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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday May 16 2020, @12:03PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the did-they-file-a-permit? dept.

Geometry guided construction of earliest known temple, built 6,000 years before Stonehenge:

The sprawling 11,500-year-old stone Göbekli Tepe complex in southeastern Anatolia, Turkey, is the earliest known temple in human history and one of the most important discoveries of Neolithic research.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University and the Israel Antiquities Authority have now used architectural analysis to discover that geometry informed the layout of Göbekli Tepe's impressive round stone structures and enormous assembly of limestone pillars, which they say were initially planned as a single structure.

Three of the Göbekli Tepe's monumental round structures, the largest of which are 20 meters in diameter, were initially planned as a single project, according to researchers Gil Haklay of the Israel Antiquities Authority, a Ph.D. candidate at Tel Aviv University, and Prof. Avi Gopher of TAU's Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations. They used a computer algorithm to trace aspects of the architectural design processes involved in the construction of these enclosures in this early Neolithic site.

Their findings were published in Cambridge Archaeological Journal in May.

[...] Discovered by German archaeologist Dr. Klaus Schmidt in 1994, Göbekli Tepe has since been the subject of hot archaeological debate. But while these, and other early Neolithic remains, have been intensively studied, the issue of architectural planning during these periods and its cultural ramifications have not.

Most researchers have made the case that the Göbekli Tepe enclosures at the main excavation area were constructed over time. However, Haklay and Prof. Gopher say that three of the structures were designed as a single project and according to a coherent geometric pattern.

[...] "This case of early architectural planning may serve as an example of the dynamics of cultural changes during the early parts of the Neolithic period," Haklay says. "Our findings suggest that major architectural transformations during this period, such as the transition to rectangular architecture, were knowledge-based, top-down processes carried out by specialists.

"The most important and basic methods of architectural planning were devised in the Levant in the Late Epipaleolithic period as part of the Natufian culture and through the early Neolithic period. Our new research indicates that the methods of architectural planning, abstract design rules and organizational patterns were already being used during this formative period in human history."

Next, the researchers intend to investigate the architectural remains of other Neolithic sites throughout the Levant.

More information:Gil Haklay et al, Geometry and Architectural Planning at Göbekli Tepe, Turkey, Cambridge Archaeological Journal (2020). DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000660


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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @01:06PM (17 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @01:06PM (#994971)

    Clearly we can see that the history of women's oppression begins with the invention of mathematics. All math is patriarchal, as can be seen in that rape manual Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. Maths were invented for the sole purpose of preventing women's full participation in society by hiding the levers of power behind a gibberish of symbols that bear no relation to menstruation and childbirth. See how terrified men are of menstruation that they have to force on women a secret code with arbitrary, capricious rules that could only possibly make sense to a incomplete, inferior beings without menstruation. Women would have accumulated private property like mad if not for maths!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @01:33PM (12 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @01:33PM (#994976)
      Wow. Something triggered you and sent you into an offtopic rage. Who knows what. Asperger's FTW, I guess.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @01:45PM (11 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @01:45PM (#994979)

        Another inferior being terrified of menstruation. Maths cause the autism spectrum disorders with their male energies, which are infused into vaccines forced on us by male "science." Only women are capable of creating life. Men use their maths and science to create destruction and death.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Saturday May 16 2020, @02:04PM (10 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 16 2020, @02:04PM (#994987) Homepage Journal

          So, uhhhhhmmmmm, lemme think about this.

          Women can be judged by their ability to procreate. Everything else is nonsense. A fertile woman is a real woman, and less fertile women are lesser women, and an infertile woman is no woman at all.

          Sounds like you're the greatest mysogenist of all time!! If the bitch won't put out, she needs to die? And, if she doesn't give you babby, then she's just a worthless bitch?

          If I've misunderstood you, you really need to do some 'splainin', Lucy.

          --
          Make an actual interesting, germane, and relevant point and you may get away with Flamebait - 'Zumi
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @02:40PM (9 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @02:40PM (#994998)

            My aunt explained menstruation to me when I woke up one day with blood all over my bed terrified I was dying of some disease and bleeding out. Since then I've given birth to 5 children, and I have another on the way. I can feel her kicking inside of me. You'll never know what it is to have new life growing inside of you. What have you done other than foment some kind of "boogaloo?" Violence and death is all that men are capable of.

            Your moral relativity will lead you to absurdities like the idea that Bradley Manning is somehow a woman. He's a rapist just like the rest of you.

            • (Score: 3, Touché) by Runaway1956 on Saturday May 16 2020, @03:09PM

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 16 2020, @03:09PM (#995008) Homepage Journal

              Ho-hum.

              Maybe women like you should make your own country somewhere, and keep all the men out.

              --
              Make an actual interesting, germane, and relevant point and you may get away with Flamebait - 'Zumi
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday May 16 2020, @03:22PM (7 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 16 2020, @03:22PM (#995011) Journal

              My aunt explained menstruation to me when I woke up one day with blood all over my bed

              Right. And I'm an otherkin glen dragon with iridescent, purple scales. Watch me preen! Preen khallow preen!

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:41PM (6 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:41PM (#995065)

                See how men deride and deny the powers of life that women possess. Observe the horror of feminine fertility men feel when confronted with menstruation and pregnancy. Your kind seeks to keep menstruation a secret to give yourselves power over vulnerable, young girls and to intimidate women who dare to talk about their reproductive organs.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @06:29PM (5 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @06:29PM (#995093)

                  Us men will dare to invent artificial wombs and seize the means of production.

                  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @07:20PM (3 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @07:20PM (#995105)

                    Only an inferior being who is incapable of creating new life would compare wombs to "means of production." That perfectly explains the problem. You think of women as property, and you objectify our bodies as property, believing your misogynist idols of science and geometry could possibly describe or contain the power of the womb. Science and geometry exist solely to expropriate what is rightfully ours.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @08:10PM (1 child)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @08:10PM (#995119)

                      Ohohoho, you sound confident in your position. And yet, science will indeed expropriate the power of the sacred femynyne. You can not stop it.

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @02:44AM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @02:44AM (#995225)

                        Science will never succeed in raping women's precious bodily fluids. Have you ever seen a scientist drink a glass of water?

                    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @03:47PM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @03:47PM (#995384)

                      So much hot air out of a talking body part.

                      Maybe try using the body part between your ears next time.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @09:21AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @09:21AM (#995656)

                    I've heard it called a lot of things but "seize the means of production" is a new one. Stop it or you'll go blind.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @01:50PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @01:50PM (#994982)

      It is my experience that men who get triggered by women demanding equal rights, equal representation, recognition of the way they have been historically opressed, and acknowledgement of their contribution to humanity, are usually very insecure in their own masculinity.

      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @01:54PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @01:54PM (#994985)

        It is my experience and that of everyone who has ever met you that you are a twat.

    • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by inertnet on Saturday May 16 2020, @02:12PM (1 child)

      by inertnet (4071) on Saturday May 16 2020, @02:12PM (#994989)

      And it all began millions of years ago, when lobsters started multiplying.

      • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by BsAtHome on Saturday May 16 2020, @02:16PM

        by BsAtHome (889) on Saturday May 16 2020, @02:16PM (#994991)

        I blame single cell organisms. They had the guts to form communities and multiply out of control into more or less functional blobs. How dare they multiply! We'd all be better off without them. We must turn back the clock.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Saturday May 16 2020, @02:16PM (46 children)

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 16 2020, @02:16PM (#994992) Journal

    Archaeologists generally suppose that the invention of agriculture led to the creation of sedentary dwellings, which became cities. It is hard to tend your crops if you're off following the buffalo (gazelles? wild sheep?) instead of living next to your field. Göbekli Tepe, however, rather pre-dates agriculture in that area. The cultures there at that time were thought to be semi-nomadic pastoralists. So how did they come to build such a sophisticated site as Göbekli Tepe? It's an enigma.

    More curiously, it's not the only such example. There was a story recently about a similar complex [ancient-origins.net] built out of mammoth bones in what is Russia today. It's 25,000 years old. In other words, people who definitely didn't have agriculture and hadn't even developed pastoralism still invested the time and effort to erect such large, complicated structures they surely wouldn't inhabit more than part of the time.

    Both sites suggest spiritual motives that drove their construction despite the physical difficulty and inconvenience of doing so.

    A lot of our thinking across disciplines in modern times has tacitly adopted the material dialectic, to borrow a term from Marx. Tools, structures, and our material reality determine the shape of our societies and human behavior. Göbekli Tepe and Kostenski in Russia stand as evidence for the contrary that what we believe is more powerful than what we have.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by inertnet on Saturday May 16 2020, @02:41PM (2 children)

      by inertnet (4071) on Saturday May 16 2020, @02:41PM (#995000)

      Maybe specialization played a role before agriculture became common. Specialized hunter groups could have killed many mammoths during part of the year, depending on seasons. At times of plenty, they could have made a mammoth bone structure out of pride, to show off their accomplishments. Much like contemporary men leaving many empty beer bottles on a table. Or maybe to please the gods in the hope that they will bring many mammoths again next year. People probably interpreted meager years as signs that the gods were unhappy.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by HiThere on Saturday May 16 2020, @04:48PM (1 child)

        by HiThere (866) on Saturday May 16 2020, @04:48PM (#995039) Journal

        That's rather unlikely. Mammoths would be dangerous to kill, and the only obvious way to kill lots of them with primitive weapons is something like driving them off a cliff by starting a grass fire. People *did* do things like that, but this probably isn't near a cliff.

        OTOH, mammoths probably occasionally stampeded, and they might have preferred to avoid mammoth death sites, as elephants today avoid obvious elephant death sited. So that would explain one or two of the skeletons. And people have a tendency to say "more is better", which could explain the others. I'm not guessing about *why* people camped near mammoth skeletons, just that the ones with that custom tended to survive better. So if they had a belief that "it's good luck to camp near a mammoth skeleton", that would explain getting as many as possible near your camp site. And you don't need to explain *why* they though it was good luck if it actually was beneficial.

        As to why they would camp there originally...well, killing a mammoth is dangerous, and it's too heavy to cart back to camp. Much easier to bring the camp to the mammoth. And a mammoth is temporary wealth to the entire tribe. (Not that temporary, as the bones can be made into very useful tools.)

        --
        Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:31PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:31PM (#995059)

          I mean... or maybe mammoths did as elephants do, and had graveyards? Which the humans raided for bones?

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by legont on Saturday May 16 2020, @02:51PM (29 children)

      by legont (4179) on Saturday May 16 2020, @02:51PM (#995002)

      I don't think "inconvenience" is the right word. Those days life was easy - just kill a mammoth and eat it for a week - so free time management was necessary. Economists call the issue "extra capacity" that have to be managed by the rulers or bad things will happen.

      --
      "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by RandomFactor on Saturday May 16 2020, @03:08PM (15 children)

        by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 16 2020, @03:08PM (#995007) Journal

        Both sites suggest spiritual motives that drove their construction despite the physical difficulty and inconvenience of doing so.

        I don't think "inconvenience" is the right word. Those days life was easy - just kill a mammoth and eat it for a week - so free time management was necessary.

        I'm not going to cop to 'easy' (hey, sometimes the mammoth wins...) but the average foraging time of Agta hunter/gatherers [sciencedaily.com] is about 20hrs/wk, which makes me a little jealous.

        --
        В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday May 16 2020, @03:24PM (8 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 16 2020, @03:24PM (#995013) Journal
          My average forage time is about one hour a week.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @03:58PM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @03:58PM (#995018)

            You replaced forage time with employment.

            • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @04:37PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @04:37PM (#995034)

              Too complex for him - you just have to mod him down and move on.

            • (Score: 1) by RandomFactor on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:11PM

              by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:11PM (#995045) Journal

              Hmmm, that may actually have been more about time spent raiding the refrigerator :-P

              --
              В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:16PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:16PM (#995048) Journal

              You replaced forage time with employment.

              Why? I do a lot more with employment than merely forage.

          • (Score: 2) by Arik on Saturday May 16 2020, @04:43PM (3 children)

            by Arik (4543) on Saturday May 16 2020, @04:43PM (#995037) Journal
            So you're saying you only spend 1/40th of your income on necessities?
            --
            If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday May 16 2020, @07:57PM (2 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 16 2020, @07:57PM (#995113) Journal
              I guess what I'm saying is that like is not compared to like. Even counting the time I spend outside of work, I spend less than 20 hours per week on necessities, and I get a lot more value out of my necessities than a hunter/gatherer gets out of theirs.
              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Arik on Saturday May 16 2020, @08:23PM (1 child)

                by Arik (4543) on Saturday May 16 2020, @08:23PM (#995125) Journal
                I suppose it depends to some degree on what you value. People didn't grow old and fat then, and usually didn't grow very old at all. But they could generally secure a healthy diet and satisfactory shelter for themselves and their children with about 20 hours a week of work, without being subjected to many of the unpleasant conditions that are common today. While their lives might have been shorter, they were probably in many cases happier with them.

                That said, obviously our material standard of living is much higher today in many ways. But we didn't go straight from the one condition to the other either. The agricultural revolution, in particular, did /not/ raise human standards of living. Quite the opposite, the more limited diet lead to all sorts of illnesses and problems, from simple malnutrition to the characteristic early destruction of the teeth among farmers, compared to hunters.

                The agricultural revolution did nothing to make the individual human better off. It simply allowed much greater population density. And it spread across the world for many centuries on the back of that one advantage for a very long time before eventually spawning the industrial revolution, which also while raising our lives in many ways brought new and deadly drawbacks as well.

                Even in historical times, during the colonization of the americas, it's a fact that natives never willingly went full colonist, while colonists often went native and would not come back voluntarily. The colonist life had many advantages but it came at such a high price that those who knew both ways never chose it voluntarily.
                --
                If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday May 16 2020, @08:53PM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 16 2020, @08:53PM (#995132) Journal

                  I suppose it depends to some degree on what you value.

                  One of my necessities allows me to travel a thousand miles in a day.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @04:31PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @04:31PM (#995031)

          That may be, but it can't support the sheer amount of people per square acre that farming can in an age where army size basically determined victory.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by HiThere on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:25PM

            by HiThere (866) on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:25PM (#995055) Journal

            I think you have the wrong time period. They didn't have ways of preserving food for an army on the march, so it *had* to keep marching, or die in it's tracks, if it was larger than the local environment would support. This was true up to the time of Napoleon. They also didn't know much about sanitation. So they had to keep moving or die in their tracks. Etc.

            Read about the Trojan War. (There's a reasonable argument that the Trojan Horse was actually an Assyrian style siege engine covered with horse hides built by some foreign mercenaries.) And realize that this is LONG after the time being talked about here.

            Read about the Persian Empire's invasion of Greece, and the problem with the army's water supply. And realize that a quite small number of Greeks defeated that army. But that is also LONG after the time period under discussion.

            Read about the Medes and the Persians. And realize that that was LONG after the time period under discussion.

            Large, but not too large, armies are very useful in low-tech situations, but they sure aren't decisive on their own. Terrain can dominate. Fortifications are extremely important. Even Sun Tzu said that there are some fortresses you should just leave alone.

            That said, this was a pre-agricultural society. The "army" would be more like a band of hunters, possibly a fairly large band if the area would sustain such, but less than 100 people, and probably more like 25. Such a group can do a lot, but it's not the way you think of an army. Actually, most of the time it would probably operate in groups more like 5 in good country. You don't want to get too much smaller that that if you can avoid it when your best weapon is either a spear or an atlatl because of predators. (Arrows are for birds until you develop fancy bows or metal points.)

            Now you were contrasting this with early agricultural settlements. They had much larger populations, but the people living in them weren't largely as adept at handling weapons. And they weren't an army, those came later. Walled cities didn't come into Greece until AFTER the Dorian invasion. They were developed by the invaders, who were centaurs (i.e., they rode horses). I suspect that the "taur" part of centaur is a reference to a bull, and the the pre-Dorian Greeks didn't have a word for horse. I also suspect that the Greeks fleeing this invasion were the Philistines mentioned in the Bible, or their ancestors were. And this, again, is WAY LATER than the time under discussion. But it's the earliest one that there's decent evidence for, and even there the evidence is pretty sparse. But Athens held out against the Dorian invasion, which is why Attic Greek is different than other Greek of the classical era. (Not that different. The Dorians may have conquered, but they were a trivial number compared to the settled Greeks. They didn't conquer with a large army, but with cavalry, which the Greeks didn't understand.)

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        • (Score: 2) by legont on Sunday May 17 2020, @04:16AM (3 children)

          by legont (4179) on Sunday May 17 2020, @04:16AM (#995243)

          Please note that modern hunter-gatherers live in the most hostile environments that even our state of the art technology finds difficult to use. 50000 years ago some of them had the best lands and probably worked 2 hours per week at most.

          --
          "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
          • (Score: 1) by RandomFactor on Sunday May 17 2020, @04:16PM (2 children)

            by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 17 2020, @04:16PM (#995394) Journal

            Fair point on the environmental difference.
             
            2 hours a week would make it more efficient than working and driving over to the supermarket once a week.
             
            Not much of an option now of course as killing off 7 billion people to support the lifestyle would encounter some resistance.

            --
            В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды
            • (Score: 2) by legont on Monday May 18 2020, @04:19AM

              by legont (4179) on Monday May 18 2020, @04:19AM (#995605)

              Once upon a time I was on an island that was owned by an Asian military for the last hundred years or so. No visitors. Here is the procedure of living over there that I imagined and tried. You walk naked. When hungry you walk into the water and stick your finger out. When a few minutes later a fish bits your finger you take it out, bake it and eat it. That's pretty much it for the work part.
              The challenging parts are obviously population control and alien invaders. First is a matter of some discipline and the second... perhaps a thermonuclear bomb buried on the beach will do. Seriously, the only real problem is how to get them all foreigners to fuck off.
              Hawaii was a good example of paradise... As per the killing, a virus will do it for us one day; perhaps the day already came.

              --
              "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
            • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Monday May 18 2020, @09:33AM

              by deimtee (3272) on Monday May 18 2020, @09:33AM (#995658) Journal

              I've read that during good times, hunter-gatherers spend about five hours a week on getting food. That leaves plenty of time to build stuff to confuse their distant descendants.
              Of course during the bad times they can spend all their time on food and still go hungry.

              --
              No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
      • (Score: 2) by Arik on Saturday May 16 2020, @04:41PM (12 children)

        by Arik (4543) on Saturday May 16 2020, @04:41PM (#995036) Journal
        "Those days life was easy"

        In some ways.

        "just kill a mammoth"

        Yeah, no. That's still a crazy myth.

        Seriously, you think that's easy? Let's get you a spear and go find an elephant. If a mammoth was an easy kill then you should have no trouble with a puny modern day elephant, right?

        In fact, the only people known to hunt elephants successfully with stone age tech happen to have an incredibly powerful poison (a very rare tech) and they still lost hunters very often when they did this.

        It strains credulity to claim that stone age people hunted mammoths. Of course they used mammoth parts when they lived on the mammoth plains - but that represents salvage of another animals kill, or occasionally a baby or an old or sick mammoth caught alone.

        Remember, stone age hunter didn't have life-flight and an ER standing by. This is why even though life was generally good (healthy diet, plenty of exercise, plenty of free time) the life expectancy was still shockingly low. What we would see as a trivial wound could easily be fatal under those conditions. We had to live by our wits, and if one of us was so witless as to deliberately attack a healthy, full grown mammoth he wouldn't have lived very long at all.

        --
        If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
        • (Score: 1) by RandomFactor on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:36PM (2 children)

          by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:36PM (#995063) Journal

          It strains credulity to claim that stone age people hunted mammoths.

          A mountain of yummy steaks is the mother of invention.
           
          There was an article 15,000 Year Old Mammoth Trap Found in Mexico [soylentnews.org] back in November about one strategy that was used to take them down.

          --
          В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды
          • (Score: 2) by Arik on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:51PM (1 child)

            by Arik (4543) on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:51PM (#995072) Journal
            Making a trap and then collecting what falls into it isn't exactly what we were talking about though. And while you can stampede bison, cattle, even horses into such traps and that was clearly done, elephants don't have the same herd behavior.

            These pits are full of all kinds of animals, not just mammoths, and I don't see any reason the mammoths there shouldn't be filed under scavenging rather than hunting.
            --
            If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Sunday May 17 2020, @01:01PM

              by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 17 2020, @01:01PM (#995335) Journal

              It's not scavenging, but trapping. Trapping is a great way to win game because it works when you're not there, unlike spearing, clubbing, or shooting something. Modern folks seldom think of trapping because most states outlaw it, but primitive peoples built weirs, operated buffalo jumps, deadfalls, pit traps, and all manner of simple machines designed to get game.

              There are still people around the world who use simple tools to get their hands on lots of protein every day. YouTube has tons of videos on that subject; there are some guys in SE Asia (it seems) who dig a pit next to a slough, connect the two with a hollow length of bamboo, and eels and catfish will slither through it every day and get trapped by the basket full. It's like having your own fresh fish market on steroids.

              If you're in a primitive/survival situation, screw relying on spears, bows & arrows, and fishing poles. Traps are the way to go.

              --
              Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday May 16 2020, @08:47PM (6 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 16 2020, @08:47PM (#995131) Journal

          It strains credulity to claim that stone age people hunted mammoths.

          We know [thevintagenews.com] they were doing it. We also know there are no mammoths around today despite mammoths surviving multiple interglacial periods in the past.

          Seriously, you think that's easy? Let's get you a spear and go find an elephant. If a mammoth was an easy kill then you should have no trouble with a puny modern day elephant, right?

          I wouldn't hunt an elephant straight up. There's plenty of relatively low risk ways to kill large animals - drop them off a cliff or into a spiked pit, ambush with javelins and spears in a location that hinders mobility of the large animal far more than the person, or drop large things on them (log falls, for example). Of course, it would be a rather dumb elephant to get into an obvious ambush unless they are desperate (like a scarce water supply) so my cunning might be insufficient.

          • (Score: 2) by Arik on Saturday May 16 2020, @09:35PM (4 children)

            by Arik (4543) on Saturday May 16 2020, @09:35PM (#995146) Journal
            "We know [thevintagenews.com] they were doing it."

            This kind of slack-jawed bullshit has been popular in popular-science rags for centuries, but there's still no good evidence for it at all.

            This is no different. Breathless bullshit. They found one arrowhead embedded in a rib. That means that someone put an arrow so deep in it they were probably holding it in their hand at the time, and the mammoth lived. The human, probably not.

            At some later point, perhaps many years later, the mammoth in question died from something else and the ribs were scavenged.

            The site in question is clearly a place where mammoth remains are utilized, but there's literally nothing there to separate it from hundreds or thousands of other sites, or to prove that this was really hunting not just scavenging.

            "I wouldn't hunt an elephant straight up."

            Neither would any neolithic hunter with an IQ above freezing, believe me.

            "There's plenty of relatively low risk ways to kill large animals"

            Yes, and looking in that direction would have been your only chance.

            That doesn't mean any of them would have been easy enough to represent a viable strategy either, of course.

            "drop them off a cliff or into a spiked pit"

            First you have to hold them off a cliff or above a spiked pit. Good luck.

            "ambush with javelins and spears in a location that hinders mobility of the large animal far more than the person"

            This would have been viable with some animals but it seems particularly unlikely to work with Mammoths. Elephants are smart and only very young solo Elephants were taken like this historically. Mammoth skin would have been thick enough to shrug off javelins and throwing spears. Yes, modern neolithics did take down Elephants with those weapons but remember they used strong poisons. Without the poison, the wounds inflicted were not deep enough to have much effect. There's no reason to believe Mammoth skin would have been anything but proportionately thicker than an African Elephant, plus a thick wooly layer on top.

            "Of course, it would be a rather dumb elephant to get into an obvious ambush unless they are desperate"

            I think this is exactly the point. It would have been a rare case where ANY of these strategies could be expected to work - and they would have been extremely dangerous to attempt. And remember, no medicine.

            It would make absolutely no sense for anyone to go out deliberately hunting mammoth. You'd go out hunting easier stuff. Bison? Horse? Kine? FAR easier to kill than mammoth, far less dangerous, still producing more meat and skin and bone than you know what to do with.

            Now maybe you go out hunting one thing and wind up with another. That happened all the time. Maybe you run into an extremely young and inexperienced bull mammoth, on his own for the first time, and he falls into an obvious trap. Maybe you make a huge trap to run bison herds into, and before you see a bison herd a bull mammoth falls in! All you have to do now is hang out at a discrete distance until his herd finally gives up and leaves, then scavenge the body.

            That all falls under scavenging and taking opportunities. Not deliberately hunting mammoths.
            --
            If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Sunday May 17 2020, @05:06AM (1 child)

              by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 17 2020, @05:06AM (#995257) Journal

              I suspect the idea of mammoth hunting is a "man the mighty hunter" myth, concocted by macho men who like to think their ancestors were the meanest, toughest, and most fit of all animals in Stone Age times, the apex predator.

              They probably could kill mammoths, with traps, long range weapons, and perhaps endurance, but it would have been at the least a lot more effort than hunting antelope. Very likely a lot riskier too. It's not just that mammoth are a lot, lot bigger than antelope, and may be more inclined to fight than flee. It's also that they are smarter, and once humans showed their colors, they would remember. Is it possible that any humans who killed a mammoth would find themselves and their village or camp attacked by the rest of the herd, the next night?

              • (Score: 2) by Arik on Sunday May 17 2020, @12:51PM

                by Arik (4543) on Sunday May 17 2020, @12:51PM (#995329) Journal
                Yes, I think you're right. People feel it's more flattering to imagine their ancestors hunting the very biggest game, rather than the more realistic scenario of them preferring to hunt less dangerous prey, and scavenge anything else they can.

                "They probably could kill mammoths, with traps, long range weapons, and perhaps endurance, but it would have been at the least a lot more effort than hunting antelope. "

                And it would have relied on luck to even be occasionally viable. Mammoths likely behaved very similar to African Elephants today, which means they are usually found in herds with several large, adult Elephants watching out for and guarding the young. Attacking a herd of elephants with spears is just suicidal. Maybe once in awhile you find a young one that's gotten separated from the group and manage to take it down? Sure. But you don't plan your hunt based on the idea you'll get incredibly lucky. You plan your hunt to go out and take prey that you reasonably expect to find, and to be able to take safely.

                You mention antelope, and we know they were commonly hunted, a favorite prey of early humans. Hunting antelope you would get close enough to attack with javelin or throwing spear or a small bow, trying to get one good shot in by ambush most likely. And the antelope would get hit and run away, the rest of the herd would see that and run away too. Then you just follow the blood trail, and recover the body. Relatively safe and easy. Maybe another predator claims the body before you can retrieve it - that's the main risk here.

                Compare that to what would happen if you tried to ambush a Mammoth in the same way. The mammoth probably doesn't run away - it charges straight at you. The rest of the herd? Yeah, several of those are charging you too, maybe one of them is leading the young ones away at the same time but still. You're very likely coming out of this shaped like a pancake, and even if your target does bleed out later, you're not going to be around to harvest it.

                --
                If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @05:57AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @05:57AM (#995268)

              The opening scene of Far Cry Primal [wikipedia.org] shows one possibility: https://youtu.be/t5-ekE1kfnI?t=148 [youtu.be]
              That is a fun game, btw.

              • (Score: 2) by Arik on Sunday May 17 2020, @12:40PM

                by Arik (4543) on Sunday May 17 2020, @12:40PM (#995324) Journal
                Yeah, it looks like a fun game.

                But think about that scene as it played out there even. The mammoth is unrealistically easy, repeatedly turning away and running into barriers while it takes projectile after projectile, only occasionally turning around and rushing an attacker, then again turning it's back and allowing the humans to just freely attack it from behind again. I suspect in reality they would have been more aggressive, far less inclined to run away, and not at all likely to just stand there running into a wall while taking spears and elephants from behind.

                And even with that, it looked like this band lost at least a half dozen hunters to get one mammoth down. Forget the saber-tooth at the end, let's say that didn't happen, it just ends with 'good hunt.' Was that a good hunt?

                Hell no. Losing a half dozen hunters to get one mammoth corpse would NOT have been a good hunt, not at all. That would have been a catastrophë, an absolute disaster.

                --
                If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @02:01AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @02:01AM (#995211)

            I wouldn't hunt an elephant straight up. There's plenty of relatively low risk ways to kill large animals - drop them off a cliff or into a spiked pit, ambush with javelins and spears in a location that hinders mobility of the large animal far more than the person, or drop large things on them (log falls, for example).

            While modern elephants can regulate their temperature through perspiration (just as humans do), wooly mammoths likely could not. As such, persistence hunting [wikipedia.org] (as is still done by humans today) *may* have been a successful strategy for hunting such animals.

            There is some disagreement as to whether humans and their ancestors were capable of persistence hunting [utah.edu] or not [undark.org].

            IIUC, the major disagreement relates to persistence hunting causing evolutionary adaptations in humans and their forbears, rather than the ability of modern humans to engage in persistence hunting.

            We *know* that humans *can* successfully engage in persistence hunting (as they do and have done so for millenia). As to whether or not humans engaged in such a strategy with mammoths is an open question.

            More:
            https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047248419300077 [sciencedirect.com]
            https://www.outsideonline.com/1996281/does-persistence-hunting-really-work#close [outsideonline.com]
            https://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2014/06/03/4015913.htm [abc.net.au]

        • (Score: 2) by legont on Sunday May 17 2020, @04:40AM (1 child)

          by legont (4179) on Sunday May 17 2020, @04:40AM (#995249)

          Elephants are used by humans for thousands of years. Unfortunately it is not economically feasible to grow an elephant. Most of them are captured and then trained. Once again - captured wild and trained. Killing one is nothing compared to that and the fact that an average teenager can't do it only speaks to mental capacity of modern teenagers.

          --
          "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
          • (Score: 2) by Arik on Sunday May 17 2020, @12:30PM

            by Arik (4543) on Sunday May 17 2020, @12:30PM (#995321) Journal
            "Elephants are used by humans for thousands of years."

            For about 4k years, yes. Smaller Indian elephants have been captured and trained on occasion, since about that long ago.

            Göbekli Tepe is 12k years old, however, and 8k years later, about the same time the very first Mahout was riding the very first "tame" Indian Elephant, the very last Mammoth lay dying on the isolated Wrangel island. So there's no overlap between the two eras - the mahouts only get started after Mammoths and humans are no longer in contact.

            Asian Elephant bulls reach about 9 feet at the shoulder, weigh in at about 4 tons, and are known for having a pretty easy-going disposition. A full size wooly mammoth would have been closer to 13 feet at the shoulder, and 8 tons in weight, and probably had the opposite disposition as well.

            "captured wild and trained. Killing one is nothing compared to that"

            Not really. Capturing a young and weakened Indian Elephant (largely via bribery) compared to killing a full grown bull mammoth in a herd? Not at all convinced of your point there.

            --
            If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Arik on Saturday May 16 2020, @04:28PM (8 children)

      by Arik (4543) on Saturday May 16 2020, @04:28PM (#995028) Journal
      "Archaeologists generally suppose that the invention of agriculture led to the creation of sedentary dwellings, which became cities. It is hard to tend your crops if you're off following the buffalo (gazelles? wild sheep?) instead of living next to your field. Göbekli Tepe, however, rather pre-dates agriculture in that area."

      While this is basically correct, one thing that's beginning to be appreciated is just how arbitrary of a line "agriculture" for example draws in the record. The way we talk about it, you would imagine a pretty clearly defined moment where someone started farming when no one had ever farmed before. The record doesn't support that view, however. Even where we can point to a fairly clear line like that, it's not really a line between agriculture and no agriculture, a binary transition. It's just the extension of previous strategies further towards their logical conclusions.

      So yes, we're talking about a time well before what we might call lifestyle farming - fully sedentary, planned production of regular fields. But all the pieces needed to put that together were around earlier - likely many millenia earlier. Hunter gatherers often live in a yearly circuit, bringing them back by the same spots year after year, and they take actions to improve those spots. One common way is to select and scatter chosen seeds in a place where they can be harvested later. Another is to burn out areas of forest, almost exactly like a slash and burn farmer would do - but with no intent to farm. Instead, the intent, initially at least, is to create clearings where prey animals can be taken more easily. But of course it still has the same effect of clearing ground for grasses (part of why the big prey animals like to enter) and those wind up becoming cereal grains via human selection.

      Animal domestication is similar. It became a full fledged lifestyle relatively recently, but that doesn't mean the same techniques weren't practiced for a long time before that.

      So while the common narrative has agriculture leading to sedentism, that's actually a pretty huge oversimplification at best. In fact in the fertile crescent where the oldest evidence of agriculture is found it coincides with a period of climate change. It was in response to changes that made game harder and harder to find that humans focused on using old techniques in new ways. They stayed closer and closer to home and relied more and more on artificially encouraging the plants and animals in the immediate vicinity. It was a dry time, and water became very important, with populations and powers growing up around sources of water.

      "Both sites suggest spiritual motives that drove their construction despite the physical difficulty and inconvenience of doing so."

      Maybe. It's sort of an overworn cliché at this point, that any ancient artifact for which we don't immediately recognize a practical purpose today must have spiritual significance. But how do you prove that? Or disprove it?

      Whether it was perceived by those who built it as having spiritual significance or not, it strikes me as having an obvious practical purpose. Complexes or "temples" or whatever you want to label it, this sort of a landmark can function to provide cohesion to larger groups in a tribal setting.

      You see, in hunter gatherer societies, much of the year is generally spent in 'bands.' These are small ad-hoc groups that might contain part or all of one or a few families. They travel together through much of the year. But there is a larger tribe as well, and that entity is given reality by regular rendezvous.

      Often at a particular time of year, the bands that compose a tribe meet together at a previously chosen place, often a traditional place, and they get to catch up. Impressive ceremonies go well with this, whether or not they have spiritual significance.

      The members of the tribe meet, they greet, they trade and entertain. And when the time comes to depart, the bands that depart are often not the same ones that arrived. Anyone can switch bands at this time, within the tribe.

      Obviously, should there be conflict between tribes, the larger tribe has an advantage. Even without conflict, it's still an advantage - there are more bands to choose among, more competition between band leaders for the reputation of a good provider and leader that people will want to band with. And tribes generally expand whenever they can.

      One way they can expand is simply to absorb smaller tribes, which may well be eager to be absorbed, as this is a practical way to reduce the chances of violence between the groups, improve their position against any outside tribe should there be trouble from that direction, and also expands their choice of bands to join as well.

      But there are limits on the size of a tribe, and while this is not the only possible limit, the size and suitability of the rendezvous point is one of them. When the rendezvous point becomes too crowded, when the rendezvous is disappointing for any reason really, then small tribes are more likely to split off than to join.

      So I look at Göbekli Tepe and I can't help but see a very impressive, purposefully built rendezvous point. And it even suggests a tribe or sub-tribe of priests, a group of people that stayed in the area and tended to the rendezvous point year-round, and took the lead in performing impressive ceremonies for all who came at the appointed time. It might well have had spiritual significance - but it would have been of great significance in a more practical and political sense as well. What had previously been many small tribes who passed near in their yearly travels, who perhaps conflicted with each other, who perhaps were so weakened by that conflict they became easy prey to outsiders - perhaps one small tribe built the first stage of this monumental complex and then started inviting the others to rendezvous and see the show.

      The experience would have brought these groups together peacefully, and perhaps exposed them to some custom propaganda as well. The object would be to unite all these groups to form one huge tribe, large enough to protect the area and themselves against any neighbors. Large enough to provide for the architects, we might call them proto-levites, so that they could stay close to the area full time, keep it maintained and defended, make sure that it was ready each year at the appointed time to host a gigantic tribe, to host perhaps the largest party on the planet.

      --
      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by HiThere on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:35PM (3 children)

        by HiThere (866) on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:35PM (#995062) Journal

        Well, I think that the structure came first, and those who tended it afterwards, but otherwise I pretty much agree. I suspect that after the gathering some of the elderly who weren't fit to travel decided to stay, and perhaps a few others decided to stay and help them. And that this was the origin of the resident population. The staff of a senior housing center. Of course they'd have lots of chances to practice medical care, so they would become more skilled at it than those who wandered, so it would turn into a combination senior care center and hospital. The results might not be great, but it's better than walking 50 miles a day with a broken leg.

        --
        Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
        • (Score: 2) by Arik on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:53PM (2 children)

          by Arik (4543) on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:53PM (#995074) Journal
          "I think that the structure came first"

          Who would have built it in that case?
          --
          If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
          • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @09:52PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @09:52PM (#995152)

            If you need to ask such a silly question, you clearly haven’t been watching enough of the Ancient Alie—... er, I mean ‘History’ Channel.

          • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Sunday May 17 2020, @03:16AM

            by HiThere (866) on Sunday May 17 2020, @03:16AM (#995236) Journal

            You find a "good meeting place", meet there, leave some injured with helpers. They build a shelter before the next time you show up. You figure a way to improve it a bit, leave some more people to be cared for, and leave them some supplies to encourage them.

            Repeat for a few centuries.

            --
            Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Sunday May 17 2020, @01:09PM (3 children)

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 17 2020, @01:09PM (#995338) Journal

        Maybe. It's sort of an overworn cliché at this point, that any ancient artifact for which we don't immediately recognize a practical purpose today must have spiritual significance. But how do you prove that? Or disprove it?

        It's supported in the same way that archaeologists draw the same conclusions about any site: artifacts left behind, their placement, the size of the site, etc. Göbekli Tepe has carved stone stelae with totemic images in large structures that show geometrical placement. Archaeologists recognize those as religious in nature the same way they recognized the Mayan gods from their stelae before they were able to decipher their glyphs.

        Modern people need to be careful not to project their own atheism onto the past.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 2) by Arik on Sunday May 17 2020, @01:35PM (2 children)

          by Arik (4543) on Sunday May 17 2020, @01:35PM (#995353) Journal
          "Göbekli Tepe has carved stone stelae with totemic images in large structures that show geometrical placement."

          Sure, but that proves nothing about religion or spirituality. Maybe it was simply a map of the surrounding territory, for instance. We just don't know and can't know the exact significance of these things to those that built them.

          "Modern people need to be careful not to project their own atheism onto the past."

          Modern people should also be careful not to project current ideas about religion and spirituality onto the past as well.

          --
          If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
          • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Monday May 18 2020, @12:43PM (1 child)

            by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @12:43PM (#995720) Journal

            That is all fine and technically true for rhetorical purposes, Arik, but if you want to throw out the exact sorts of markers and evidence archaeologists have used to posit a spiritual purpose for Göbekli Tepe then you have to do the same for every other civilization they have done the same for. The consensus of the world's archaeologists is that when certain images, objects, and placements obtain, a spiritual or religious purpose is strongly indicated.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 2) by Arik on Monday May 18 2020, @08:45PM

              by Arik (4543) on Monday May 18 2020, @08:45PM (#996006) Journal
              "then you have to do the same for every other civilization they have done the same for."

              Oh not really. For many civilizations written records are available to fill in at least some of the gaps.

              But for pre-historic sites, it's simply honesty to say we don't really and can't really know some of the things we might like to know. What did those figures mean? I strongly suspect some of them had astronomical significance, meaning they had a timekeeping function. Even that is somewhat speculative. Would astronomy and timekeeping have been seen as 'spiritual' by the people then? That's piling speculation on top of speculation. Does it seem likely, sure? But how would you prove it? I can't imagine a way.

              One thing we can say with some assurance is that it's very unlikely they even had a concept that would *exactly* correspond to what we mean by 'spiritual' or 'religious' today.
              --
              If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:25PM

      by mhajicek (51) on Saturday May 16 2020, @05:25PM (#995056)

      Perhaps they simply had an excess of free time.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @07:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @07:26PM (#995107)

      A temple is not necessarily a sign of sedentary life. I suppose it could have been extremely well placed, having everything in the area to support a year round population, but it's extremely likely that human religion has been around almost as long as humans, so could just be a very old holy site?

    • (Score: 2) by driverless on Sunday May 17 2020, @04:51AM (1 child)

      by driverless (4770) on Sunday May 17 2020, @04:51AM (#995251)

      Both sites suggest spiritual motives that drove their construction despite the physical difficulty and inconvenience of doing so.

      Probably some pre-Bronze-Age televangelist preaching the prosperity gospel to the hunter-gatherers. "Build me a big-round-thing-that-doesn't-have-a-name-yet and the material-goods-that-we-don't-have-a-concept-of will in the future rain down on you too!".

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @08:16PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2020, @08:16PM (#995122)

    "so doc, i am kindda excited. today is the day!"
    "glad you feel this way. we still have some medical procedures to finish up."
    "right. what's this shot for then?"
    "it's a long term energy boaster shot ..."
    "oh, ok ... but why? the trip back is considered hundred percent guaranteed!"
    "just a precaution."
    ...
    one hour later, 11'500 years in the past:
    our time traveler is looking up into the sky and counting seconds in his head.
    after counting to 100, he curses and starts pilling rocks ...
    -
    it might not make much sense to us, today, but you can be sure the guys inventing time travel know exactly why this "Göbekli Tepe" build. ^_^

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