Archeologists Uncover 200 New Stones, 15 Temples At Göbekli Tepe
Archeologists recently discovered at least 15 new megalithic temples and over 200 standing stones at Göbekli Tepe in southeastern Turkey, the oldest archeological site in the world. The excavations predate what was originally thought to be the oldest evidence of human settlement, Çatal Höyük, and are so extensive they will likely require another 150 years of excavation.
The site was reopened partially in February, after being closed to visitors so archeologists could work on its restoration. UNESCO recently added Göbekli Tepe to its list of world heritage sites, with the majority of the complex remaining underground.
Göbeklie Tepe, meaning “potbelly hill,” has baffled archeologists for years, after it was dated to have been built before modern agriculture or the discovery of metal, despite the multitude of carved obelisks used in its construction. These massive stones are T-shaped, weighing between 40 to 60 tons, and standing between 10 to 20 feet tall.
According to mainstream archeology, the site served no practical purpose because it appears that it was not used for housing, and was allegedly built by hunter-gatherers. It was discovered by archeologist Klaus Schmidt, who excavated the site from 1996, until his sudden death in 2014.
But Göbekli Tepe is comprised of intricately carved stones as large as the rocks at Stonehenge, built 7,000 years later. The idea that a group of hunter-gatherers with primitive stone tools could construct a site of this magnitude is astonishing. Alternative theorists believe there may be more to the story.
Others believe the site could be evidence of a lost civilization that drastically predates mainstream archeology’s official timelines. Graham Hancock points out that the site contains the first perfectly north/south associated buildings, alignments to specific star groups and specific moments of the year, meaning this culture had a strong grasp on astronomy.
Boston University Professor Doctor Robert Schoch, posited the idea that an ancient, advanced culture predating traditional civilizations may have existed before the end of the last ice age, before it was wiped out in a cataclysmic event around 9,700 BCE.
Schoch says he believes that a solar induced dark age occurred after a massive solar flare took place, forcing existing civilizations to retreat underground, or as is the case with Göbekli Tepe, to bury their structures for preservation. He believes this culture eventually died out, as human populations descended back into a stone age, until the cycle of civilization sprung up again in Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt.
Schoch points to the Sphinx and the water erosion hypothesis as potentially having a connection to this culture. Schoch and other proponents of alternative archeological timelines believe the Sphinx predates ancient Egyptian civilization, due to water erosion on the side of the sphinx; the annual average rainfall that would have been enough to cause this type of erosion ended thousands of years before the Sphinx was allegedly built.
As Graham Hancock likes to say, “stuff just keeps on getting older.”
Learn more about Göbekli Tepe from the research of Andrew Collins in this episode of Beyond Belief:
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The Megalithic Baalbek Temple -- An Ancient 'Landing Place?'
When one considers the mysteries of ancient megalithic ruins, famous sites such as Stonehenge, Palenque, and Göbekli Tepe come to mind, though less often are the temple grounds of Baalbek mentioned in the same breath. There, perched 3,000 feet atop a sacred hill in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley, lay the ruins of one of the world’s most massive megalithic sites, containing some of the heaviest quarried stones of antiquity. Still, little is understood of its construction.
Baalbek is located in the northeast of Lebanon, about 60 miles outside of Beirut, making it a difficult place to travel these days. But during the time of Roman imperialism, it was known as Heliopolis, the “City of the Sun,” founded by Alexander the Great in 334 BC. Baalbek became the site of Roman temples dedicated to Jupiter, Bacchus, and Venus, based on a popular cult devoted to this famous triumvirate.
Though the foundational stones and the location in which they were quarried have been known for some time, the site’s biggest megalith was discovered just recently. Weighing in at a whopping 1,620 tons, it outweighs another mysteriously gargantuan monolith from the same quarry, known as the Pregnant Mother Stone, by 400 tons.
The remains of the Roman temple rest on a stack of three, 900-ton megaliths known as the trilithon. Moving the trilithon in to place today would require the effort of some of the world’s most powerful cranes, yet in the time of its alleged construction, the stones were somehow situated through primitive means so precisely, that one has difficulty slipping a sheet of paper between them today.
To put the sheer weight of these stones into perspective, one might compare them to the stones used to construct Stonehenge, which weighs in at around 25 tons each – a fraction of the trilithon stones’ weight.
Researchers including Graham Hancock, find this difficult to comprehend, leading him to believe in the possibility that an antediluvian, or pre-flood, a civilization with advanced technology may have been responsible for the trilithon, upon which the Romans later constructed their temple. In fact, Hancock says he believes the trilithon maybe 12,000 or more years old, predating Roman construction by around 10,000 years.
The site remained a sacred place for a number of cultures and religions throughout its history and is believed, even by mainstream archeologists, to have been inhabited for the past 8-9,000 years. After the fall of the Roman Empire, it became a site of importance for Pagans, Christians, and later Muslims when the Ottoman Empire controlled the region.
In this episode of Ancient Civilizations we explore the perplexing mysteries of the massive Baalbek temple: