Located in the Tektek Mountains southeast of Sanliurfa in Turkey is Karahan Tepe, one of the oldest villages in the world. The discoveries made during the excavation of this site have people wondering if a long-lost super-civilization once called this place home thereby challenging the popular ideas of when humans first started to settle down.
Built during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic Period around 10,000 years ago, Karahan Tepe is considered a marvel of architectural engineering that is seen from the complexity and intricacy by which the circular homes within the vast ritualistic complex were constructed: "Among the most peculiar discoveries to date is its astronomical orientation. Excavations have revealed what is considered the oldest winter solstice alignment in history. This points to the fact that, whoever its builders were, they were sophisticated scientists and astronomers."
It is thought that the 'cup holes' or circular enclosures that dot the hill upon which Karahan Tepe lies were oriented north so as to face the star Deneb which is said to mark the entrance to the Milky Way’s Great Rift.
The village is situated around 23 miles southeast of Gobekli Tepe, another famous archaeological site that is hailed as home to the world's oldest temple structures. An important difference between the two is that the stone monuments at Karahan Tepe have human depictions as well as there are three-dimensional human sculptures.
Researchers have come to the conclusion that Karahan Tepe is much older than its sister site than previously thought as this excerpt explains: "Over the years, archaeologists have made a series of amazing discoveries at the Karahan Tepe site. In particular, tons of buried T-shaped obelisks, similar to the ones carved with wild animals at Göbekli Tepe, have led researchers to conclude that Karahan Tepe “is much older,” than its “younger sister,” Göbekli Tepe."
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the Karahan Tepe is a chamber that serves some sort of religious purpose as this excerpt explains: "11 giant penises carved from the bedrock and watched over by a bearded head with a serpent’s body that emerges from the wall."
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