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What to make of Göbekli Tepe from an Anthroposophical Perspective?

What to make of Göbekli Tepe from an Anthroposophical Perspective?

Göbekli Tepe is an archaeological site in central Turkey with stone structures and carvings at least 11,000 years old.

Mapping Steiner’s timeline to external history, to say nothing of geology, proves quite challenging. Everything back to the end of the 3rd post-atlantean epoch works quite well. Earlier than that gets progressively more challenging. The Theosophical tradition was quite big on exact dates and patterns, and a lot of that tendency carries over into Steiner’s early esoteric lectures. But over time Steiner focused more on the inner, experiential qualities of the eras, while pointing out that there is overlap. And that would tend to extend the start of the third epoch back further, and the second as well. And the first. Which makes the end of Atlantis earlier as well. And then you get into geological time…

The stones of Göbekli Tepe date to the era just before the Çatalhöyük settlement. Çatalhöyük is one of the earliest known agricultural settlements. It is to the east of Göbekli Tepe by about 700km. Using the “inner experience” method of dating Steiner’s cultural epochs, that makes Çatalhöyük the start of the second epoch (and at around 7000BC, far earlier than the Theosophical mappings of 5067-2907 BC would have it). With a population of over 5,000, living in Çatalhöyük would have been an experience unlike any other on the planet at the time. The shift from hunter-gathering to agricultural settlement was a big inner shift in relationship to the cosmos. The descriptions of the second epoch (from Steiner) include the transition into agriculture, as well as extensive warfare. Interestingly all the early agricultural settlements excavated to date have defensive walls. The third epoch begins when cities conquer their neighbors and create regional empires, creating new social forms. We have an actual history of this evolution in the Narmer Pallette, which dates to about 3000BC, or more or less where we would expect it for the Theosophical mappings (2907-747 BC). Co-temporaneous developments in other parts of the world are not as well documented, but this appears to have happened in Mesopotamia about the same time, as well as in the Indus region with the civilization known as the Harrapan. The next stage, to multi-ethnic conquest empires, can be documented within a few hundred years of the official date of 747BC in the Neo-Assyrians, among others. While Rome’s mythic founding date lines up well, and Rome would later exemplify the type, Rome wasn’t really a multi-ethnic empire until the third century BC. On a side note, this same progression of cultural forms can be seen independently in Central and in South American history, but starting a couple thousand years later.

Göbekli Tepe appears to have been a ceremonial site of a pre-agricultural culture. Which, by the “inner experience” method would put it in the first post-Atlantean cultural epoch. I would be inclined to date it post-Atlantean because at 11,600 years old it was built after the end of the last glacial period, and well after the substantial sea level rise that began 15,000 years ago. The sea level rise was itself a 10,000 year process, so there is a lot of room to argue over when Atlantis ended. We’ve seen above that the outer evidence for the dates of the second and first post-Atlantean epochs stretch much farther back than they should. And lest anyone argue that the dating is wrong, there is extensive cross-referenced methods from that part of the world (including dendrochronology in addition to radio-carbon dating and others) that make it a much harder argument to try to pull things thousands of years forward to make them fit the patterns we would like them to.

Finally, we need not posit that stone was softer at that point; there is extensive documentation of pre-agricultural cultures erecting megailths and undertaking monumental building projects. Modern experiments have established that it is physically possible to move hundred-ton stones using basic physics (fulcrum and lever) and a few tricks (like sand and water). There is a neat YouTube video of a contractor in Wisconsin maneuvering a 60-tone rectangle of concrete upright single handedly in his yard, and plenty of other videos of teams of people trying to replicate Stonehenge without modern technology. It is certainly doable (as is the Great Pyramid, but that’s another topic). So pre-agricultural cultures did build massive stone monuments, in many parts of the world. There is a solid argument that these activities fit with Steiner’s descriptions of the ancient Indian consciousness.

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