Archaeologists: most ancient temples were not temples
Ancient buildings discovered in Turkey, as suggested by archaeologists, are the most ancient temples in the world, may not have been a build strictly for religious purposes, according to the findings described in an article in the October issue of the journal “Current Anthropology”. Archaeologist Ted Banning (Ted Banning) from the University of Toronto tried to prove that the builds found at gobekli Tepe may have been houses for people, not for gods.
The buildings at Gobekli, a temple complex located on the highest point of the mountain range in the Turkish city of Urfa, were found in 1995 by Klaus Schmidt (Schmidt Klaus) from the Archaeological Institute of Germany. The most ancient buildings on this place were huge buildings with large stone pillars, many of which were carved snakes, Scorpions, foxes, and other animals.
The presence of traces of art on the buildings left at the time of their exaltation and the lack of evidence for any permanent settlement in this area, led Schmidt and others archaeologists to believe that the gobekli, apparently, was a sacred place, where pilgrims come to worship, something very similar to the ruins of Delphi or Olympia in Greece. If this interpretation is true, then the building,which appeared more than 10,000 years, in the early Neolithic, are the most ancient temples ever discovered.
However, Banning offers an alternative interpretation that challenges the view of the subject Schmidt. It highlights the growing archaeological evidence for daily activities in this area as, for example, Napping of flannel, and cooking. “The presence of this confirmation indicates that on this place there lived a large enough population,” said Banning.
Banning also insists that the population, possibly located in the alleged temples. He disagreed with the idea that the presence of decorative pillars or massive construction structures means that the building could not be living space.
“The assumption that art or even monumental art, is concerned solely with the special tombs or other non-residential premises is also contrary to the principle of the study of archaeological finds” – wrote Banning. “There is a strong confirmation of a significant ethnographic contribution to the decoration of various residential areas, thus singled out manifestations of the art of ancestors, showed the history of their origin or the generosity of the owner of the premises, as well as a host of other facts.”
Archaeological proof of art from the Neolithic period, as reported in Banning, also are pictures on the walls in Çatalhöyük, another archaeological areas in Turkey. Banning also noted that the alleged temples could be large communal dwellings, similar in some ways to the large sheds North-West coast of North America with their impressive homes posts and poles totems”.
“If so, this should have been numerous dwelling with large households, which is quite an early example of what the French anthropologist, Claude Levi-Strauss (Claude Lévi-Strauss), called “housing society,” said Banning. “Such societies often use similar designs of homes in order to display competitiveness, as places for rituals, as well as to display obvious signs of public devices”.
Banning hopes that further excavations at this place, in the end, will shed more light on what the purpose of these builds were used. Meanwhile, he hoped that in the future researchers will not automatically assume that the presence of traces of art or decorations on the walls and the surfaces of the gobekli and other ancient buildings due to their exclusively religious purpose.
“It is likely that some of these builds were a place where there have been a number of rituals, including celebrations, funeral rites, magic,” wrote archaeologist. “While there is no specific reason to assume that even such impressive buildings as gobekli Tepe was not the homes of ordinary people”.