Ancient temples

Scientists: ancient temples can be residential houses

Archaeologists believe that ancient buildings which are considered to be the temples of our ancestors, could have had quite another purpose.

Ancient buildings, discovered in Turkey, are considered the oldest temples in the world. But archaeologist Ted Banning of the University of Toronto (Canada) thought that they had no exclusive religious purpose. The expert believes that the buildings of Göbekli Tepe were built for people and not gods, reports “Kompyulenta”.

Gobekli is a hill located near the town of Urfa. In 1995, Klaus Schmidt of the German archaeological Institute and colleagues from the Museum Lizbon (Turkey) discovered the remains of immense buildings with large stone pillars, many of which are carved snakes, Scorpions, foxes, and other animals.

The presence of works of art and significant efforts that were supposed to make builders and decorators, as well as the lack of evidence for any permanent settlement in the area made Schmidt and his colleagues to conclude that here was a sacred place, where pilgrims come, — a kind of Neolithic (or even Mesolithic) Delphi. Buildings more than ten thousand years.

Banning offers a different interpretation. It indicates the fact that during further excavations have found traces of daily activities — stone processing and cooking. This means that people lived in these buildings, and in quite large quantities. Perhaps it really was the temples, but the people could dwell there. The specialist sees an undeniable connection between the decorated pillars and the grandeur of the design on one side and the inability to live here.

“The notion that art (even monumental) is solely in connection with the shrines or other non-domestic space, is not tenable, says Banning. — There is a lot of ethnographic evidence that people make significant efforts to the design of residential buildings and premises to stress the deeds of their ancestors, to glorify the generosity of the leader, to tell their ancestry, and to record information about the initiations and other family rituals”.

For example, home art preserved in the murals Chatal-Hyouka — another ancient settlement on the territory of Turkey.

Banning comes to the conclusion that the temples were in fact large community houses — a sort of counterpart of Indian homes of the Northwest coast of North America. It is possible that different rituals were conducted in various buildings, and the inhabitants of each house in some way was responsible for this or that ritual, that is someone during the holidays, some for burials, and so on.

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