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The oldest temple in the world, Göbekli Tepe, in southern Turkey could have been built to worship the "dog star", Sirius. The 11,000-year-old site consists of at least 20 circular plots, although only a few have been covered since excavations began in the mid-1990s.
Each is surrounded by a ring, stone pillars shaped like "T"With animal decorations. Two more megaliths are parallel and are in the center of each ring.
Göbekli Tepe revolutionized the Neolithic, which facilitated human settlements and civilization, art and religion. There are no signs of agriculture near the temple, which hints that religion came before.
“Göbekli Tepe was a sanctuary for the inhabitants of these settlements"Said Kalus Schmidt, chief archaeologist of the project of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin.
However, it is unknown what kind of religion was professed. Giulio Magli, an astronomer and archaeologist at the Polytechnic University of Milan, thinks that the arrangement of the pillars at Stonehenge in the UK indicates that they could have been built as an astronomical observatory, or to worship the moon.
According to Magli, over the millennia, the position of the stars changes due to the movement of the Earth, which rotates on its axes. Stars near the horizon will rise and fall at different points, they may even disappear and appear thousands of years later.
Today, Sirius can be observed from all parts of the world as the brightest star, except the Sun, and the fourth brightest nocturnal body after the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter. "Sirius is so evident that its rising and setting served the Egyptians to develop their calendar. The temple was built to follow the birth of the star, an event that could be the cause of a new religion”Magli adds.
From Göbekli Tepe maps and from satellite images, the expert drew an imaginary line between the parallels and the two megaliths. Three of the rings appear to line up with points on the horizon where Sirius would have ascended in 9,100, 8,750, and 8,300 BC, respectively.
But still more precise calculations must be made with instruments such as theodolite, to measure vertical and horizontal angles. The continuation of the excavations could rule out their astronomical purpose, since they still do not know if the remains were built with a roof.
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