Statue from Gobeklitepe at Urfa Museum, Orion Nebula and Gobekli Tepe

Göbekli Tepe Shamans and their Cosmic Symbols – Part I

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Inscriptions of the Hopi deity, Masau’u

Inscriptions of the Hopi deity, Masau’u

There are two central pillars in Göbeklitepe temples. There is question on if we define these two pillars as “The Dual Divinity,” in that they should be the “celestial parents” and “male and female principles” as well. In my opinion they were for the high-priests or head-shamans of Göbekli Tepe temples. In Sumerian mythology, sun god Utu stands between two columns which symbolize a gate; and the symbols are the sky and the earth. In Greek Mythology, the two pillars of Hercules guard the passage towards the unknown.

The Sumerian deity, Utu

The Sumerian deity, Utu

Beside animal motifs we see various mysterious symbols on the pillars of Göbekli Tepe temples. A “diamond-like” symbol, “H-like” and “I-like” symbol, a “three-baskets” symbol, and the “seven birds” symbol.

The Diamond

The Diamond

It is interesting to see the “diamond-like” symbol in Göbekli Tepe. It is a new finding, having been discovered on Enclosure H pillar more recently. This sign very much resembles the “medicine man” symbol of Native Americans. A medicine man, or shaman, was believed to have magical powers of spiritual healing and foresight into the future. The outer lines of the symbol represent the four corners of the universe of the physical world: North, South, East and West. The inner lines represent the spirit world which the medicine man had knowledge of. The center circle represents the eye of the medicine man and his spiritual vision. 

As can be seen, the medicine man symbol of shamans is present on Göbekli Tepe pillars. Right above this sign, one can see two snakes, and between them, an egg. Maybe this scene expresses the cosmic egg (or sun disc) and its guardians. In Hindu cosmology, the egg is the source of the universe we are living in. Maybe the two snakes represent the energies of universe or the light of the sun. Rebirth of a shaman might have been portrayed in this scene. I think this is one of the direct evidences of the shamanic fact in the Göbekli Tepe ritual center.

The Seven Birds

The Seven Birds

Again in Enclosure D we see the “seven birds” symbol. The number of seven can be evaluated as the sign of “Celestial Harmony”. According to Pueblo Natives, it symbolizes the Cosmic Harmony of the human being. Dogons consider the number seven as the symbol of the opposites, of the resolution of dualism, therefore a symbol of unicity and perfection. For Egyptians, it symbolizes the complete cycle, a dynamic perfection also representing eternal life. In Egyptian beliefs the sun god possessed seven spirits. In Turkish shamanism the earth-mountain is consisted of seven layers. The seven branches of the sacrificial and cosmic tree of shamanism is also another fact. In astronomical thinking, seven birds can symbolize the seven stars of Big Dipper of the North (seven birds on the lower base of Pillar-18 look toward a north-south direction).

We should think also of the seven visible planets that can be seen from earth with naked eye: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. I believe that the “seven birds” symbolize one or more of these mysterious concepts.

Göbekli Tepe Shamans and their Cosmic Symbols – Part II

Featured image: Deriv; Statue from Gobeklitepe at Urfa Museum ( CC BY 2.0 ), Orion Nebula ( CC BY 4.0 ), and Gobekli Tepe (Flickr/ CC BY-NC 2.0 )

Images courtesy author Özgür Etli.

By: Özgür Etli


Klaus Schmidt, Sie Bauten Die Ersten Tempel, Munchen, 2006.

Andrew Collins, The Cygnus Mystery: Unlocking The Ancient Secret Of Life's Origins In The Cosmos , 1999.

Julian Baldick, Animal and Shaman: Ancient Religions Of Central Asia , 2012.

Gary Buffalo & Sherry Firedancer, Animal Energies, 1992.

Skyways Unlimited, Medicine Wheels. [Online] Available at:

Properties of the Number 7: Symbolism. [Online] Available at:

Egypt Gods and Goddesses, Egyptian Gods: Seshat. [Online] Available at:

Ray Urbaniak, Significance Of The “T” Shape To The Ancient Anasazi, And Possible Connection To India , 2003.

Carol Diaz-Granados and James R. Duncan, The Rock-Art of Eastern North America: Capturing Images And Insight , 2004.


I believe these sites were buried because the people in the area wanted to avoid the flooding they were aware of.

Interesting revelations about the number seven.
I actually wonder if it represents the All Maker, She/He/It being the first cause through utterances of existence wonderment and therefore, highly indicative of Tonal values, there being seven notes in the musical scale.

So following that, 7 universes maybe all working together to construct a being of 7 aspects, of which we may be that construction process...

So many factors reveal the 7 as being the basis of their existance....intriguing..

My impression was that much of Göbekli Tepe was more like 8,500 BCE (or earlier) in date and that
the quality of construction was highest in the oldest and deepest excavations.


Would really like to have a plan view of the pillar layout…sadly they don’t think the angles drawn by the pillars are important so no one has ever done a detailed plan view of the site.

I have analysed one medicne circle and found it to be entirely consistent with astronomical text

The Aubrey holes show the same data….

Gobleklie Tepe is marked in my proposed map by a secondary star located in the constellation Cygnus. This is the bird symbol mentioned in the article (the one that is etched in the stone pillar).

Part of the proposed star map (which highlights the location of Gobleklie Tepe and other ancient religious centers such as Mecca and Rome) can be seen here.


Dr. Derek Cunningham
Author: The Map that Talked

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