Saturday, November 15, 2008

World's First Temple?

This story got a little press on the Fox News web site this week and has a possible connection to Scripture, depending on your view of Noah's flood.
"Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple?"
Predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years, Turkey's stunning Gobekli Tepe upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization

Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey, Klaus Schmidt has made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: massive carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery. The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years. The place is called Gobekli Tepe, and Schmidt, a German archaeologist who has been working here more than a decade, is convinced it's the site of the world's oldest temple. More...

Hugh Ross' flood model dates Noah's flood back to about 50,000 years ago. According to mainstream archaeology, there are several archaeological problems related to this model. Most notably it lacks evidence of the appropriate tools to build an ark on the biblical scale, domesticated wine and other crops, and domesticated animals. Those activities only date back to about 8,000 to 10,000 B.C.

Ok, now back to this possible "world's oldest temple" situation. If this research pans out, it could possibly push the date for the flood back a couple thousand years.

While this doesn't come anywhere near to approaching the date needed for Ross' model, I could see where he might interpret this as evidence for his theory that these activities could have been happening tens of thousands of years before, but on such a small scale that they aren't detectable in the archaeological record. (I'm just hypothesizing here. To my knowledge he hasn't suggested this.)

Alternatively, someone could interpret this as yet another line of evidence that solidly places these activities within the 9,000 to 12,000 B.C. range, which is no where even close to what Ross needs to establish his model.

The mainstream archaeological view is that there are many solid reasons for dating Noah's flood around 3,000 B.C. (Maybe someday I'll make a post about that, but I'm too tired right now.)

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