The oldest pictogram discovered in Göbekli Tepe

The oldest pictogram discovered in Göbekli Tepe


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Among the many excavations being carried out in the ancient city of Göbekli Tepe, in Turkey, recently a pictogram has been discovered on an obelisk, which according to the researchers podit might be the oldest of all the have been found.

It is an image that conveys a certain meaning thanks to its resemblance to a physical object. They are images that are normally found in pictographic writing, such as hieroglyphs or other characters that also used ancient Sumerian and Chinese civilizations, but it is not something of the past given that some cultures still unliterate, which we can find in Africa, America of the South and Oceania are still using them.

According to Müslüm Ercam, director of the Sanliurfa Museum and director of the excavation, “The obelisk scene unearthed in Göbekli Tepe could be interpreted as the first pictogram since it represents what we consider to be a completely thematic event”.

This pictogram represents a human head on the wing of a vulture and a headless human body under its wake. We also find other figures such as scorpions and cranes around the main figure, being the representation of a specific moment. We know that these are not random figures since we have seen representations painted on the walls between 6,000 and 5,000 years ago BC. in Çatalhöyük, what is now western Turkey.

In this city different objects and artifacts have been found that have given infinity of information on the ancient funeral traditions of the moment, where the bodies were left in the open to be consumed by raptors, such as the vulture mentioned in the pictogram.

This tradition allowed the soul of the deceased was taken to heaven, something that was considered a burial in heaven. They were rituals that were already done about 12,000 years ago and the objects found have not been seen before anywhere else in the world, so they are the first to be discovered.

According to experts, this city was almost certainly dedicated solely to a ritual use and not to be occupied by humans. Much research still needs to be done, but it will surely continue to provide useful information, although for now, and since the discovery is very recent, there is not much more information to share, but according to the researchers, it will not take too long.

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Video: What is Goebekli Tepe. Klaus Schmidt. TEDxPrague


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