Forgotten Stones: Secrets of the Megalithic Quarries
Andrew Collins, author of Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods , joined myself and a group of Megalithomaniacs to examine the unfinished monolith in June 2014. From eye-level it’s hard to make out, but when you climb up on top, you see the rough outline of the ‘T’ and evidence of tool marks. The thickness of it exceeds anything that exists at the main site, so they could have got at least two T-shaped pillars out of this. The size of it suggests they were from the earliest phase that Klaus Schmidt mentioned could be much older (2), even up to 14,000 years old.
As we walked back towards the main site, we noticed some squared blocks of limestone. Next to it was the vague outline of another t-shaped pillar. This one was about 12ft long and was badly weathered. This one has never been recorded before, and was another indication of how they worked this stone to produce the intricate completed monoliths that still stand in the main enclosures.
When looking at the rough limestone rock around both these monoliths, and knowing that the only tools they are known to have had were obsidian, pebbles and other rocks, it is remarkable that such intricate stonework could have emerged there in such an advanced state. There are no other sites earlier than this that show this kind of sophistication, except perhaps the megalithic walls, stone tower, and the bedrock ditch at Jericho, which prevailed around this time (3), yet experts propose that there must have been a pre-culture that existed long before 10,000 - 12,000 BC to somehow explain the advanced skills of the Göbekli stone-masons. It still does not explain the abstract artistic and architectural style, so I propose that a deep cultural insight occurred as ‘revelation’. Whether this was the discovery of some local psychoactive plant or the reaction to a cataclysm, or some other unknown wake up call, a paradigm shifting event may have occurred to stimulate the Neolithic revolution and result in the building of such sites as Göbekli Tepe. (See Andrew Collins Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods for a thorough investigation in to the origins of the Göbekli builders.)
I find it fascinating that even archaeologist Klaus Schmidt hinted that the quarrying of the stone may have been an important part of temple building: ” In ancient Egypt, the dragging and erecting of holy pillars was an important part of ritual events, and it seems as if there was no difference concerning the stone-age T-pillars ” (4). He also goes on to say that there may be some kind of common origin, as the obelisks of ancient Egypt usually come in pairs in front of temples. At Göbekli, there are often two smaller pillars at the entrance, with the biggest T-pillars in the centre of the main enclosure, as though the initiate (or visitor) had to walk between them. At Stonehenge, the earliest phase had two monoliths at the entrance, suggesting this may represent an entrance to another domain, probably that of the ‘gods’ - whoever they were. The heaviest T-shaped upright pillar at Göbekli Tepe is at most 20 to 30 tons, whereas the one in the nearby quarry is clearly much larger and estimated to be 50 plus tons. Like at Aswan quarry in Egypt, the recumbent Moai on Easter Island, and the ‘Stone of the South’ at Baalbek, Lebanon, is this an example of a signature of the ‘gods’, whereby they deliberately abandoned the largest monolith and never actually fully removed it from the quarry? And was the quarry itself believed to be ‘sacred’? We’ll delve in to this in the next part of this series, as there are still rituals and traditions that take place at the megalithic quarries.
Part Two: Aswan Quarry, Egypt and Karahan Tepe, Turkey
By Hugh Newman
1.) Klaus Schmidt, Göbekli Tepe: A Stone-Age Sanctuary in South-East Anatolia p99
3.) Andrew Collins, Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods p.128
4.) Klaus Schmidt, Göbekli Tepe: A Stone-Age Sanctuary in South-East Anatolia p123