Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gobekli Tepe and Nabta Playa dates - LexiLine Journal 524

Open Minded Polestar101 wrote:

Saw your mention of faulty radiocarbon dating for Gobekli Tepe and also noticed
that you challenged the dating of Nabta Playa. In both cases you chopped many
thousands of years off the accepted dating according to mainstream
archaeologists.

Are you generally of the opinion that mankind lacked the ability to create
megalithic structures or stone arrangements in stellar alignment as early as
10,000 BC? Or is it just that these two cases are questionable in your mind and
otherwise mankind was capable of such activities in 10,000 BC? Just curious why
you appear to filter out the earliest dating?
______________

Andis Kaulins replied:

Thank you for your excellent comment. I have pre-answered many of your questions previously in my German-language article Das Tanum System - ein alteuropäisch-afrikanisches Vermessungssystem at http://www.scribd.com/doc/12402525/Das-Tanum-System-ein-alteuropaischafrikanisches-Vermessungssystem-DOC and due to your comment I am right now working to put that into English as soon as I can since a German version is not of much use to you or most of our audience here at LexiLine. Still, if you examine the German version - many graphics - you will get more information about my reasons.

There are however many, many other reasons for my challenging the radiocarbon dating of Gobekli Tepe (and affiliated sites) and of Nabta Playa.

You might want to read the following material which I quote from the Wikipedia article on AMORITE at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amorite which shows that as late as the 3rd Millennium, the approximate highland area in question for Gobekli Tepe and surroundings was predominantly occupied by highland people who knew no grain and whose culture was at the lowest level. The mainstream archaeologists use the absurd argument that since no grain was found at Gobekli Tepe, then it must predate the origins of agriculture. But the Amorite data tells us that their primitive state of culture prevailed in this general region until much, MUCH later.

Let me tell you one thing - there are many in mainstream archaeology who are superb con-men who are conning a great number of their fellows and laymen - I would call these the "chumps" or "suckers" - into thinking that their digs in Anatolia involve the real, real origins of culture at some absurdly old date. That is just a bunch of hokum based on some very sparse carbon dating of charcoal in that area which might just as well stem from some ancient natural fiery conflagration.

Just read the Wikipedia material:
"In the earliest Sumerian sources, beginning about 2400 BC, the land of the Amorites ("the Mar.tu land") is associated with the West, including Syria and Canaan, although their ultimate origin may have been Arabia. They appear as nomadic people in the Mesopotamian sources, and they are especially connected with the mountainous region of Jebel Bishri in Syria called as the "mountain of the Amorites". The ethnic terms Amurru and Amar were used for them in Assyria and Egypt respectively....

In early inscriptions, all western lands, including Syria and Canaan, were known as "the land of the Amorites". "The MAR.TU land" appears in the earliest Sumerian texts, such as Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, as well as early tablets from Ebla; and for the Akkadian kings Mar.tu was one of the "Four Quarters" surrounding Akkad, along with Subartu, Sumer and Elam. The Akkadian king Naram-Sin records campaigns against them in northern Syria ca. 2240 BC, and his successor Shar-Kali-Sharri followed suit.

By the time of the Neo-Sumerian Ur-III empire, immigrating Amorites had become such a force that kings such as Shu-Sin were obliged to construct a 170 mile wall from the Tigris to the Euphrates to hold them off [3]. These Amorites appear as nomadic clans ruled by fierce tribal chiefs, who forced themselves into lands they needed to graze their herds. Some of the Akkadian literature of this era speaks disparagingly of the Amorites, and implies that the neo-Sumerians viewed their nomadic way of life with disgust and contempt, for example:


"The MAR.TU who know no grain.... The MAR.TU who know no house nor town, the boors of the mountains.... The MAR.TU who digs up truffles... who does not bend his knees (to cultivate the land), who eats raw meat, who has no house during his lifetime, who is not buried after death...[4]


They have prepared wheat and gú-nunuz (grain) as a confection, but an Amorite will eat it without even recognizing what it contains![5] "
These were the people who inhabited most of the highlands of Anatolia, clear down to the days of written history. Of course, they did not build the Temple of Gobekli Tepe, but their fierce primitive presence was surely the reason that the people who DID build Gobekli Tepe left the region and covered their Temple under a mountain of earth as they left the region and moved southward to ultimately found Pharaonic civilization.

I will post my English version of the Tanum System soon - for there is much, much more to be said.
_____________

Polestar relied:

Conflagration?? We agree the Amorites did not build the site because it far
predates them (and therefore has nothing to do with their lack of wheat??). But
why do you consider the dating "absurdly old"? All over the world archaeologists
are pushing back the clock with new discoveries. Gobekli Tepe and Nabta Playa
are evidence that fit. We no longer have to fit civilization into a Biblical
6000 year limitation.
______________

Andis Kaulins replied:

Thank you for your comment.

Are you familiar with the supposed "evidence" from this region?

Take a look at the article Upper Mesopotamia (SE TURKEY, N SYRIA and N IRAQ) 10,000 - 5000 cal BC by Damien Bischoff with the collaboration of Agathe Reingruber and Laurens Thissen (last update 12 February 2006) at http://www.canew.org/files/CANeW%20Upper%20Mesopotamia%20C14%20dbase%20%28February%202006%29.pdf where Bischoff writes, for example:
"Comment CAFER HÖYÜK
Most complete sequence in the East area (50 m2), yielding 13 levels with a total depth of 6 m over virgin soil; the occupation is reported to be continuous (Cauvin
et al. 1999, 89). In the West area only the Late Phase has been uncovered. Sample Ly-3773 from the Middle Phase is reported to lack sufficient carbon (o.c., 94). Samples Ly-2523 and Ly-2522, both from the West area, might stem from the `numerous fragments of charcoal´ - or `carbonised wood´ as they are described further on - associated with structures 18, 19 and 8 of Level IVc, which, incidentally, is destroyed by fire (o.c., 95, 96). Would these have been the remains of the wooden ceiling beams, as seems suggested? If so, is it warranted to hypothesize similar samples for the earlier phases as well? Most of the wood used at Cafer seems to have been salix and populus growing along the Degirmendere stream (Willcox 1991). The `old-wood´ problem seems to have been not an issue here, for explaining the big discrepancies within the Cafer 14C dates corpus."
A specific study of Gobekli Tepe has been made via pedogenic carbonate coatings on the stones found there: Evidence for Holocene environmental changes in the northern Fertile Crescent provided by pedogenic carbonate coatings, as authored by Konstantin PUSTOVOYTOV, Klaus SCHMIDT and Heinrich TAUBALD. The work is abstracted online at cat.inist.fr (http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=18698456 ):
""Holocene environmental changes in the northern Fertile Crescent remain poorly understood because of the scarcity of local proxy records in the region. In this study we investigated pedogenic (soil-formed) carbonate coatings on stones at the Pre-Pottery Neolithic site Göbekli Tepe as an indicator of local early-mid Holocene environmental changes. The 14C ages and stable isotopic composition of carbon and oxygen in thin (0.2-0.3 mm thick) pedogenic carbonate lamina indicate two main periods of coating formation: the early-Holocene (ca. 10000-6000 cal yr BP) and the mid-Holocene (ca. 6000-4000 cal yr BP). During the first period, there was an inverse relationship between δ13C and δ18O curves: a decrease in δ13C values coincide with an increase in δ18O values. For this period a trend towards higher temperatures is suggested. In the mid-Holocene, the mean rate of coating growth was 2-3 times higher than in the early Holocene. Both δ13C and δ18O reached their maximum values during this time and the direction of changes of the δ13C and δ18O curves became similar. The combination of data suggests that this period was the most humid in the Holocene and on average warmer than the early Holocene. At ca. 4000 cal yr BP secondary accumulation of carbonate ceased, presumably reflecting a shift to a more arid climate.""
Essentially, this kind of dating is a scientific free-for-all where the data says what the authors want the data to say. The amount of coating on the stones is said to vary by climate epoch and variation is explained away by higher temperatures and humidity - whatever is needed to get the dates to fit. NO accumulation at all of carbonate is then presumed starting ca. 4000 BP, "presumably reflecting a shift to a more arid climate", for stones buried underground. But if carbonate in fact DID accumulate until clear up to the present time - which is the solution that apears most exact to us, also after 4000 BP, i.e. for 6000 years up to their excavation in the present era, then the stones have in fact been dated 6000 years too old - and that gives us the accurate date of the construction of Gobekli Tepe at ca. 4000 to 3000 B.C., which I am quite sure by my astronomical assessment of the megaliths to be the correct date.

By "conflagrations" previously I meant for example things like much older forest or brush fires for example that burned the wood used for radiocarbon dating. The ancient dating of Anatolia is based mostly on charcoal, what is called "carbonized wood". There are many problems involved in assigning that wood's actual origin to the period in which structures were constructed because it is not even known to what use carbonized wood was put. It stems mainly from ancient fruit and nut trees.

The unreliability of Anatolian tree dating in principle is discussed at length e.g. in Anatolian tree-ring studies are untrustworthy by Douglas J. Keenan, The Limehouse Cut, London E14 6N, United Kingdom; doug.keenan@informath.org, 22 February 2006, online at http://www.informath.org/ATSU04a.pdf where Keenan writes:
"The chronology of the Ancient Near East is poorly understood. Although many references give exact dates for events, such as the building of the Great Pyramid or the rise of certain kings in Babylon, in reality such dates are debated. Wood has the potential to resolve such debates. Many ancient buildings and other artefacts were
constructed from wood, and in some circumstances, it is possible to precisely date this wood, by examining the pattern of its tree rings. Work on dating wood from the Ancient Near East has been done primarily in Anatolia (roughly, modern Turkey). This work has been conducted over many years and been published in respected journals; it has claimed to provide definitive dates for several important events in the early history of civilisation. Herein is reviewed some of this wood-dating research. The primary conclusion is that the research has invalidating flaws, which are obvious upon inspection. The underlying issue is that the system under which tree-ring research generally is conducted lacks transparency....

During ancient times, wood was often reused. For example, an investigation of the remains of a Middle Bronze Age building, which comprised 26 timbers, concluded that all the timbers had been reused from some Early Bronze Age structure-dated several centuries earlier [Kuniholm, 1994]. In fact, similar reuse of wood still occurs in modern times: for example, the investigators have concluded that the joist in a modern Turkish house is over 6000 years old [Kuniholm, 2001]. Thus, when a tree is recovered from an archaeological site, it cannot be known a priori in which millennium the tree grew....

[footnote 11 provides as follows] Detailed information has also been published for the site of Kültepe [Kuniholm & Newton, 1989; Newton, 2004: app.2]. The investigators, however, no longer claim to have a date for this site that is near reliable; for example, Newton & Kuniholm [2004] say that the date "should be thought of as tentative, subject to ... modification"-indeed, their t-score is only 4.1. (The tentative match is actually just the best that could be found within the date range allowed by radiocarbon ages: this is not a valid basis for dating ... furthermore, the radiocarbon ages are internally inconsistent and are unlikely to have the accuracy assumed.

Keenan concludes that the whole historical dating game is:
"a system in which investigators can claim any plausible results and are accountable to no one.
That is also my opinion. It is a pea and shell game by mainstream archaeology. See my postings about archaeology and "evidence" at "Law and Science ".

My critique of current Anatolian dating has nothing to do with Biblical dates, as you seem to suggest. What it does have to do with is the fact that smoothly carved or cut pillars such as found at Gobekli Tepe do not surface 10000 years ago - and then we never hear of this technology again until this same technology surfaces about 3000 B.C. in places like Egypt. Technology transfer does not work way. Once a technology has been perfected, it is used further and in other places - it does not simply disappear for millennia. One of the main pieces of evidence proving that the Anatolian chronology is faulty is the fact that it forces us to assume a break of many thousands of years between the first emergence of the Gobekli Tepe technology and the surfacing of that technology later elsewhere. Sorry. That is NOT believable. When the chronology is ACCURATE, there will be a clear continuity of technology.

You write that Gobekli Tepe and Nabta Playa are evidence that fit. WHAT EVIDENCE? I have told you that the Nabta Playa evidence is taken from ancient oasis campfires somewhat removed from the precise megalithic lcoation at the oasis that have NOTHING to do with the megaliths found there and that radiocarbon dating from a campfire right at those stones dates from ca. 3000 BC. The archaeologists chose the older dating because its suits their purposes. You can "believe" whatever you want, but that is NOT science. Archaeologists "want" Nabta Playo to be older because it makes them famous. But that has nothing to do with true history. And the same is true for Anatolia.

EVIDENCE? There are lots of problems with the subjective treatment of the evidence by the mainstream archaeologists in these regions.
______________

Robert (ronen1968) writes:

To be fair, aside from charcoal evidence, Fred Wendorf does resort to some astronomical speculations for his dating. The following is from http://www.comp-archaeology.org/WendorfSAA98.html
"Among the ring of stones are four pairs of larger stones, each pair set close together and separated by a narrow space, or gate. The gates on two of these pairs align generally north-south; the gates on the other two pairs form a line at 700 east of north, which aligns with the calculated position of sunrise at the summer solstice 6000 years ago. In the center of the circle are six upright slabs arranged in two lines , whose astronomical function, if any, is not evident. Charcoal from one of the numerous hearths around the "calendar" dated around 6800 years ago (6000 bp +- 60 years, CAMS - 17287)."
But I'm confused about Wendorf's dating terminology. I thought bp, as opposed to bc, meant before present, as in before 1950. If this is so, then 6000 bp would be about 4050 bc, or 6000 years ago. Yet Wendorf equates 6000 bp to 6800 years ago in the above paragraph. He does this throughout his paper. What am I missing?
______________

Walter (polestar101) replied to the posting of Andis Kaulins:

You wrote "Once a technology has been perfected, it is used further and in other places - it does not simply disappear for millennia."

Your argument is not supported by the facts:

It was thought that Volta "invented" the battery in about 1700AD - until the discovery of the Babylon batteries - why was this technology not perfected several thousand years earlier?

It was thought that complex geared devices were "invented" during the great clock making era of 1200 -1400AD Europe, until the discovery of the Antikythera device. Why did this technology vanish for over a thousand years?

Aristarchus of Samos wrote about a heliocentric system almost 2000 years before Copernicus.

And look at the history of denistry (8000BC Pakistan), orthodontics (3000BC Egypt), domestication of pets, hybridization of plants, brain surgery, etc. etc. - all things that were lost for thousands of years before being "invented". There are hundreds more.

The ancient world was doing some rather amazing things but most of it was lost well prior to or during the Dark Ages. Things seem to go backwards for thousands of years. That is a fact.

The Ancients themselves through numerous myth and folklore hint at a long lost higher age - (over 30 unrelated ancient cultures spoke of it according to Giorgio deSantillana, former professor of history of science at MIT). Gobekli Tepe and Nabta Playa fit the myth and folklore - and they fit the archaeological pattern - that is a fact.
______________

Andis Kaulins replied:

No one doubts that some things are invented "before their time".

Examples are the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci, whose ideas predated their actual later development: for example his ideas on "airplanes" viz. "helicopters". These were not implemented in Leonardo's day because many of the attendant technologies in materials which are necessary for their proper operation did not yet exist.

It is sort of like inventing an automobile prior to the invention of the combustion engine or the wheel. It does not work. So you are always going to find some oddball inventions from the past which anticipate modern developments but drop out of sight for a lack of sensible integration into the society under question in the era at hand.

I personally do not buy the theory of a "long lost higher age" just because some ancient humans also were capable of isolated individually great things. Every age will have their Leonardos....

In the case of Göbekli Tepe we have an entirely different matter, however, than "mechanical inventions" or isolated discoveries of unusual inventions before their time.

Rather, we are dealing with basic STONE-WORKING technology - the methods and the tools. You can not just start out of nothing carving many-tonned stones into straight-edged megaliths and moving them great distances. That kind of a technology has to develop over time - and there has to be a record of that stone-working development in the archaeological evidence.

At the same time, stone-working technology, once developed, does not just disappear. Quite the contrary, archaeologists use stone-working technology as one of their most basic methods for dating the progress of mankind on this planet, as we know from such dating terms as Paleolithic or Neolithic, which apply to various "stone ages".

Göbekli Tepe has stone work which is similar to the Malta Temples or also Nabta Playa - and - in terms of the traditional dating of stone-working technology - this fits in with a date of ca. 4000-3000 B.C.

Dating the stoneworking technology at Göbekli Tepe prior to that era is technologically frivolous at best.
_____________

Walter (polestar101) replied:

Why should the expression of ideas in stonework be viewed any differently
than ideas expressed in metal work or woodwork? These are just mediums and each
require specialized knowledge and tools.

When I was a boy someone like you told me that 500 years ago we could hardly
build ships larger than the ones "needed" by Columbus to sail to the "new
world". Sometime later archaeologists discovered that there were ships twice
the length of the Columbian ships - and the Egyptians built them over 4000 years
ago! (i.e. solar boat of Khufu)

I grant you the Dark Ages destroyed or obscured most of the evidence of ancient
accomplishments long before we ever had a chance to "discover" it. But follow
the trends of forensic archaeology today and you will notice we are now
constantly and dramatically pushing back the clock on mankind's capabilities.
Over the next ten years I suspect we will find many many more sites that confirm
the mainstream carbon dating of Gobekli Tepe and Nabta Playa.

We are living through a very exciting era of discovery – with many indications
the universal myths of a long lost Golden Age may have a basis in fact. Best to
keep an open mind.
______________

Andis Kaulins replied:

I see exactly the opposite development.

In anthropology, the actual "age" of mankind has been reduced to a fraction of what it was thought to be in my school days, where people then talked about man as existing for millions of years. That always appeared to be illogical to me because there should then be more evidence present of what man did in that period.

In fact, modern genetic evidence indicates that humans "Out of Africa" occurred only within maybe about the last 60,000 years and that the real age of homo sapiens is surely not more than 200,000 years (and perhaps even much less than that) - not millions of years.

Mankind in our intellectually advanced form has not been around that long on Earth at all and so I find all this discussion about "lost civilizations" to be bunk - that is my personal opinion, take it as you will - it is of course interesting, exciting and provoking to argue for lost civilizations, but hardly believable. Nor does it match the evidence. To me, new age science is a branch of fiction.

This has nothing to do with my not having an open mind. I probably have one of the most open minds in science - but only to actual facts, and I am as critical of the "new agers" as I am of "mainstream archaeology" because they are both in the business of hokum marketing.

The development of mankind is an evolutionary development and that evolution can be followed like a vector over time - and this applies especially to man's stone technology.

This evolution is not the same of course for all human groups and some groups have evolved technologically more advanced than others and some much less so or not at all.

Archaeologists just do not seem to apply that recognition to the past in their assessment of dating and chronology.

Just look at the Earth population today and you will see that there are still many primitive groupings on our planet - indeed, the main battle being fought politically on our globe today is precisely that, civilization versus primitivism.

I do not deny that some human groups were already advanced starting at the Holocene , i.e. about 10,000 years ago. Indeed, as aptly noted at the Wikipedia :

""Human civilization dates entirely within the Holocene."

However, their stone technology did not develop out of thin air and the vector of development should be traceable - and, indeed, properly interpreted - is in fact traceable in the archaeological evidence.

But you do not have thousands of years of gap in the appearance of the same technology.

The Gobekli Tepe and Nabta Playa stone technology dates out of the period 4000-3000 BC, just as the Malta Temples, so in my opinion.

Should probative evidence surface that the dating is actually older, I am quite willing to change my mind, but the astronomy of the stones tells me that the lower date of 4000-3000 BC is quite accurate, and I have seen or heard nothing to make me change my view.

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