Are The Gōbekli Tepe Enclosures Giant Lunisolar Calendars?

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 Are The Gōbekli Tepe Enclosures Giant Lunisolar Calendars?

Are The Gōbekli Tepe Enclosures Giant Lunisolar Calendars?

Situated in southern Turkey near the upper Euphrates, Gōbekli Tepe has become famous for its surprisingly advanced megalithic architecture and symbolism, seemingly too early for the hunter-gather culture that built it.  Enclosure D at Gōbekli Tepe is dated to around 9500 BC, although it is obvious that Gōbekli Tepe’s origin must significantly predate this. How, and more interestingly why, did its builders make such a magnificent structure at such an early time? Something utterly dramatic must have happened to motivate them. This mystery has attracted many to try and interpret the symbols that cover its megalithic pillars. Archaeoastronomy likely holds the key. Considering that Gōbekli Tepe sits at the threshold of the origin of civilization in the region, anything one can learn about this issue is profoundly important.

Left: Gōbekli Tepe, southern Turkey, with its round temple-like enclosures of megalithic pillars. Right: plan view of enclosures A to D, with T-shaped pillars represented by filled rectangles.

In 2017 Sweatman and Tsikritsis proposed that Pillar 43 from enclosure D at Gōbekli Tepe was thought to encode a date using precession of the equinoxes, where the animal symbols represent familiar constellations and the circular disk symbol represents the position of the sun on the summer solstice. The date apparently ‘written’ on the pillar, taking the head and wings of the vulture/eagle symbol to represent the teapot asterism of Sagittarius, is consistent with the Younger Dryas impact to within a hundred years or so.

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