Bible and archaeology news
According to University of Toronto archaeologist Ted Banning, the 10,000-year-old Göbekli “temple” discovered in southeastern Turkey may in fact have been used primarily as a large communal house. The early Neolithic site of Göbekli, discovered in 1995, is famous for its immense buildings with large monoliths, many of which are decorated with carvings of snakes, scorpions, foxes and other animals.
While the excavators identified the site as the world’s earliest temple, Banning believes recently discovered evidence for daily activities like flintknapping and food preparation suggests Göbekli may also have been a large communal residence hall. He also points to archaeological and ethnographic examples of residential areas decorated with monumental art. “There is generally no reason to presume a priori, even when these [structures] are as impressive as the buildings of Göbekli Tepe, that they were not also people’s houses,” said Banning.
Sign up to receive our email newsletter and never miss an update.
Dig into the illuminating world of the Bible with a BAS All-Access membership. Combine a one-year tablet and print subscription to BAR with membership in the BAS Library to start your journey into the ancient past today!Subscribe Today
Time to dust off “Motel of the Mysteries,” by Davil Macaulay (1979) in which future archaelogists unearth one of the motels of our time and promptly identifiy it as a temple of the gods MovieA and MovieB!