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The Puzzler

Gobekli Tepe Shows Constellations

43 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Gobekli Tepe has intrigued me since I first heard about it and the idea that it is a temple structure at a time of hunter gatherers was an unexpected shock to the time line. But is it a temple? It seems that Schmidt's idea is faltering.

I was thinking after reading another article about old animal images being related to the constellations that Gobekli Tepe might be too, why not, seemed logical to me, and the T shapes could be pointers or markers, if you are under one, you get a pointer above your head. The temple thing never seemed logical as it was abandoned but also apparently purposely covered up. Why would that be? I can see why they would cover it if it was holding knowledge of the Heavens, secret info only for the ones who knew it and discovered it.

So, I Googled and someone else had thought of this and done quite a thorough investigation into it so I knew it was a valid idea and possibly a correct one.

http://timothystephany.com/gobekli.html

This is a great article, it gives clear pictures and comparisons with the constellations, such as:

GreatBoar_abc2b.jpg

GreatFox2.jpg

This was an interesting connection:

Hathor_2.jpg

There could be a direct connection between the cow here and Hathor, but it would been to be substantiated further. Hathor was also viewed to be the source of the Milky Way which is to be found near to the cow of Gobekli Tepe. There is no reason to presume that the correspondence between the sun cow here and that of Egypt shows any cultural relationship, this is both because further correspondences would need to be found and that the length of time of the culturally recognized Egyptian civilization is roughly 6,000 years younger than Gobekli Tepe. However, there is good reason to suspect a direct connection of some sort exists.

I was looking for a pic on the Internet I have in my Egypt book here, from Egypt, possibly the first representation of a constellation there, showing a cut stone simple bull shape with horns with stars dotting his edges on the horns and around it but I can't find it, if anyone can locate it, can you please link it here.

The topic is basically this:

This is meant to provide a brief analysis to explain the origin of several of the animal figures from the Gobekli Tepe temple site in Turkey, arising about 9000 BC and haralded as the earliest (known) temple of the world. Several of the images yet uncovered represent constellations, the depictions are not all dimensionally accurate, but are stylistic representations of star forms, perhaps with some line of artistic tradition behind it. It is not exactly clear after the initial analysis that all of the stars that are shown are represented within the petro glyphs. A proper and thorough study should work from a map of stars that shows them as they appeared 11,000 years BP in order to lend greater accuracy. In the analysis of the rock depictions that have been uncovered, the first will be referred to as the Vulture and Scorpion stone, the second Boar and Birds stone, the "Goat and Horse" stone, the"Great Lion", the "Great Fox", the "Lesser Fox", the "Cow, Fox, and Crane" stone.

Overall it offered a different perspective on the people of Gobekli Tepe and how long people had been studying the skies and time itself.

Edited by The Puzzler

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Howdy Puzzler

The key point is

A proper and thorough study should work from a map of stars that shows them as they appeared 11,000 years BP in order to lend greater accuracy

Still probably a temple as the stars with associated with gods back then. An observatory is more associated with a scientific and mathematically study of the sky.

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Howdy Puzzler

The key point is

Still probably a temple as the stars with associated with gods back then. An observatory is more associated with a scientific and mathematically study of the sky.

Yes, possibly, but astrology and astronomy were one and the same for a long time. I am not sure we can tell if they associated them with Gods back then but again, possibly. It depends really if worship was present for it to have been a temple and I don't think I have seen any indication of any worship found at Gobekli Tepe, but I may be wrong. If it is an observatory where information was collected and recorded it is certainly a possibility they had assigned the planets as Gods and it may have been a temple also...good point.

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Posted (edited)

One of the most exciting finds I thought was this:

treesnakeeagle.jpg

Same website link as above.

It appears to show a snake and a tree and a trident type glyph.

I thought it may even be a river and a directional path with a symbol that might represent a land, maybe a map even rather than iconic.

The 'head' on the wiggly line does seem to indicate a snake though and it looks like the snake symbol that has passed through the ages.

An interesting connection I make it is is like the snake of Salus, shown on the coin below:

macrinus_007rf.jpg

Goddess of Health and daughter of Asclepius, whose symbol is still on our toothpaste and such, the snake around the staff, not the Cadeucus, this one has the one snake onthe staff, he is God of Healing.

Edit to add Salus link: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/moonmoth/reverse_salus.html

Edited by The Puzzler

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Posted (edited)

Gobekli Tepe has intrigued me since I first heard about it and the idea that it is a temple structure at a time of hunter gatherers was an unexpected shock to the time line. But is it a temple? It seems that Schmidt's idea is faltering.

The claim that Gobekli Tepe was a temple, and therefore served some religious purpose is rather speculative, imo.

While it is also speculation, my opinion is the symbols on the various markers on the site are tribal in nature. Denoting, perhaps, either the presence of, or an area for, certain tribes who gather in conducting whatever business was conducted at the site - whether this be trading, social activities, etc. I suspect the site was multi-purpose and some form of religious activity may have been carried out there from time to time, but it was not a 'temple' as such.

I do not see any connection with astronomy, however.

Edited by Leonardo

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I am wondering if the various animal symbols refer to specific tribes in the area, along the lines of the "Boar Tribe", the "Snake Tribe" etc. Perhaps their symbols were recorded to reveal which tribes had actually built the various buildings in the complex.

Possibly it is little more than a Social record of alliances and specific meeting rooms at the end of a seasons hunting etc. I think it is a little early to ascribe the term of "Temple" or "Shrine" to the buildings. It is also something that Orthodox Archaeology seems too eager to associate, with the danger that pre-conceived notions creep in. I am NOT advocating any pseudo-archaeology at all - just to look this with open eyes and minds.

There is (as yet) no evidence of Ritualised practise or sacrifices (as is suggested in some texts) but with only 5% of the site explored to date then opinions should be reserved IMO

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The claim that Gobekli Tepe was a temple, and therefore served some religious purpose is rather speculative, imo.

While it is also speculation, my opinion is the symbols on the various markers on the site are tribal in nature. Denoting, perhaps, either the presence of, or an area for, certain tribes who gather in conducting whatever business was conducted at the site - whether this be trading, social activities, etc. I suspect the site was multi-purpose and some form of religious activity may have been carried out there from time to time, but it was not a 'temple' as such.

I do not see any connection with astronomy, however.

Hi Leo, it may seem like that but a curious thing there is why so many different animals on each marker? I know some do have one animal, I think the fox animal does, but most have a whole range of animals from boars to ducks on one T shape so to me that doesn't seem to show a certain animal that represents a tribe and the markers assigned to a tribe, their animal.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Leo, it may seem like that but a curious thing there is why so many different animals on each marker? I know some do have one animal, I think the fox animal does, but most have a whole range of animals from boars to ducks on one T shape so to me that doesn't seem to show a certain animal that represents a tribe and the markers assigned to a tribe, their animal.

One specific animal may not denote one particular tribe - just as one particular pictograph (or hieroglyph) may not denote one person (or word-concept) in early writing systems.

Translating those pictures on the Gobekli Tepe markers as if they were in some form of language (symbolic or otherwise) similar to our own (where there is a one-word/symbol-per-concept association) is likely to be incorrect.

Edited by Leonardo

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I am wondering if the various animal symbols refer to specific tribes in the area, along the lines of the "Boar Tribe", the "Snake Tribe" etc. Perhaps their symbols were recorded to reveal which tribes had actually built the various buildings in the complex.

Possibly it is little more than a Social record of alliances and specific meeting rooms at the end of a seasons hunting etc. I think it is a little early to ascribe the term of "Temple" or "Shrine" to the buildings. It is also something that Orthodox Archaeology seems too eager to associate, with the danger that pre-conceived notions creep in. I am NOT advocating any pseudo-archaeology at all - just to look this with open eyes and minds.

There is (as yet) no evidence of Ritualised practise or sacrifices (as is suggested in some texts) but with only 5% of the site explored to date then opinions should be reserved IMO

Hi Keith, my answer would be similar to the one I gave Leo, I don't see any indication of this because of so many animals on one marker, although of course, it could be.

Each marker may have been part of the sky, like the zodiac is divided up into 12 parts of 30 degrees with many stars and other constellations are in that section.

Since we have myths and stories that seem to indicate a very old time scale, that the (Chaldean) priests had been studying the stars for thousands of years, that information kept and time worked out, seasons etc, must have taken a long time, so I could consider that this is a very old constellation time marker.

I didn't quite know if any ritual practises or worship had been found. Only 5%? I am sure there is lots to find yet.

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One of the most exciting finds I thought was this:

treesnakeeagle.jpg

Same website link as above.

It appears to show a snake and a tree and a trident type glyph.

I thought it may even be a river and a directional path with a symbol that might represent a land, maybe a map even rather than iconic.

The 'head' on the wiggly line does seem to indicate a snake though and it looks like the snake symbol that has passed through the ages.

An interesting connection I make it is is like the snake of Salus, shown on the coin below:

macrinus_007rf.jpg

Goddess of Health and daughter of Asclepius, whose symbol is still on our toothpaste and such, the snake around the staff, not the Cadeucus, this one has the one snake onthe staff, he is God of Healing.

Edit to add Salus link: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/moonmoth/reverse_salus.html

Hi Puzzler;

Glyphs like this might just be something simple like a group or tribal emblem, or maybe a rank of initiation of one of the group members. The line going in 3 directions could mean a large group separating and going 3 ways. I remember reading a bit about ancient aboriginal rock carvings that represented this sort of information.

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Posted (edited)

i am sorry. i don't buy what is said on that page.

the author of that page has not done it properly.

if we over lay the photo of the rock with the carvings and the star constellations, nothing would correspond to anything.

for example, take this pic below

VultureScorpion_ABC4.jpg

VultureScorpion3c.jpg

The distance between L J & N are almost equidistant. But on the constellation map, the author of the webpage has conveniently (convenient for his own sake) identified L J N as per his conclusions and the distances are not equal.

secondly he cannot come up with any proper explanations for

a. D which is not a Pegasus..any person with brains can associate it as another vulture

b.K is conveniently missing from the constellation chart

c. according to proportions of the stone carving and a actually constellation map, point A would be far away from the Aquila star

d. the author couldn't find anything similar to the scorpion shape..so he left it as it is..un-associated.

e.F is a vulture not a hook

g. Newly identified Neolithic constellations - perhaps i have been out of the loop for ages, could any one tell what the heck is this?

The same goes for each other stone to constellation association/manipulation!

In short, manipulation and association and invention of new "NEOLITHIC" Constellations and association - nice potpourri.

Nice Pseudo-ism!

Edited by The Spartan

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I think you're right Spartan. I couldn't see the pictures either. One can draw a picture around a spot, and then highlight other spots or just draw a picture around a bunch of spots, but it doesn't mean anything. I think the carvings on the pillars ARE very meaningful - we just don't know what that is. It's not just the pictures themselves, but the positions the animals are in, may be meaningful as well.

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Fair enough guys, but I think it does warrant some more looking into myself. :unsure2:

Anyways, I'm off to bed, a bit tired to answer much right now but thought anyone might be interested in this article, it's not about Gobelki but about deciphering the Constellation chart from Senenmut's tomb:

http://lexiline.blogspot.com/2010/01/oldest-astronomical-zodiac-deciphered.html

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I think assigning the carvings onto a star chart is extremely speculative. If you took a handful of sticks and tossed them down and took a photograph, you could then align those sticks with numerous constellations and stars.

It could very well have been an observatory, or it could have been a market, there is no clear way to know.

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Posted (edited)

I think assigning the carvings onto a star chart is extremely speculative. If you took a handful of sticks and tossed them down and took a photograph, you could then align those sticks with numerous constellations and stars.

It could very well have been an observatory, or it could have been a market, there is no clear way to know.

It is speculative, but that's what makes it so interesting, it could be, no one really knows just yet. Many celestial markers that have been identified, such as at Nabta Playa which is a circle with rock markers and I see it as quite similar to the circular structures at Gobekli. That is what made me think it might have been celestial markers to start with, because they are in circles and appear to be markers, which may have marked out time.

Nabta Playa celestial markers, oldest known calendar.

200px-Calendar_aswan.JPG

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabta_Playa

In fact, I find it odd that it is not a calendar or time keeping observatory since many of these old types of structures are in relation to the astronomical observations made.

From Nabta Playa link:

By the 5th millennium BC these peoples had fashioned one of the world's earliest known archeoastronomical devices (roughly contemporary to the Goseck circle in Germany and the Mnajdra megalithic temple complex in Malta), about 1000 years older than but comparable to Stonehenge[2] (see sketch at right). Research suggests that it may have been a prehistoric calendar which accurately marks the summer solstice.[3]

The research done by the astrophysicist Thomas G. Brophy suggests that these monoliths might tell much more. The calendar circle itself is made up of one doorway that runs north-south, a second that runs northeast-southwest marking the summer solstice, and six center stones (see sketch above). Brophy's hypothesis proposes first that the southerly line of three stones inside the calendar circle represented the three stars of Orions Belt and the other three stones inside the calendar circle represented the shoulders and head stars of Orion as they appeared in the sky. These correspondences were for two dates -- circa 4,800 BC and at precessional opposition -- representing how the sky "moves" long term. Brophy proposes that the circle was constructed and used circa the later date, and the dual date representation was a conceptual representation of the motion of the sky over a precession cycle.

Near by the calendar circle, which is made of smaller stones, there are alignments of large megalithic stones. The southerly lines of these megaliths, Brophy shows, aligned to the same stars as represented in the calendar circle, all at the same epoch, circa 6270 BC. The calendar circle correlation with Orion's belt occurred between 6400 BC and 4900 BC, matching the radio-carbon dating of campfires around the circle.[4]

Brophy found that the lines made to these megaliths match the spots in the sky where the various stars rose in vernal equinox heliacal rising. In analyzing the varying distances, mulling through assumptions such as that they represented the brightness of the stars, he inadvertently found that they matched the distance of the stars from Earth on a scale of roughly 1 meter = .8 light years within the margin of error for astronomical distances calculated today.

Edited by The Puzzler

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Ancient cultures assigned zoomorphic constellation to stars because they need to mark the solstice and equinox, therefore a system of constellations should at least form a perfect celetial circle. If there were some carvings on Gobekli Tepe stones can match the stars on 4 cardinal direction then it could be an observatory. And there are just too many small avian figures on the stones, it is always implausible to assign so many small and similiar forms to different constellations, for this kind of system is prone to confuse different constellations with each other. Constellations should be large, diverse in forms. Personally I still want to believe Gobekli Tepe was an observatory, but so far it seems to be a place for ritual butchering to me.

And the supposed snake mark on the stone does not necessarily mean snake, it could be a symbol for water, just like the Egyptian hieroglyph for water.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N-water_ripple_(n_hieroglyph)

Not all wiggling lines mean snakes, there have been no known carvings or artefacts pertaining to snake earlier than Sumer and Egypt in the western Eurasian cultures. One carving of Sikh haircut from a contemprary culture to Gobekli Tepe Nevali Cori could be the most similiar to snake, but it was just a sikh of bull worship cult, having nothing to with snakes. There is a symbol of bull head on one of the two central stones, and given contemprary connections with Nevali Cori, obviously Gobekli Tepe was a bull worshipping culture.

http://usera.imagecave.com/Binarigamma/west_asia_god-sikha.jpg

http://usera.imagecave.com/Binarigamma/sikh.JPG

Nevali Cori is dated 8,400BC, Gobekli Tepe is 9,500BC so we have nearly 1000 years to develop to the next stage seen at Nevali Cori which has comparable material so indeed we should look at it also. The head you showed me, I have seen it at this site before and I wasn't aware it had actually been identified as a sikha tuft but could be one as much as it could be a snake.

The local limestone was carved into numerous statues and smaller sculptures, including a more than life-sized bare human head with a snake or sikha-like tuft. Some of the pillars also bore relief's, including ones of human hands. The free-standing anthropomorphic figures of limestone excavated at Nevali Cori belong to the earliest known life-size sculptures. Comparable material has been found at Göbekli Tepe (Currently considered to be the oldest temple in the world at c. 9,500 BC)

http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/turkeynevali.htm

Here is a Bull Head with Stars, I looked everywhere for this picture on the internet but couldn't find it so drew it from the picture in my book on Egypt. I don't like photographing images in books, copyright, anyway, I'm not the best drawer but you can get the idea, I have tried to draw the stars to scale just as it is on the engraved palette, next to the picture in my book it says:

Celestial and bovine themes figure in what appears to be the earliest recorded religious imagery surviving from Egypt, such as on this Pre-Dynastic greywacke (slate) cosmetic palette.

IMG_1933.JPG

Again, excuse my terrible drawing but I really wanted to show it as I think it shows a connection between early bull worship associated with celestial stars.

Pre-Dynastic era of a bull represented as a possible constellation, at the least a made up one showing an affinity with the bull and the stars, rather than just a lunar bull.

The more I looked at the bull head, which has 2 eyes or ears, it seemed to show the 3 star diagonal pattern they often ascribe to Orion's belt aligning with the 3 Giza Pyramids. Not saying that has anything to do with my point, which was, the bull cult can be associated with the celestial bull from very ancient Pre-dynastic times.

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'Twas a good attempt Puzz, sufficient to make the point I feel. I can see why the Bull was such a prominent symbol. I can't immediately think why a bull should be associated with the sky but as good as any, especially when you think we have the Milky Wat and how important bovines must have been. Perhaps Mithras slaying the cosmic bull is an allegory of the end of the stellar religions.

I've thought for ages how much we underestimated ancient people but I found this and couldn't quite believe the carbon dates given. Can this be debunked or is it genuine?

Lion Women

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Great links and info Astrios. Very enjoyable reading all round. I particularly liked your translation. Allegorically that is a perfect fit in every sense.

Sevens come up a lot with seven sages, rishis, tones and of course Pleiades, again often linked closely with bull and plough. Laozi meaning "old master" I thought was perhaps a clue. It made me think of Loki, I don't know the translation of that but I would be surprised if it was similar. Loki is the old trickster and tied to the Midgard Serpent and chaos. Two things that would seem to be related to the Tao. I haven't read much on the Taoists but I always like what I here.

http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Loki

It is a mighty step goin from stargazing to astrology but one I'll make tentatively. I was thinking of something I saw years ago where four signs were claimed to be the masters of the Zodiac. I can't really recall but I think they were Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and 'blank'. The last one could be any and it may be irrelevant anyway. With Scorpio though it was originally seen as something else. I will have to check but I think it was an eagle/falcon and a snake. Just throwing some wild ideas out there but I liked your post.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrological_sign

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zodiac

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Hypothetically the form can be viewed in either ways, but as snake there is no known tradition of wearing snake on ones head. As a sikh tuft it is still stunning that some part of modern hindi culture can be traced back to Anatolia at 10000BC. Gobekli Tepe is amazing at its own right, especially the oldest 3 cultic symbols. Appearance of symbolism is rather more significant than merely artistic carvings, snake implication seems no longer that special as compared to those symbols. Gobekli Tepes snake is nothing compared to the importance of bull-head as shown by the symbol on the central stone. The Connection between bull and snake cult can be traced otherwise than morphological similiarity between sikh tuft and snake. In India, snakes are considered sacred only next to bull. The connection the 2 cultic icons are still unexplored. I have a myth from China also. It is interesting because it shows direction connection between snake, bull, and the flood: This is my own translation from chinese account, I may not be a good writer, I will make it as short as possible.

The 2 symbols are connected through their association with primal elements - snake = water and bull = earth.

It is not surprising they would often be seen as having importance in a relationship with each other, as the primitive beliefs which spawned these symbols were based on symbolising events which were either dangerous to the culture (flood, earthquake, etc) but often coincided with (or one was precipitated by) the other because of where those early cultures chose to inhabit, or were significant to those cultures in other ways (as a flood might actually be beneficial as well as destructive - as in ancient Egypt, for example.)

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yes. clearly the ancient peoples saw the exact same thing as the greeks in the sky. no doubt about it. lmao

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yes. clearly the ancient peoples saw the exact same thing as the greeks in the sky. no doubt about it. lmao

Many of the zodiac animal symbols were not invented by the Greeks, the whole Greek mythology and most of what they did were copies from other cultures. The sign of Taurus as a bull was not invented by the Greeks nor were many of the others, the Greeks only saw what others had seen for thousands of years prior.

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Cygnus, although not a zodiac constellation can possibly be seen in the Lascaux Caves c. 12,000BC. Always a swan or sometimes a duck but always a bird and part of the summer triangle of birds.

Like astrios said that they are birds that are the predominant can actually point to it making better sense, each star could even be an egg from the bird they have depicted, as in the egg laid by the swan transferring to myth, like Helen of Troy. Helen and Cygnus are wrapped up together in all forms of Aphrodite/Turan/Leda and the swan symbol they represent, just as many other stars and constellations are, they are as ancient as can be and exist in many cultures as the same.

Arabs often saw them differently and Egyptians used animals they knew of too but many of them are the same in many connecting cultures, especially the Indo-European ones. Many dragon, if not all, dragon myths, again quite predominant in European cultures would centre around Draco, being a snake that had a wing once, that is the Little Bear, now Draco looks like a snake in the charts but he was a flying serpent once, before he was a serpent.

The Scorpion of Scorpio:

The constellation, while mostly known for it's Greecian mythological background, was known for it's scorpion appearance long before the Greeks ruled the earth. It is one of the few constellations that is known by most of the cultural world as the scorpion. The Sumerians referred to it as a scorpion over 5000 years ago. The only true exception are the Chinese, who saw a Dragon and not a Scorpion in the constellation.

http://scorpiofanfic.tripod.com/

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Astrology as we know it supposedly originates from the Chaldeans at Babylon. Interesting that the babylonian primordial god is Tiamet the dragons of the salt water.

Babylonian mythology: Tiamat is a huge female dragon that personifies the saltwater ocean, the water of chaos. She is also the primordial mother of all that exists, including the gods themselves. Her consort is Apsu, the freshwater God. From their union, saltwater with freshwater, the first pair of gods were born. Their descendants started to irritate Tiamat and Apsu so they decided to kill them. The offspring discovered their plans and one managed to kill Apsu while he was asleep. Tiamat flew into a rage when she learned about Apsu's death and wanted to avenge her husband. She created an army of monstrous creatures, which was to be led by her new consort Kingu, who is also her son. Eventually, Tiamat was defeated by the young god Marduk, who was born in the deep freshwater apsu. Marduk cleaved her body in half, and from the upper half he created the sky and from the lower half he made the earth. From her water came forth the clouds and her tears became the source of the Tigris and the Euphratus. Kingu also died, and from his blood Marduk created the first humans.

http://www.archetypal.com/xanadu/mythology/index.html

In the philosophy of the Hopi among others it is the black race that corresponds to water and thus perhaps the serpent is tied in aswell. The sumerian god Enki was based in Africa after his primary residence of Eridu and is often associated with the Serpent. How about if the serpent becomes a symbol of some connection to Africa? I can't quite piece it together but check out this wiki link on Loki and the Midgard serpent and see if anything sticks out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B6rmungandr

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Slim, The greek zodiacs came from sumerian zodiac system, both shows a great diversity of life forms. This diversity reminds of Gobekli Tepes realistic carvings. It is wrong to dismiss the possibility of Gobekli Tepe being the first marks of constellations, because the bull and scorpio the 2 oldest zodiac signs all appear on Gobekli Tepe. This is no coincidence since people who built this kind of grand structure would not carve merely ordinary encounter with animals.

In earlier post I showed my doubt but not dismissing the possibility altogather. Now I am tended to suggest that Gobekli Tepe is likely a place where ritual killings took place as a mean to endow souls to the stars. The redundant multitude of avian figures can be explained by primitive view of sky, primitve people might naturally assign more avian forms to constellation just because the sky was often associated with birds. As in the time of the beginning of zodiac tradition, people might not took eligibility as a priority consideration. On the other hand, in ancient times, killing is also an act of honoring, people kill what they worship. Chinese turtle worshippers killed turtles for their oracle, and possibily anatolians killed their bull for their soul to ascend to the star. Bull should have always been the central zodiac in this case, all other constellations of various life forms could have derived their souls from sacrifice of the sacred bull.

Bull is more fire than Earth, bull is related to ascension and brightness as indicated in both chinese and Egyptian legends (Niulang and Osiris)

Snake is water, and related to immortality and darkness as indicated by mayan and incas ritual human sacrifice for the soul to descend to underworld rather than upperworld. Water and fire is in fact convertable, in high level of combustion, the nuclear fission: The fire came from isotope water.

There is no evidence that the association of an animal with heavenly features preceded, or even coincided with, the worship of that animal as a representation of some facet of the culture's environment.

In assuming the animal forms present at Gobekli Tepe have some relationship with the heavens you are, however, making that assumption.

Due to it being unlikely that the earliest cultures worshipping animals would have knowledge of "high levels of combustion, such as nuclear fission", then it is unlikely the 'convertibility' of fire and water was an early aspect of elemental symbology.

As Gobekli Tepe precedes the symbological beliefs you appear to be speaking of, assuming the symbols carry the same representation as that belief is a little speculative.

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It may be part of modern fantasy but I wouldn't mention it without some connection. They may not be the best sources but they're the best i could do right now. Point is that serpent worship in Africa could be the very first worship of any kind.

http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.enchantedlearning.com/agifs/Afrockpython_bw2.GIF&imgrefurl=http://dearkitty.blogsome.com/2006/12/03/70000-years-old-python-sanctuary-in-botswana/&usg=__rKzJDugj2PEiVR16twX4Ddv0DjM=&h=357&w=408&sz=8&hl=en&start=3&itbs=1&tbnid=cjLdVvA6ylmUBM:&tbnh=109&tbnw=125&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dbotswana%252Bserpent%2Bworship%26hl%3Den%26gbv%3D2%26tbs%3Disch:1

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:HMUBGS5OKDkJ:teacherweb.com/CA/OliverWendellHolmes/MrBryant/MySnakeCultsPresentation.ppt+botswana%2Bserpent+cult&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

That's interesting about Tiamet. I'll have to reread some of my archived sources. You've gotta love D&D though? Dungeon master strikes me as something of an Enki based character.

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