April Holloway reports for Ancient-Origins on new research that, “Has revealed that the world’s oldest temple, Göbekli Tepe in southern Turkey, was probably built to worship the star Sirius.”
From the report:
Göbekli Tepe is at least 12,000 years old and has been intensively studied by archaeologists since its discovery less than a decade ago. The remarkable site is comprised of numerous temples made with pillars weighing between 40 and 60 tonnes and 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 men who lacked sophisticated tools, causing speculation as to how it was built and why.
Giulio Magli, an archaeoastronomer at the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy, looked to the night sky for an answer to the latter. After all, the arrangement of the pillars at Stonehenge in the UK suggests it could have been built as an astronomical observatory, maybe even to worship the moon.
Magli simulated what the sky would have looked like from Turkey when Göbekli Tepe was built. Over millennia, the positions of the stars change due to Earth wobbling as it spins on its axis. Stars that are near the horizon will rise and set at different points, and they can even disappear completely, only to reappear thousands of years later.
The analysis revealed that the pillars of Göbekli Tepe appear to have aligned with the rising of the ‘dog star’ Sirius. Using existing maps of Göbekli Tepe and satellite images of the region, Magli drew an imaginary line running between and parallel to the two megaliths inside each enclosure. Three of the excavated rings seem to be aligned with the points on the horizon where Sirius would have risen in 9100 BC, 8750 BC and 8300 BC, respectively.
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