Archaeoastronomy, meteor showers, mass extinction: What does the fox say? (And what the crane? The aurochs?)

If you have been hearing about Gobkeli Tepe, constellations, and comets in the news lately, check out what the archaeologists from the site have to say!

The Tepe Telegrams

Recently a paper published by two researchers of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering has made headlines, suggesting that the Göbekli Tepe enclosures actually were space observatories and that some of the reliefs depict a catastrophic cosmic event (the original publication in Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry 17(1), 2017 is accessible online here [external link]).

A selection of the carved reliefs found on many of Göbekli Tepe’s T-shaped pillars is linked to and interpreted as depiction of actual stellar constellations. In particular Pillar 43, which is indeed an outstanding (but actually not exceptional) example of the site’s  rich and complex iconography, is interpreted as record of a meteor shower and collision – with quite serious consequences for life on earth 13,000 – 12,000 years ago (this whole ‘Younger Dryas Impact’ hypothesis [external link] actually is disputed itself [external link], so making Göbekli Tepe a ‘smoking gun’ in this argument…

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