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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday May 16 2020, @12:03PM   Printer-friendly
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: 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?
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  • (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.