Göbekli Tepe

We often forget, that what we know of history, evolution, etc., is only the small fraction that we’ve found out of the small fraction of what’s left to be found. In other words; we take things for true and established that are a minute fraction of what was and don’t necessarily represent “truth”. For example, all the bones of the skeletons we use to trace our evolution fit in one pickup truck. I’m sure we’re missing some hugely important parts.

In that vein, this incredible find:

Standing on the hill at dawn, overseeing a team of 40 Kurdish diggers, the German-born archeologist waves a hand over his discovery here, a revolution in the story of human origins. Schmidt has uncovered a vast and beautiful temple complex, a structure so ancient that it may be the very first thing human beings ever built. The site isn’t just old, it redefines old: the temple was built 11,500 years ago—a staggering 7,000 years before the Great Pyramid, and more than 6,000 years before Stonehenge first took shape. The ruins are so early that they predate villages, pottery, domesticated animals, and even agriculture—the first embers of civilization. In fact, Schmidt thinks the temple itself, built after the end of the last Ice Age by hunter-gatherers, became that ember—the spark that launched mankind toward farming, urban life, and all that followed. (Emphasis mine)

…Enthusing over the “huge great stones and fantastic, highly refined art” at Göbekli, Hodder—who has spent decades on rival Neolithic sites—says: “Many people think that it changes everything… It overturns the whole apple cart. All our theories were wrong.
History in the Remaking

Of course the whole thing could be based on some dating error…

[Update] There’s a photo set on Smithsonian magazine’s site (via Kottke)