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Go back some five thousand years to the pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge, then go back another five thousand years. Add on two thousand more years and you’re getting close to the construction date of the enigmatic, ultra-ancient megalithic ‘temple’ at Göbekli Tepe in Turkey. Naturally, I find any stories on this particular site of extreme interest, so I was very happy to see that it’s featured as the cover story of the latest issue of National Geographic (June 2011).

Discovering that hunter-gatherers had constructed Göbekli Tepe was like finding that someone had built a 747 in a basement with an X-Acto knife. “I, my colleagues, we all thought, What? How?” Schmidt said. Paradoxically, Göbekli Tepe appeared to be both a harbinger of the civilized world that was to come and the last, greatest emblem of a nomadic past that was already disappearing. The accomplishment was astonishing, but it was hard to understand how it had been done or what it meant. “In 10 or 15 years,” Schmidt predicts, “Göbekli Tepe will be more famous than Stonehenge. And for good reason.”

The article is accompanied by some wonderful photos by Vincent J. Musi, which include a 10,000-year-old sculpture of a human and the strange ‘portals’ that can be found at the site. Click on the image below to view the gallery.

Photo by Vincent J. Musi

For more information, you might also like to check out Filip Coppens’ Darklore article about Göbekli Tepe, which is available as a free download from the Sample Articles page of the Darklore website (along with a bunch of others). Also see the links below, which review updates from previous years (and the first has video as well).

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