Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Did we plough up the Garden of Eden?
First Post ^ | October 17, 2006

Posted on 10/17/2006 6:10:35 AM PDT by NYer

An archaeological dig may have uncovered ‘Eden’ in Turkey, says sean thomas

I am standing above an archaeological dig, on a hillside in southern Turkey. Beneath me, workmen are unearthing a sculpture of some sort of reptile (right). It is delicate and breathtaking. It is also part of the world's oldest temple.

If this sounds remarkable, it gets better. The archaeologist in charge of the dig believes that this artwork once stood in Eden. The archaeologist is Klaus Schmidt; the site is called Gobekli Tepe.

In academic circles, the astonishing discoveries at Gobekli Tepe have long been a talking point. Since the dig began in 1994, experts have made the journey to Kurdish Turkey to marvel at these 40-odd standing stones and their Neolithic carvings.

But what is new, and what makes this season's dig at Gobekli so climactic, is the quality of the latest finds - plus that mind-blowing thesis which links them to Paradise.

The thesis is this. Historians have long wondered if the Eden story is a folk memory, an allegory of the move from hunter-gathering to farming. Seen in this way, the Eden story describes how we moved from a life of relative leisure - literally picking fruit from the trees - to a harsher existence of ploughing and reaping.

And where did this change take place? Biologists now think the move to agriculture began in Kurdish Turkey. Einkorn wheat, a forerunner of the world's cereal species, has been genetically linked to here. Similarly, it now seems that wild pigs were first domesticated in Cayonu, just 60 miles from Gobekli.

This region also has Biblical connections, tying it closer to the Eden narrative. Muslims believe that Sanliurfa, a nearby city, is the Old Testament city of Ur. Harran, a town down the road, is mentioned in Genesis twice.

Even the topography of Gobekli Tepe is 'correct'. The Bible describes rivers descending from Paradise. Gobekli Tepe sits in the 'fertile crescent' between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. The Bible also mentions mountains surrounding Eden. From the brow of Gobekli's hills you can see the Taurus range.

But how does this intoxicating

notion link to the architecture of Gobekli, and those astonishing finds?

Klaus Schmidt (left) explains: "Gobekli Tepe is staggeringly old. It dates from 10,000BC, before pottery and the wheel. By comparison, Stonehenge dates from 2,000BC. Our excavations also show it is not a domestic site, it is religious - the world's oldest temple. This site proves that hunter-gatherers were capable of complex art and organised religion, something no-one imagined before."

As for the temple's exact purpose, Schmidt gestures at a new discovery: a carving of a boar, and ducks flying into nets. "I think Gobekli Tepe celebrates the chase, the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. And why not? This life was rich and leisured, it gave them time enough to become accomplished sculptors."

So why did the hunters of Gobekli give up their agreeable existence? Schmidt indicates the arid brown hilltops. "Gathering together for religion meant that they needed to feed more people. So they started cultivating the wild grasses." But this switch to agriculture put pressure on the landscape; trees were cut down, the herds of game were dispersed. What was once a paradisaical land became a dustbowl.

Schmidt explains that this switchtook place around 8,000BC. Coincidentally, the temple of Gobekli Tepe was deliberately covered with earth around this time.

We may never know why the hunter-gatherers buried their 'temple in Eden'. Perhaps they were grieving for their lost innocence. What is unquestionable is the discoveries made in Gobekli Tepe, in the last few weeks, are some of the most exciting made anywhere in half a century.

Schmidt shows me some workmen scraping earth from a rock relief (left). It is marvellously detailed: it shows scorpions, waterbirds, and river life. I suddenly realise I am the first person other than an archaeologist to see it in 10,000 years.


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anatolia; anthropology; archaeology; biblicalarcheology; catalhoyuk; catalhuyuk; einkornwheat; gobeklitepe; godsgravesglyphs; prehistory; religion; sanliurfa; turkey
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-160 next last


1 posted on 10/17/2006 6:10:36 AM PDT by NYer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...
Catholic Ping - Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


2 posted on 10/17/2006 6:11:08 AM PDT by NYer ("It is easier for the earth to exist without sun than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.” PPio)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Since Eden only had Adam and Eve, I don't think its Eden.


3 posted on 10/17/2006 6:11:42 AM PDT by edcoil (Reality doesn't say much - doesn't need too)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Eden's in Iraq. Noah's Ark is in Turkey.


4 posted on 10/17/2006 6:12:27 AM PDT by Sybeck1 (What's Russia's and China's part in all of this?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv
Read more here.
5 posted on 10/17/2006 6:13:58 AM PDT by NYer ("It is easier for the earth to exist without sun than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.” PPio)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Paved paradise, put up a parking lot.


6 posted on 10/17/2006 6:18:25 AM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 119 1:96)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Very interesting.


7 posted on 10/17/2006 6:18:52 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Guy wants the Nile Valley brought into the picture, but, alas, the Nile was a raging river at the time and the Sahara was a beautiful grassland filled with game.

There was NOTHING along the Nile at that time, but there were towns in Ukraine (on the other side of the Black Lake since the Black Sea didn't yet exist).

8 posted on 10/17/2006 6:23:18 AM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: edcoil

Call me when they find the apple core....


9 posted on 10/17/2006 6:24:31 AM PDT by John Carey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Sybeck1

I think the best guess is that Eden is near where Basra is today.


10 posted on 10/17/2006 6:24:39 AM PDT by twigs
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Farming is a much more secure and easy way to get sustenance.

If you ever do extended survival training, you'll find that it takes a lot of work to get food by finding it here and there throughout the year. Plus, it is not assured that you'll find enough in any one place.

The story of King David is about switching from a nomadic life to one of agriculture- of finding a spot and settling there, growing food there, and flourishing.

I'll have to think about Adam and Eve as being an allegory for moving from a hunter-gather setup to farming.

The pictures of the carvings are stunning- if they are as old as they are supposed to be, they are revolutionary.

11 posted on 10/17/2006 6:24:49 AM PDT by DBrow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Hmmm ... I don't recall reading about Adam and Eve building a Temple? (must have missed that chapter in catechism?!?)
12 posted on 10/17/2006 6:24:56 AM PDT by Condor51 ("Alot" is NOT a word and doesn't mean "many". It is 'a lot', two separate words.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: lonevoice

Whatever its significance, it is a remarkable and very ancient discovery.


13 posted on 10/17/2006 6:25:49 AM PDT by Pride in the USA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alouette

Yep. You just don't know what you've got 'til its gone...


14 posted on 10/17/2006 6:26:04 AM PDT by Hegemony Cricket (Expect a lot of democrat poll-smoking between now and 11/7)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: NYer
The Discovery Channel had a similar search in one of its documentaries, called In Search of Eden, which showed a location I thought more plausible. The location is near the headwaters not only of the Tigris and Euphrates, but also the Gishon and Pishon rivers, near the border of Iran and Turkey and close to the Plain of Urartu--which we know as "Ararat." It is a place with a lot of resonance. Today, there's a lot of red dirt and an Iranian city built on the place. -Theo
16 posted on 10/17/2006 6:30:15 AM PDT by Teófilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
This site proves that hunter-gatherers were capable of complex art and organised religion, something no-one imagined before."

Hold on a minute. Hunter-gatherers are inherently nomadic. They go where the food is. How could they build a temple of stone anywhere, and what good would it be since they couldnt expect to be in proximity to it much of the time? Perhaps we should question some assumptions about the behavior of people 10,000 years ago rather than viewing them through the prism of conventional wisdom. For instance this find indicates a culture which was rooted to a specific geographical location for generations. How did they do that? Did they already have agriculture back then? Was the cresent so fertile that generations of people could live in one spot, gathering and hunting with no effort to replenish and not pick it clean?

I begin to wonder about some of those people who claim ancient egypt is way older than anyone imagines and get laughed at by scholars because it's simply a ludicrous proposition. In other words, conventional wisdom precludes it, so any evidence presented must have some other explanation even if one cannot be identified. Perhaps there is some credibility to those arguments after all.

17 posted on 10/17/2006 6:32:20 AM PDT by pepsi_junkie (Often wrong, but never in doubt!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pepsi_junkie
Sometimes people hold down opinions and facts because they don't want their ideas to be proved wrong. Take the water-Sphynx theory. It may be totally off base, but you have to wonder if some scientists and Egyptologists crap on the idea because they have a vested interest in the new theory being wrong.
18 posted on 10/17/2006 6:38:56 AM PDT by satchmodog9 (Most people stand on the tracks and never even hear the train coming)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: NYer

bookmark


19 posted on 10/17/2006 6:42:26 AM PDT by GOP Poet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: edcoil
No ... but it does say any of the following things:

... that Cain built the first city, Enoch, east of Eden in the land of Nod. It was Cain who seems to have come up with the idea of religion, too (Abel described as "also" bringing his offerings).

... or, after the birth of Enosh, that men had begun calling on the Lord.

In either case, it wouldn't have been unreasonable for them to have built a structure and if you live a long time it might be easier to develop advanced skills.

As for the structure being buried ... filling a stone structure with packed earth is a good way to protect it from damage if you believe there's trouble coming.
20 posted on 10/17/2006 6:46:29 AM PDT by Rurudyne (Standup Philosopher)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: NYer

A few concerns:

1. The reptile looks like a mammal to me. There's a difference in the way the legs are set.

2. The Tigris and Euphrates are two rivers and I didn't see a desrciption of a third riverbed.

3. Although we like to see grain agriculture as a good thing, I doubt it was seen that way back then. More a way of shifting to an efficient way of preventing starvation when the good stuff (fruits, meat) became hard to find in an increasingly overcrowded world.


21 posted on 10/17/2006 6:59:43 AM PDT by From many - one.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Has anyone considered that if we did find Eden that the explorers might want to be careful of that big flaming sword God left there? Seems like that could cause some unpleasantness...


22 posted on 10/17/2006 7:00:40 AM PDT by JamesP81 (The answer always lies with more freedom; not less)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

ping

looks like your kind of thing


23 posted on 10/17/2006 7:03:47 AM PDT by From many - one.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alouette

Great line! LOL.


24 posted on 10/17/2006 7:08:56 AM PDT by Starboard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Sybeck1

Eden is in Iraq; Noah's ark is in Iran.


25 posted on 10/17/2006 7:08:58 AM PDT by Old_Mil (http://www.constitutionparty.com/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: DBrow
Farming is a much more secure and easy way to get sustenance.

It also provides a more convenient basis for taxation. :)

26 posted on 10/17/2006 7:12:53 AM PDT by Starboard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: sandyeggo
I always heard Eden was in Iraq, which is also almost the most-mentioned country in the Bible, second only to Israel.

Iraq proper wasn't even a recognized country until 1932. Are you sure you don't mean Babylon?

27 posted on 10/17/2006 7:18:14 AM PDT by Thermalseeker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: From many - one.
1. The reptile looks like a mammal to me. There's a difference in the way the legs are set.

Me too. Look at the rib cage and the way the eyes set in the head. I think it represents a dog.

28 posted on 10/17/2006 7:23:31 AM PDT by Inyo-Mono (If you don't want people to get your goat, don't tell them where it's tied.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: DBrow
If you ever do extended survival training, you'll find that it takes a lot of work to get food by finding it here and there throughout the year. Plus, it is not assured that you'll find enough in any one place.

Anyone who has ever gone hunting knows that it would be a rigorous lifestyle if you had to live off of your kill.

29 posted on 10/17/2006 7:26:25 AM PDT by Inyo-Mono (If you don't want people to get your goat, don't tell them where it's tied.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: John Carey
Call me when they find the apple core....

Apple only uses dual cores these days.

31 posted on 10/17/2006 7:29:56 AM PDT by SlowBoat407 (A living insult to islam since 1959)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Starboard
lol

And surely that leads to advanced civilization, with a census, a tax, tax collectors, census takers, inspectors, and buildings with guards...

You are so right, even being tongue in cheek- you can't really have formal taxes in a hunter-gather economy.

32 posted on 10/17/2006 7:33:18 AM PDT by DBrow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: DBrow
The story of King David is about switching from a nomadic life to one of agriculture- of finding a spot and settling there, growing food there, and flourishing.

Huh? Your statement suggests he was just wandering about looking for something to do, and eventually decided on farming. Forgive the slam, but I'm more used to such sideways inaccuracies in the liberal media. David was being hunted by Saul. Until Saul died he was always on the run in spite of his attempts to reconcile the relationship. When Saul was dead David took the throne. I don't think he did much "gardening" then, it was done for him.

33 posted on 10/17/2006 7:34:17 AM PDT by 70times7 (Sense... some don't make any, some don't have any - or so the former would appear to the latter.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Inyo-Mono

The problem I see with dog is the feet. More bear-ish than dog-ish. Maybe chimera? Or dog-faced baboon?

The bird panel is somewhat weird, too. The upper one looks ibis-like.

If the mammal is a baboon and the bird an ibis it could be pre-cursor to Egyptian deities. Yes, I know the geography would be wrong but people and ideas move around.


34 posted on 10/17/2006 7:34:40 AM PDT by From many - one.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: NYer

I learned way back in Hebrew school that the Garden of Eden was where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers met in the south (I know--they both go to the sea).


35 posted on 10/17/2006 7:36:55 AM PDT by Pharmboy (Every single day provides at least one new reason to hate the mainstream media...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: twigs
I think the best guess is that Eden is near where Basra is today.

I know it is between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

36 posted on 10/17/2006 7:37:10 AM PDT by beckysueb (Pray for President Bush and our country.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: beckysueb

The Bible also mentions two other rivers which have disappeared from sight today. But they can be detected from space in satellite images. If you take the Bible and match up the info there to these images and the current Tigris and Euphrates, it lands you near modern-day Basra.


37 posted on 10/17/2006 7:43:15 AM PDT by twigs
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: beckysueb

Anyone find the program for decoding the Bible code yet?


38 posted on 10/17/2006 7:47:32 AM PDT by LachlanMinnesota
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: 70times7
I didn't mean that King David was a farmer himself. I looked at the story in very general terms. I'm sorry if I offended you; that surely was not my intent.

If you look at climate data for the region and the time, the climate had begun to be more stable and predictable (it was not that long after the end of the last Ice Age). A more stable climate meant that agriculture was possible.

The tribe, like many tribes in the area, was nomadic (for a number of reasons, not just Saul). When David took the throne, the tribe began to settle down, and started an agricultural existence with a fixed location and permanent buildings.

If I remember the story, the tribe did flourish under King David.
39 posted on 10/17/2006 7:47:33 AM PDT by DBrow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: DBrow

It must have taken lots of tax dollars to construct those statues! Maybe even a temporary surtax was imposed. :)


40 posted on 10/17/2006 7:50:54 AM PDT by Starboard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: From many - one.

The Garden Of Eden was probably here in SE Asia.

41 posted on 10/17/2006 8:00:32 AM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: NYer; SunkenCiv
GGG Ping.

Ancient Stamp Dating To 5,600 BC Unearthed At Harran (Turkey)

42 posted on 10/17/2006 8:03:02 AM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

This article is so ideological it is laughable. Noble savage and all that!


43 posted on 10/17/2006 8:12:51 AM PDT by ClaireSolt (Have you have gotten mixed up in a mish-masher?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: twigs; beckysueb; Pharmboy; sandyeggo; Sybeck1; AnAmericanMother; Billthedrill; ...
Since Eden is often placed in what’s now Iraq, this favorite passage from a favorite trilogy:
.
Southern Mesopotamia, where the Tigris and the Euphrates flowed, first separately, then united, towards the Persian Gulf, was more beguiling in history than in fact. Here were Babylon and Nineveh, here Sennacherib had fought his battles, here indeed, some said, had been the Garden of Eden at the start of the world. But it was a fearful country now. Much of it was empty desert, inhabited by lawless predatory Arabs who loathed nearly everyone, the rest wide and foetid fen, inhabited by amphibious marshmen who detested everyone else. The irrigation works of the ancients had long since crumbled, and the long years of Turkish rule had left only decay and depression. There were no paved roads, no railways. Such towns as existed were hardly more than excretions of mud, like piles of rubbish in the wasteland, relieved only by the minarets of shabby mosques, or the lugubrious walls of forts. In the summer it was indescribably hot, in the winter unbearably cold. In the dry season everything was baked like leather, in the wet season 10,000 square miles were flooded, the waters gradually oozing away to leave malodorous wastes of marsh. Fleas, sand-flies and mosquitoes tormented the place, and its inhabitants lived lives of ignorant poverty, enlivened only by sporadic excitements of crime or brigandage, the illusions of religion and the consolations of sex.

Is this the land of dear old Adam (one British soldier wondered),
And beautiful Mother Eve?
If so dear reader small blame to them
For sinning and having to leave.

— James (Jan) Morris, Farewell the Trumpets.


44 posted on 10/17/2006 8:12:52 AM PDT by dighton
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: NYer
Very interesting article and great photos!!! For a slightly different interpretation of this and other contemporary sites, I might suggest David Lewis-Williams and David Pierce "Inside the Neolithic Mind", a recent publication and sequel to "The Mind in The Cave". I am not sure just what I think about it but it is thought provoking. It's basic premise is that hallucination caused by near death experiences, meditation, trances and possibly hallucinogenic plants led to religion in early man. They use this site as being illustrative of the possibility that people by their mental processes are hard wired for religion of some sort.
46 posted on 10/17/2006 8:45:09 AM PDT by JimSEA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Inyo-Mono
Me too. Look at the rib cage and the way the eyes set in the head. I think it represents a dog.

WHatever it is, it is hungry or its ribs wouldn't be sticking out.

47 posted on 10/17/2006 8:53:33 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: pepsi_junkie

How about going for real heresy and postulating that this culture existed prior to the last ice advance and was wiped out by a combination of invading hunter-gatherers and climate change as the ice advanced? I think humanity has dropped the ball more than once.


48 posted on 10/17/2006 9:02:11 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: DBrow
Thanks, I was not offended, but I do think it is (to say the least) an odd way to use the account.

David was in a group - but none of the tribes of Israel were with him; they were positioned throughout the land.

Then to suggest that the "tribe" flourished under David because of a more stable agricultural environment strikes me as completely missing all of the points. Or perhaps I'm missing something - the civil war in David's later years... Bad crops in successive years? "Absolem, oh Absolem! You should have irrigated!"

49 posted on 10/17/2006 9:09:03 AM PDT by 70times7 (Sense... some don't make any, some don't have any - or so the former would appear to the latter.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: NYer; blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ...
Thanks NYer for the topic and ping, and Blam et al for the contributions to this thread.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

50 posted on 10/17/2006 11:18:10 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Dhimmicrati delenda est! https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-160 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson