The Statues and Symbolic Gestures that Link Ancient Göbekli Tepe, Easter Island, and Other Sites Around the World
Ancient monuments left by mankind present an unsolved enigma: why do humanoid statues from many prehistoric sites— from those found at Göbekli Tepe in Turkey to those at Easter Island—all share similar postures? The signature and symbolic stances displayed on the incredible statues from locations around the world raise questions about what caused humanity to collectively repeat a ‘rebirth’ theme across great distances and time.
Göbekli Tepe is situated in the city of Şanlıurfa (or Urfa) Turkey and it stands out as one of the most interesting prehistoric archaeological sites today. As a result of scientific research, Göbekli Tepe temples have been dated to 9600 BC at the earliest — in archaeological language it’s regarded as Pre-pottery Neolithic A.
Göbekli Tepe is comprised of numerous temples made up of pillars weighing between 40 and 60 tons, and T-shaped stelas, or standing stones, with intricate depictions of bulls, snakes, foxes, lions and other animals carved into the stone. Yet the awe-inspiring site was supposedly built by ‘primitive’ Neolithic people who lacked sophisticated tools, causing speculation as to how it was built and why.
On closer look, arms and hands can be seen precisely on Göbekli Tepe pillars. Human faces are not clear. It might be that they are not meant to be humans, but symbols of gods or goddesses of the Neolithic.
Arms can be seen along both sides of the pillar, and hands come together on the omphalos, or navel. This standing position might be considered special and perhaps sacred. Sumerian goddess Inanna was characterized in a standing position just like as seen on the center pillars of Göbekli Tepe.
However, Göbekli Tepe is not alone in creating this kind of statue position.
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Likewise, the huge statues of Easter Islands were constructed in this style of sacred standing position, with hands on omphalos. According to researchers this posture symbolizes birth or rebirth. Additionally, in the oral tradition of the native people, Easter Island (or Rapa Nui) was originally named Te pito o te kainga a Hau Maka , meaning “The Navel of the World.”
Easter Island: Front view of moai statue made of basalt, called Hoa Hakananai'a ("Stolen or Hidden Friend"), from Orongo, Easter Island (Rapa Nui), Polynesia. Notice how the statue’s hands wrap around to the navel. Public Domain
Similar-styled statues can be found not only at Göbekli Tepe, but also at Nevali Çori and Kilisik Tepe (both in Turkey).
Comparisons of stones from Göbekli Tepe, Easter Island, and many other sites reveal similar significant characteristics, and encourage further research to find additional proofs from civilizations around the world.
Hands come together on the omphalos, or navel on monuments at many locations. Left: Gobekli Tepe. Right: Azerbaijan. Image via Özgür Etli.
Numerous other statue samples have been found in: Bolivia (Tiwanaku), Azerbaijan (Gobustan), Tahiti, Marquesas Islands, Colombia (San Augustine), Egypt, and Costa Rica as well. As can be seen, these countries are located in quite different parts of the world.
Bolivia: Statue from Tiwanaku, Bolivia. A symbol of regional power, the humanoid statue stands with hands over navel. Wikimedia Commons
Underwater statues and formations are especially interesting. Many of these finds are thought to have sunk during the last sea-level rises of last mini ice age.
In recent years, research results have shed light on surprising archaeological underwater finds such as the Yonaguni underwater monument findings in Japan.
Japan: Sunken formations of the Yonaguni Monument, Japan. Wikimedia Commons
The Yonaguni ruins were investigated by Dr. Masaaki Kimura over 15 years and his findings were that the formations are man made and dated to approximately 6000 BC. These assertions were published in a National Geographic article in 2007 entitled “Japan's Ancient Underwater Pyramid”.
Other underwater ruins have been found in the Gulf of Cambay, India. They are said to be over 9,000 years old, predating the Harappan civilization. The site was discovered by chance by oceanographers from India's National Institute of Ocean Technology while conducting a survey of pollution.
Carbon dating on pottery, beads, sculpture and human bones has reportedly found the artifacts to be nearly 9,500 years old. The find of the massive human presence so early in the record challenges the traditional model of the origins of civilization.
These underwater reminders of what came before remind us that humans had to suffer through great climatic changes and environmental upheaval.