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Nice to see a bit of mainstream coverage of the (very) ancient megalithic temple at Göbekli Tepe, with Britain’s Daily Mail featuring a write-up on the site, with commentary from prominent archaeologists:

Archaeologists worldwide are in rare agreement on the site’s importance. ‘Gobekli Tepe changes everything,’ says Ian Hodder, at Stanford University. David Lewis-Williams, professor of archaeology at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, says: ‘Gobekli Tepe is the most important archaeological site in the world.’ Some go even further and say the site and its implications are incredible. As Reading University professor Steve Mithen says: ‘Gobekli Tepe is too extraordinary for my mind to understand.’

While reading the article, I was struck with how similar it was to this Fortean Times article by Sean Thomas. I was just beginning to think that the author of the Mail article had plagiarised it, when I realised that the author’s name – ‘Tom Knox’ (incorrectly credited at the start of the story as ‘Tom Cox’) – is a pseudonym used by Sean Thomas for writing fiction. In fact, the Daily Mail article seems to be a promo for Knox/Thomas’s new fiction novel, The Genesis Secret (Amazon UK now, and available for pre-order on Amazon US). The premise of the book seems rather autobiographical (well, the first two sentences…hopefully not the rest!):

In the sunburnt deserts of eastern Turkey, archaeologists are unearthing a stone temple, the world’s most ancient building. When Journalist Rob Luttrell is sent to report on the dig, he is intrigued to learn that someone deliberately buried the site 10,000 years ago. Why? Meanwhile, in London, a bizarre attack is baffling the police. When a weird killing takes place on the Isle of Man, followed by another in rural Dorset, DC Mark Forrester begins to discern a curious pattern in these apparently random murders. What weaves together these two stories is the Genesis Secret: a revelation so shocking it may threaten the social structure of the world. Only one man knows the secret, and he is intent on destroying the evidence before it can be uncovered. Spanning the globe from the ruined castles of Ireland to the desolate wastes of Kurdistan, Tom Knox’s intense and compelling thriller weaves together genuine historical evidence, scientific insights and Biblical mysteries into an electrifying tale that grips the reader mercilessly from beginning to end.

Interesting that some of the initial public knowledge of Göbekli Tepe has come from a fiction writer who has weaved the site into his latest book.

As an aside, when you look at the clarity of the carvings on those megaliths – and think of the organisation that must have been required to construct/use the site – it’s hard to believe that the ‘invention’ of writing dates to around 6000 years later.

Thanks Baldrick for the heads-up.

Previously on TDG: