What is the oldest man-made structure in the world?

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The oldest man-made structure can be found in one of the most important archaeological sites ever found. It is a megalithic temple dating from before the onset of agriculture.

And the oldest man-made structure is …

In 2017, we were talking about the oldest idol in the world. It was about the idol of shigir, found in 1890 in a bog near Lake Shigir in Siberia. 11,000 years old and measuring 5.30 m, it is housed in the Museum of History and Archeology of the City of Yekaterinburg (Russia). What about the oldest man-made structure? The question was asked on the platform Quora January 9, 2021.

According to former telecom engineer Christophe Gourraud, the oldest artificial structure known to date is located in Göbekli Tepe, an archaeological site in south-eastern Anatolia (Turkey). Discovered in 1962, this site really began to interest archaeologists in the 1990s when they realized its importance and quickly multiplied the excavations.

While only part of the site has been updated, experts believe it is a cultural site. Nevertheless, there is no for the moment no proof allowing to be absolutely certain. In order to be certain, we would have to find traces of habitat.

Credit: Sue Fleckney / Flickr

A still very mysterious site

The archaeological site of Göbekli Tepe consists of concentric circles with T-shaped pillars of 6 m high in the rock. According to specialists, these represent human forms, because some have low reliefs. Logically, it took hundreds of people over several centuries to erect these megalithic structures. However, because the latter date from before agriculture and animal husbandry, the humans at work were no doubt hunter-gatherers.

The construction of these structures would have started no later than the tenth millennium Before our era. However, some archaeologists believe the site to be even older. During the 7th millennium, it was abandoned and buried underground possibly due to the emergence of new cults related to agriculture.

Göbekli Tepe is undoubtedly one of the most important archaeological sites never found on Earth. The megalithic structures of this first known temple dating from before agriculture call into question the theories that experts have forged about our ancestors. In 2017, a study focused on skulls dating from around 11,000 years old found on this site. These seven fragments of three Neolithic skulls had voluntary grooves. For the researchers, this was a unique type of post-mortem modification made with a flint tool. However, the reasons for the presence of these grooves still remain a real mystery today.

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