, states
in discussing the lithic evidence of the fill of structure C, on p. 51 in [2]: “Since several PPNA types
such as el-Khiam, Helwan, and Aswad points are observable in the fill, a pre-PPNB date for the
temenoi cannot be excluded: it even seems to be most probable. But a preliminary analysis of
the lithics is impaired by the situation that no ‘sealed deposits’ had been unearthed so far. All the
material belongs to the fill of the buildings, which can not be confidently attributed to a certain
level or layer”. (Emphasis by this author).
In summary, this is all the evidence Schmidt presented to date GT. Since then, others have
augmented the C-14 evidence on the various items of the fill significantly, see for example ref.
[14]. This is very valuable work in the sense that it documents beyond reasonable doubt that the
fill of GT was done by using soil derived from sites (possibly around GT as we shall see) that fall
under PPNA and PPNB material. However, recently some GT analysts, cognizant of the fact that
fills do not necessarily date monuments, have been discussing C14 dating on the very structures
of GT, namely the plaster of some of its pillars, see [14], where preliminary evidence seems to
suggest PPNB (at least and possibly PPNA) material. Reporting from C14 analysis from plaster in
Enclosure D at GT, a 9745 – 9314 (calibrated) BC is offered with an impressive 95.4% confidence
level. More on the Neolithic C14 dating on GT is also found in [16].
One would feel quite comfortable, it seems, with all these C14 based dating reports, and all with
such high confidence levels, springing all around the literature on GT and its chronological
documentation. Except that there is a fundamental flaw to all this parade of C14 dates, to which
we come next.
The problem with Schmidt’s C-14 evidence
We already discussed the problem with dating “fills” as opposed to dating “structures”. A fill’s
date (no matter how confident we may fill about its actual date) in no way dates structures, as it
simply can be coming from soil deposits that are either older or younger than the structure itself.
You can fill your home with dirt from your yard, which could be from various geologic strata,
some containing fossils from the Pleistocene. This will not make your home a Pleistocene Epoch
home. Or you can currently fill a 4th century BC Temple with soil from riverbanks containing live
exoskeletons; this will not render the Temple a 2000 AD structure.
In Archeology, this is referred to as an impossibility to obtain a terminus post quem (that is,
setting an upper limit on when the structure was built as it means “not possible to having been
constructed before a specific time period” in effect putting a limit on the earliest possible time
an event occurred – in our case PPNA or PPNB); or obtaining a terminus ante quem (that is, setting
a lower limit on when the structure was built, as it means “not possible to having been
constructed after a specific time period” and in effect putting a limit on the latest possible time
an event occurred, thus telling us in effect in this case that the monument is as old as at least
PPNB. It will be scrutinized whether secure evidence exists from GT to argue for a pre-PPNB date.
Fill can’t be used to date structures. This is evident from the fact that either lithic morphological
evidence or C14 dating of stuff found in the fill of GT’s structures comes from a wide range of
periods, ranging from the PPNA to medieval times. Obviously, the burial of GT didn’t occur in
medieval times, but the point is quite clear: fills do not date structures. Later in the paper, the
possible sources for the fill will be explored. However, this isn’t the key factor here as “material
from the structure itself” has been carbon dated, and preliminary indications seem to suggest a
PPNB at least origin. This is the element that has excited archeologists and GT enthusiasts alike.
This is the type of evidence which needs serious scrutiny. To do that, we need to go into the C14
dating process itself and specifically look at its limitations. Scientists are well aware and very
cognizant of the fact that C14 dating process can be contaminated and thus give false readings.
There are four specific conditions which limit the validity of the C14 readings – and of course the
reader should keep in mind that we are referring to “calibrated” C14 counts, that is counts which
have accommodated differential C14 containment in the atmosphere currently and in the past
(which by the way in this case, circa 10000 BC, is considerable and stretched well into the C14
50000-year span for its validity). This differential is well accounted in the readings, since all the
readings come with “calibrated” dates, thus this limitation is not applicable here. And so are the
two other limitations, the one called “isotopic fractionation” a process involving differential
absorption rates of carbons with different isotopic composition, not of specific import here, thus
not further to be discussed; and “differentials in the carbon isotopic composition in the sample”,
again, of no particular importance here, although the sampling process is.
Finally we come to the last factor which could potentially and significantly affect the C14 readings
from a specimen (the plaster of the various structures in the different GT enclosures in this case):
contamination. This is the Achilles heel for GT’s chronology. For an extensive discussion of this
issue see [18]. Contamination is a basic side effect of the fill with which a structure is buried, and
it can render an artifact either older or younger than it is.
There are two issues that can be raised in reference to the C14 dating of GT’s structures. First,
the material used to make the plaster by which the stones were covered could be itself from lime
that was of PPNB origin, thus not reflecting the time the structure was made. A second objection
could draw from the contact the structure has been with the fill for now at least as many millennia
as old is the filling of the structure event. What we are now analyzing from the plaster is the
organic material that has permeated from the fill’s soil onto the structure, after the structure was
buried. This is the second key (negative for the case of GT’s accurate dating) externality that has
taken place, as all surface material (plaster) has been contaminated by the dirt from the fill and
its contents. In fact that the plaster contains loam (a type of soil particularly amiable to absorbing
nutrients and water) makes this contamination process even more prevalent and likely, thus
more pervasive. This issue is extensively analyzed here [31]. So, due to either causes, no matter
what samples we collect from anywhere at the surface of the structure, they will keep repeating
the reading which we already know from the soil contents’ carbon dating itself. Because these
samples had been the victims of this very serious side effect: contamination.
Why Gobekli Tepe isn’t a PPNA or s PPNB site
In fact, no matter what we find inside the structures of GT’s currently having been excavated
enclosures will not (and quite likely never will) give us the actual (or roughly approximate) dates
on the structure(s), at least given the technology we currently possess. Only the morphology and
the socio-economic-cultural-demographic milieu of the structure(s) at GT will be our guide as to
when, possibly, GT and its various components were builtespecially its Layer III complex. To
that, we now turn.
GT, it can be asserted with relative confidence, is not a Pre-pottery Neolithic site. It can’t be for
a number of reasons. The reasons will be elaborated in turn, and they are based on the analysis
of the PPNA and PPNB environment existing in that region, and then compare GT’s morphology
and likely socio-cultural milieu against that environment. It will be clearly shown that GT is
subsequent (and possibly by a long shot) to that early environment. That early environment
contains markers in terms of symbols, architecture and demography which we do not match GT’s
art, architecture, and possible demography. GT is far more developed in all these counts from a
relatively “primitive” pre-development phase depicted by the art, architecture and demographic
structure of the PPNA and PPNB spatial and temporal conditions.
Architecture and Urban Design
The Architecture and Urban Design environments of the PPNA and PPNB eras are characterized
by particular Architecture structures and forms, which we will analyze in turn. Pre-PPNA
(although the time limits are not sharp and certain overlap is present rendering them necessarily
fuzzy) structures are those referred to as belonging to the Natufian Culture, see [19].
Figure 1. Natufian Culture circular home. Early PPNA period, Jordan River Valley.
Regarding the extensive literature on the Natufian period of the PPNA (and its extensions into
the PPNB the reader is directed to [20]. On the Natufian culture’s architecture, we have a number
of examples where structures (both private and public) are shown. Most are situated along the
so-called “Levantine corridor” (the western section of the Fertile Crescent landscape), along the
River Jordan Valley, stretching along current day Israel, Lebanon and Jordan up to western Syria
and southern Turkey. They contain some stone foundations, and no mud brick structures.
In these Natufian settlements, one comes across examples of pre systematic agriculture practices
especially in animal husbandry and in cereals. Fisheries was an important part of their diet, and
locations close to rivers were apparently at a premium. In fact their vulnerability to raids and
periodic structural refurbishing could be directly linked to their accessibility and access to
resources (river). Parenthetically, this “double-sword” (being simultaneously a blessing and a
curse) on accessibility and access is a theme which this author has expanded on considerably in
previous publications (see for instance those on Kasta Tumulus [23] and Alexander III cities [24].
Access is a basic factor in the evolution of human settlements. Further, their dating is largely
based on the C14 dating derived from their cereals and specifically grains of rye, and animal
bones, although dating related to their lithic contents is also possible.
Their construction details and morphology consists of relatively round or arch shaped small scale
structures. One of these cases is shown in Figure 1. The bare stone foundations of an early PPNA,
possibly in the 10000 BC period Natufian type house is presented. These type houses are
apparently huts, made out of timber (branches from trees – usually oak) and clay plaster resting
on roughly assembled unfinished stones from local origin or quarries. However, the relative
permanency of the foundations may indicate that this was a structure belonging to a member of
the upper class. Certainly, less durable homes were then in existence, non-durable huts belonging
to the then plebeians.
A clear development in the Architecture of these cyclical in form houses is the case of Hallan
Cemi, shown in Figure 2. Hallan Cemi is located at the very tip of the Fertile Crescent, north of
GT, close to a tributary of the River Tigris, see [22]. The settlement is dated circa 9000 BC, and
clearly it belongs to the late PPNA period. In this settlement we recognize a symmetric design in
its construction, some indication that a compass of sorts has been used. Orientations seems to
become an important factor, second of course to location and size of the structure. Density in
residential land use (both in persons per square meter of livable space, as well as gross density
for the settlement) start to define minimum levels in comfort for the living conditions in
sedentary dwelling activity. These factors will be addressed in the next section.
Hallan Cemi is an important settlement in the evolution of PPNA/PPNB transition architecture. It
was a sedentary settlement, where houses consisted of buried stone foundations supporting
wattle (stakes intermingled with branches of native trees) and daub (plaster or clay) huts. The
immediate outside area of the hut was plastered. Inside the hut, hearths were found made out
of plaster. They also contained stone benches. In one of these huts, the skull of an ox was found,
presumed hanging from the hut’s wall. It seems that animal husbandry, forestry and fisheries was
the residents’ occupation, not farming.
Figure 2. Hallan Cemi and the three stone foundations of three houses.
A significantly more developed specimen of late PPNA early PPNB construction is the Jerf el-
Ahmar site in present day Syria, Figure 3.a, representing construction of the 9500 – 8700 (cal) BC
period, see [21]. From the eight structures excavated (seven being apparently private houses,
obviously associated with the settlement’s elites, and one being a public space – possibly a
temple) one can obtain a view of the construction type at the site. The site is situated on the left
bank of the Euphrates River. The site plan has an interesting morphology, as it involves the
residential quarters of different elite members of the settlement, as we shall see.
Remnants of habitation on the site trace back to 13000 BC. That habitation contained elements
of proto-agriculture. Houses in the settlement evolved over the decades (or centuries) from
elliptical or almost circular to rectangular. In Figure 3.b early elliptical and almost circular houses
are shown, as they evolved from single-cell to multi-nucleated shapes. Rectangular houses are
seen in Figure 3.a. They also show an evolution, as their interior space was gradually subdivided
by internal masonry walls to an increasing number of rooms. These internal divisors take the
shape of “T” walls. These internal stonemasonry dry walls are as wide as the exterior walls.
Figure 3.a. Jerf el-Ahmar (9500 – 8700 BC) in present day Syria: the elliptical in floor plan
communal building and the eight excavated houses.
Figure 3.b. Single-cell and multi-nucleated circular houses at Jerf el-Ahmar, with stone hearths.
Proximity to the communal structure, associated thus with greater access to it, is also associated
with a greater in size homes. Possibly, this size and proximity differential is further associated
with a hierarchical structure within the ruling elites. The closer to the communal building, the
higher-up in the hierarchy possibly the occupants of the houses, and the larger the area size of
the home. If this is the case, the interesting proximity of a possible “to a possible
temple is noted.
Figure 3.c. Jerf el-Ahmar, the elliptical communal structure.
However, again, these structures wee by no means the only structures in the community of Jerf
el-Ahmar. These structures with durable masonry walls and stone based buildings represented
the upper strata of the social fabric at the site. Very likely, many more homes made out of non-
durable material were surrounding these durable residences. Possibly nomadic living or possibly
“guest” workers were part of these communities as well. We shall return to this issue in the next
section of the paper.
In Figure 3.c the communal building is shown. The floor plan of the structure indicates an ellipse
with a 6-meter short axis and an 8-meter long axis. In its present condition, it is submerged
underground by two to 2.50 meters. It must be noted that free standing stone structures were a
few millennia away then (they appear first in the Malta Ggantija period of the 4th millennium BC.
Back during the PPNA/B, stonemasonry walls needed support, and it got it by being submerged
in the ground, as shown in Figure 3.c.of course, being submerged also provided extra protection
from the weather (heat/cold) as the ground level offered good year-round temperature and
excellent insulation.
Jerf el-Ahmar’s communal structure of Figure 3.c shows a morphology which is clearly
reminiscent of the general morphology of Layer III (early Phase) in GT structures A and B. No
matter the abstract and general resemblance however, it can also be concluded that in any case
the communal building (possibly a temple, ”) of Jerf el-Ahmar is a pre-GT type. In
fact, one might be able to use this structure as a secure terminus post quem on GT.
Figure 3.d. The most recent almost circular structure at Jerf el-Ahmar, a (not yet dated)
structure more primitive than GT, thus older.
This temporal sequence (Jerf el-Ahmar before GT) is further established by a closer look at a more
recent (both excavation-wise and quite possibly in actual date, although not yet formally dated)
circular structure at Jerf el-Ahmar, shown in Figure 3.d. The almost circular structure, with the
recesses and the (small in height, judging from the size of the sole surviving) pillars is a primitive
version of GT’s structures A and B. In addition, however, Jerf el-Ahmar’s almost equilateral
hexagonal form (Figure 3.d) presents a slight advancement in geometry over GT’s structures A, B
and C. It must be noted though, that pending accurate measurements and excavation at other
structures not yet looked at GT, some more advanced and complex geometry at GT might
That the almost circular structure of Figure 3.d is older than GT is obvious of course, given the
level of sophistication and development in the size of the pillars. However, the fact that we do
not yet have a secure date on it, prevents us from asserting it as terminus post quem on GT. We
will analyze further this complex at Jerf el-Ahmar in the next section.
Urban Planning and Demography
An important message from the list of PPNA/B settlements provided in an earlier section on GT’s
possible “environment”, and also evident in the comprehensive list of Neolithic settlements
found in reference [4] is that settlements do not undergo a “parthenogenesis” of sorts; namely,
at some point in time-space a single human settlement emerges (that may be called the “origin”),
and then later on two may appear, to be succeeded by four and so on. This isn’t how central place
theory based schemes from the field of Economic Geography envisions how settlements undergo
Instead, a far more likely scenario must be the case, whereby a multiplicity of settlements appear
at approximately the same time period (and of course, the theory critically depends on the actual
length of that time period) over a wide region, coalescing from smaller spread out, clan-based,
settlements. The central place theory (CPT) dynamic evolutionary framework has been discussed
by the author in [23] and [24], and its (static, long term equilibrium in form) elaboration is found
in [25] Chapter 12. Thus, one must expect a flurry of human settlements to have been around,
by the time GT Layer III came into existence. And as we saw, there were numerous, representing
different phases of the PPNA and PPNB periods.
A key attribute of these CPT type settlements is that they possess a hinterland, and that they are
stratified according to a hierarchical structure, whereby a Zipf-type population size distribution
governs their interactions.
Now, let us take a closer look into the area sizes of these settlements, their population estimates,
and their densities. The size of houses during the Natufian, judging from the rough estimates of
the house shown in Figure 1, is about 5 – 6 square meters. This represents a net residential
density of about a square meter per person, considering about five persons per household in
every hut type home of the Natufian period. In [24], population estimates are given of minimum
size communities, allowing such communities to be viable (even in the relatively short term).
These estimates range in the vicinity of about 75 100 persons per unit settlement on the
average. Although we do not possess an age pyramid structure for the population then, it must
be assumed that the average age hovered around 20 – 25 years. The subject of the world’s
possible population during the various BC millennia, and their likely inter-regional and intra-
regional population distribution is addressed by the author (and references supplied) in [13].
That is, possibly a rudimentary hierarchy must have existed within a region, defined as an area
that would allow economic and social interaction among its members (not necessarily all peaceful
interaction), where some small number of relatively high population levels (possibly around 300
individuals) would be on top of the hierarchy with exponentially decreasing in size settlements
thereafter. Over time, millennia in this instance, larger communities would form, and communal
buildings as well as other public spaces (such as paths or proto municipal roads) would appear.
In that case, it may be more relevant to talk about gross residential population densities, whereby
the total area of a settlement may have become of essence.
In the case of (the now inundated) Hallan Cemi, Figure 2, one encounters a settlement occupying
an (excavated) area of about 50 meters by 35 meters (roughly 2000 square meters, or half an
acre). It contains six houses with dry stone foundations, without this necessarily being an
indication of the total number of homes there. It could be that these are the proto elites’ more
durable construction. A number of less durable (and more plentiful) homes, in a possibly apse-
type ring surrounding this 6-house complex and away from the frontal side of the settlement,
could complement the settlement. Considering about five persons per unit at the stonemasonry
homes, this site likely corresponds to a community of about 500 inhabitants, presuming a 10:1
ratio of elites to the lower classes.
Figure 4. Sketch-drawing of the Jerf el-Ahmar urban settlement’s site plan, showing the various
elites’ residences forming arches-rings surrounding the communal structure at bottom left.
Source: reference [21]
Most likely this is an average size settlement for its era, as the settlement discussed earlier most
probably also was. In a statistical sense, we possess no additional information to indicate a bias
in the sampling, these settlements must be thought of as an “average” settlement in each case.
In absence of an age pyramid, it is safe to presume that the average age of the population
increased at the margins between the settlement of Figure 1, and that of Figure 2. The Hallan
Cemi average age must had been between 25 and 27 years. There’s an inverse correlation
between gross population density of a settlement and average age of its population stock, simply
because lower gross residential densities reflect higher average wealth per capita, which in turn
is positively linked to live expectancy and average age of a population group.
We now turn to the likely Urban Planning and Demography of the far more complex settlement
at Jerf el-Ahmar. Here we come across a central communal structure, possibly the center of a
trade and commerce activity, along with being a ceremonial center. In this structure, we have
the beginning of a Central Business District (CBD). Immediately surrounding this CBD, a ring of
very low density stonemasonry homes belonging to the uppermost social class is located. These
homes are the rectangular houses of Figure 4.
This is in turn surrounded by another thicker in width ring (actually an arch within the excavated
area) of a set of roundly shaped homes characterized by higher density (lower total covered area
and possibly higher number of persons per household). These houses must have belonged to an
elite (possibly the bureaucrats and hieratic corps of the settlement’s social structure. All of these
structures must had been surrounded by less durable housing units of a nomadic, periodically
residing, visiting, or simply slave population, comprising the lower strata of the totem pole.
The area shown in the site plan of Figure 4, is simply an (excavated) slice of the total area of the
settlement, the total extent of the settlement remaining still unknown. In terms of area size, the
area shown in Figure 4 is approximately a 40mx30m (about 1200 square meters, or about quarter
of an acre, and slightly more than a tenth of a hectare). Of course since the total area of the site
hasn’t been excavated yet, we do not know the total spatial extent of Jerf el-Ahmar. Given its
topography (which indicates that the community extended to the upper left and lower right
directions of Figure 4, as well as to the upper right, it may be presumed that about half to 75% of
the area has been excavated, we are likely discussing a site of about a quarter to fifth of a hectare
of buildings that a section at least of them contains stonemasonry construction.
Considering about an equal area taken by higher density temporary structures housing the lower
classes, the total area of the settlement may have been close to one third or half a hectare. Again,
assuming a 5-person households on average for the upper classes, these masonry houses could
contain between 75 to 100 persons. Given a 10:1 ratio of elites to lower classes, the total
population (resident, nomadic, slave) could reach at its peak between 750 and 1000 persons. The
gross residential density would oscillate between 3.3 (3300/1000, that is the lowest area size
divided by the highest population count) square meters per person and 6.7 (5000/750, that is the
highest area size divided by the lowest population count) square meters per person. It is of
interest that these counts are not far off those estimated in [26].
At around 1000 persons, very likely Jerf el-Ahmar would had been at the very top (or close to it)
in the hierarchy of settlements at 8700 BC and the mid phases of PPNB. Thus, this is the
environment that would presumably be characterizing the CPT type scheme of which GT’s would
be part, if and only if GT was a PPNA/B complex. However, as we pointed out already, GT could
not be a PPNB settlement. And here again, we point out why. The PPNB settlement of Jerf el-
Ahmar contains a CBD which is at least one third the size of the GT CBD. GT has at least three
enclaves of the type we see in Figure 3.c. That would require an urban settlement of at least 3000
persons, and in fact given that only 5-10% of the GT area has been excavated, it might turn out
that such a settlement does surround GT.
A point of spatio-temporal interest to those familiar with the so called Alonso theory in the field
of “New Urban Economics”, where cities are shown to form in concentric rings (when isotropic –
that is of equal transport rates in all directions conditions hold) around a CBD, so that both
residential densities and prices decline with distance, see [30] forming spatial gradients that can
be approximated by a negative exponential form functions. Here we have a variant of this land
use model, whereby densities increase initially away from a center and decrease thereafter.
Figure 5.a. Gobekli Tepe, Layer III, Phase one of construction.
The scale of GT is obviously different than that of Jerf el-Ahmar, and a simple glance at the photos
of Figure 3.d and Figure 5.a, and a comparison between Figure 4 and Figure 5.b make that
difference in scale abundantly clear. Jerf el-Ahmar probably was at the top of its regional
hierarchy in PPNB. We can be confident of that because of two reasons. First, this is the largest
in scale site that we have come across among those excavated that securely belong to the PPNB.
Second, it is very likely that this is the population level of a top in the hierarchy settlement during
the PPNB phase of the Mesolithic, given the estimated world’s population of the time, and what
such population level would had implied for a regional human settlements CPT type structure,
see [13], where a discussion and references on this demographic issue is given.
GT was also probably at the very top of its current hierarchy then. We do not possess any
indication that the populations of the PPNB and that of the GT era were that different, see the
US Bureau of the Census statistics in [13]. In the evolution of human settlements, a historical law
governs development. Over time and given the overall increase (however large or small) in
population size of a region, the top of an earlier CPT scheme would always be smaller in size than
that of a later CPT. Top urban settlements are always succeeded by larger in population size top
urban settlements ceteris paribus. Being larger in scale than Jerf el-Ahmar automatically sets GT
at a later date.
Figure 5.b. Gobekli Tepe area under excavation; according to the archeologist in charge (Klaus
Schmidt) only 5% of the total area has been excavated.
The difference in scale isn’t only evident in population size, it is also evident in area size. Compare
the two sites’ areas from Figure 4 and Figure 5.c. GT’s already excavated size covers an area far
larger than 50m by 100m, by far larger already than the Jerf el-Ahmar excavated area size. And
one must keep in mind that not even 10% of the GT site has been excavated. There are of course
areas used as quarries in that area delineated by the grid’s coordinates (J-N) and (7.5-11.5) of
Figure 5.c. Although we do not yet know how much more of that quarry activity is included as
part of the site, it obviously can’t be a considerable multiple of the site’s built complex. That
would be a very inefficient use of resources, both in terms of labor, as well as natural resource
(limestone) and land, not to mention time spent on the production and consumption of the
Besides, the already excavated site’s size is larger than Jerf el-Ahmar by a ratio of at least 2:1
(depending on accurate measures on both, not yet available beyond a rough count). Indicatively,
the GT’s central structure A is about twice as large in length and height compared to Jerf el-
Ahmar’s communal structure’s size; compare Figure 3.c. and Figures 5.a, b. Thus, on the basis of
the Urban Planning and Demography stand points, GT’s scale sends it on a far later time period
that Jerf el-Ahmar’s PPNB time frame.
Figure 5.c. Gobekli Tepe topographical map and site plan of excavated area by Klaus Schmidt.
Source [2].
Figure 6. The purification symbol being carried by a priest (fish-man) as an offering to the
“Storm god” in this 14th century BC rendition on a frieze at a palace at Uruk. Source: [29].
A close look at Figure 5.b may also reveal the source of all that fill for the GT Layers III, II and I
structures: the very mining areas where the monoliths came from. It is quite apparent that at the
time GT was constructed the Tepe’s immediate vicinity was morphologically and topographically
quite different. It is little doubt that older sections, going back to PPNA (as well as PPNB)
settlement activity might had existed, albeit in different form, at GT’s current site.
Art and Symbols
Last, we examine the artwork of GT, and especially a single symbol of it – shown at the preamble
photo of this paper: the triple representation of the “handbag” symbol on top of a central pillar
in a GT enclosure. It is beyond any doubt that GT’s iconography is extraordinary, both in its variety
and sophistication, as well as its state of preservation. The state of refinement (in sculpting and
detail, as well as preservation of the fine detail in its carving) is indeed astonishing, no matter
whether it is a PPNB or a much later (but none the less still Neolithic) monument.
The subject of symbolism in Art is of course a very involved and highly complex topic; it has been
preoccupied the field of Art and its literature for millennia. It is by any means a huge topic and
obviously this paper is not the appropriate forum to fully address it at any depth. It will be just
touched upon. Further, since this isn’t a paper on Art, some statements (on the basis of which
the arguments will be formed) will be made in a summary manner. Moreover, since the main
argument of this paper is to disprove the claim that GT is a PPNB (or older) monument, rather
than trying to peg a specific later date on it, the arguments will be confined to simply the symbol
already mentioned, showing it in its later (circa 1350 BC) version in Figure 6. It is enough to make
the point.
Before we discuss the symbol, three general rules must be mentioned in summary, regarding the
evolution of symbols. Rule #1: a symbol, in evolving, becomes more and not less complex in
space-time. This rule simply stated implies that a late version of a symbol can’t be simpler than
an earlier version. Rule #2: symbols evolve, they do not stay static, and consistently with rule #1
they do not exhibit reverse evolution. Rule #3: symbols do not get “re-discovered”, that is,
symbols do not lie dormant for millennia. They do not appear in identical form way down the
road from a single earlier and hidden from public view version. Let’s analyze these rules in some
detail in reference to Art and with the symbol under discussion here as a backdrop.
On the first rule, one recognizes that human experiences add to the meaning of a symbol, thus
the symbolism (the symbolic essence) of a symbol in time undergoes change. In so doing,
additional components and complexity are added to a symbol, once it first appears. “Reverse
evolution” is a term used in biology, and whether it has “standing” or not isn’t an issue to be
debated here. It suffices to say that the term reminds one the phrase “going back in time” from
Cosmology and Physics, and its impossibility in these frames of reference.
Two striking examples (on which the author has spent considerable efforts in analyzing) are the
spirals and the meanders as eternity symbols. In [13] this author has analyzed the spirals, and in
[27] and [28] the meander. It is shown in [13] how the complexity of the sign representing the
spiral eternity symbol has evolved over a time period of a few centuries from the simple spiral of
the Hagar Qim Temple (circa 3700 BC) to that of triskelion at Newgrange passage tomb (circa
3200 BC) in complexity; whereas in [27] and [28] the author has demonstrated how the
complexity of the meander eternity symbol has evolved from the 4th century BC at Kasta Tumulus’
tomb to the 1st century BC at Ostia Antica. Both meander types are simply an evolution of the
simple Greek eternity symbol ”, which is a set of four letters representing the
capital letter Gamma, “”, tied in a clockwise or counter-clockwise fashion from the tip of their
legs – the longer of the two lines in the right angle.
Now the point might be made, that at times Art tends to simplicity rather than become more
ornate; that is, evolve towards the less complex from a more complex design. For example, the
Bauhaus movement in Architecture (and the International Style) was a movement towards
simpler and thus more efficient construction and in its architectural and artistic forms and
aesthetics. It, in effect, followed in succession the complex and elaborate Art and Architecture
forms of the Romantic era and the Renaissance, not to mention Baroque and Rococo. One might
argue that Courbet and the Impressionist, Art Nouveau and Cubist movements in Painting and
Sculpture of the late 19th and early 20th century represented a “return” to simpler forms of Art.
That for example, Piet Mondrian was simpler than Michelangelo, Botticelli or W. Gilpin.
This of course isn’t so, and there are numerous reasons as to why. Picasso’s return to “primordial”
African simplicity doesn’t make 20th century European Art “simpler in its content than any prior
century European Art. Trying to imitate or “create” older styles drawing from ancient African
motifs doesn’t set Art into a “reverse evolution” process. Picasso didn’t “return” European Art
into 8th century BC African Art. The Art and Architecture of “deconstruction” didn’t regress Art
and Architecture. It instead “evolved” it, as it attempted to “reconstruct” older forms and themes
into new combinations of symbols and a higher level of complexity in both meaning and form,
and the advanced materials, methods and artistic movement used to express these new
(apparently “simpler”, but not so in reality) forms make these points clear. In effect, a seeming
(from a superficial phenomenological standpoint) “simplicity” in form rendered Art and
Architecture quite more complex. The proof is inside a simple asymmetry: 8th century BC
Micronesian artists could not produce the paintings of “Primitivism” and the synthesis achieved
by Gauguin in his Tahiti stage.
With these brief comments in mind, let’s take a look at the symbol, which the archeologist in
charge of the recent excavation at Uruk, see [29], classified as a “purification” symbol. The
“handbag” or “basket” purification symbol, excavated at the site of Uruk belonging to the 14th
century BC time period frieze is an exact replica of the symbol shown at the very top of the “T”
shaped monolith at structure A of GT’s Layer III. This symbol’s form in fact clinches the case for a
late date on Gobekli Tepe.
It is simply impossible a symbol to lay dormant (rule #3 above) for a period of more than eight
millennia (if one assumes a PPNB date on GT) and then suddenly the same exact symbol to
reappear intact in a location relatively close to the location in question (both GT and Uruk lie on
the Fertile Crescent, and both have had extensive interactions over the millennia). One must
accept an (at least) later (if not quite later) date for GT, just based on this symbol.
Reference must also be made, although it will not be extensively covered here, on another
symbol also, namely the “H” symbol encountered at the pillars of GT. Such a symbol, it can be
argued on its complexity, symmetry and later evolution into the letter “eta” (H) of the Greek
(and many other) alphabets hints at a late date for GT as well. However, analysis of this and other
symbols is left for future analysis and research.
The paper set the settlement at PPNB’s Jerf el-Ahmar as a secure terminus post quem on Gobekli
Tepe. It could be shown that even a later date could be easily set as an upper bound to when
Gobekli Tepe could possibly be constructed. However this is left to future research. It was argued
that all C14 evidence produced from either the fill or the plaster off the surface of Gobekli Tepe’s
pillars contains contaminated from PPNA and PPNB fill evidence, thus it consistently will provide
inaccurate readings. Evidence from Architecture, Urban Design, Urban Planning, Demography
and Art was used to place Gobekli Tepe’s construction at a later than PPNB date.
[2] Klaus Schmidt, 2000, “Gobekli Tepe, Southeastern Turkey: A preliminary report on the 1995-
1999 excavations”, Paleorient, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp: 45-54. The report is also found here:
[3] B. Celik, 2006, “Sefer Tepe: a Pre-Pottery Neolithic site in Southeastern Turkey”, Neo-Lithics:
the Newsletter of Southwest Asian Neolithic Research, January 2006. The report is available
[13] D. S. Dendrinos, 2016, “From Newgrange to Stonehenge; Monuments to a Bull Cult and
Origins of Innovation”, the paper is found here:
[19] Offer Bar-Yosef, 1998, “The Natufian Culture in the Levant, thresholds to the Origins of
Agriculture”, Evolutionary Anthropology, pp: 159 – 177. The paper is found here:
[23] D. S. Dendrinos, 2016, “On the Tumulus at Amphipolis” found here:
[24] D. S. Dendrinos, 2016, “Alexander’s Network of Cities and their Dynamics”,
found here:
[25] W. Isard, 1975, Introduction to Regional Science, Prentice Hall, New York.
[26] A. McBride, “Modelling capacity of Near Eastern Neolithic non-domestic architecture” ,
Journal of Anthropological Archeology, forthcoming, also found here:
[27] D. S. Dendrinos, 2016, “Ostia Antica: the geometry of a mosaic involving a meander with a
rhombus and tiling of the plane”, the paper is found here:
[28] D. S. Dendrinos, 2015, “The double meander and waves of Kasta Hill’s mosaic frame”, the paper is found here:
[30] W. Alonso, 1963, Location and land Use, Harvard University Press, Boston.
The author wishes to thank all his FB friends from his four groups, the “Neolithic Monuments of
the British Isles”, “Mathematics and Archeology”, “Tutankhamun’s Mask: a study” and “Kasta
Tumulus: a study” for continuing support, inspiration and encouragement. Special thanks to
Matthew Ray for providing some key references, and to Jj Ainsworth for introducing this author
to the purification symbols discussed here. Again, the author is deeply thankful to his family for
their continuous support and understanding given the hours spent working on this paper.
Legal Notice
The author, Dimitrios S. Dendrinos, retains full legal rights to this paper. No
parts or the whole of this paper can be reproduced in any form without the
explicit and written consent of the author.
... 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. ...
... 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. ...
... 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. ...
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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.
... Arcs and apses. Sections of circles or ellipses, must had come before circles in building construction, as evidenced by the stonemasonry foundations of the Natufian culture in early Mesolithic, see [26] as well as the earliest residential quarters of 9000 BC Jericho, see for example [82]. Approximate circles followed, as did approximate ellipses (or "egg" pseudo-elliptical like structures). ...
... They are discussed more extensively in [74]. For placing a terminus post quem on the early Phase of Layer III and in structures C and D of Gobekli Tepe, see also [26]. We encounter well defined rectangles on the pillars and orthostats of all known enclosures at Gobekli Tepe. ...
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... The triangle, along with other advanced geometric forms and elaborate iconography and petroglyphic art forms, appears in various elements on its stones' carvings. However, this author has countered the establishment assertions in [3], establishing that Gobekli Tepe was a post PPNB site, and in fact the structures of Layer III -earliest phase of enclosure D -were built quite a bit later than that (middle of 6 th millennium BC). It can be argued in view of the findings here, that the latest phase of Gobekli Tepe (structure C) was constructed just prior to Carnac (by the end of the 6 th millennium beginning of the 5 th millennium BC). ...
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This is an updated version of an earlier paper titled "Stonehenge, Durrington Walls, Newgrange: Monuments to the Egyptian Bull and Cow Cults and Origins of Innovation" by the same author. However, in this paper new material has been included. Thus, this paper marginally amends (in view of the summer 2016 retraction of the summer 2015 announcement regarding Durrington Walls) and considerably extends the previous paper. On September 19th, 2016 I revised the view presented in this paper regarding the date of Gobekli Tepe's oldest layer's construction with this paper: A new version of this paper is forthcoming to account for this update.
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Sefer Tepe is a small, broad and shallow mound located c. 72km east of Sanlıurfa, within the modern province borders of Viransehir. The mound is located at 600m altitude above sea level and covers a surface area of c. 7000m2. A country house is located in the south-eastern corner of the site. The closest water source is Yukarı Cırcıp creek, 1.5km to the east. The geological foundation is of calcareous rock and the closest basalt source is located 1km to the east. The most intriguing aspect of the Sefer Tepe site are the 16 in-situ T-shaped pillars. Most of the pillars were buried and placed side-by-side in a conjugate formation at c. 1.5 up to 2m intervals. The upper sections above the surface are c. 50cm long and 20cm wide. The positioning of the pillars is very similar to the architecture at Göbekli Tepe Level II and the monolithic in-situ pillars on the surface at Karahan Tepe. Moreover, another pillar was revealed during the construction of the country house in the south-eastern corner of the site. This pillar was found intact; its length is 198cm and the width of the head section is 72cm, the width of the body section 54cm and the thickness 25cm. The head section of this undecorated stele is extremely flattened; it has features identical with the pillars discovered at Nevali Çori, Göbekli Tepe, Karahan Tepe, Hamzan Tepe and Taşlı Tepe.
Previous estimates of the capacity of archaeological architecture have been based on cross-cultural studies that have determined an average amount of roofed dwelling space occupied by an individual. These studies are problematic when applied to non-dwelling spaces though. In this paper I use scenario modelling to estimate the capacity of any structure using AutoCAD, taking into account the variability of different spaces, as well as different requirements for movement and visibility. This results in more accurate estimates of the size of the group using the space, which can then be compared to estimates of the size of the population to enhance our understanding of the way the groups functioned within the wider community. This methodology is demonstrated using a series of non-domestic structures found at Near Eastern Neolithic sites.
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.
The Natufian Culture in the Levant, thresholds to the Origins of Agriculture
Offer Bar-Yosef, 1998, "The Natufian Culture in the Levant, thresholds to the Origins of Agriculture", Evolutionary Anthropology, pp: 159 -177. The paper is found here:
On the Tumulus at Amphipolis " found here: https://www.academia
  • D S Dendrinos
D. S. Dendrinos, 2016, " On the Tumulus at Amphipolis " found here:
Alexander's Network of Cities and their Dynamics " , found here: https://www.academia
  • D S Dendrinos
D. S. Dendrinos, 2016, " Alexander's Network of Cities and their Dynamics ", found here: [25] W. Isard, 1975, Introduction to Regional Science, Prentice Hall, New York.