Yet another abrupt switch in topics, but this just came across my desktop, and I found it fascinating. An 11,500 year old fairly massive structure was found in southeastern Turkey. No evidence of a permanent settlement. The food remains seem to be from wild animals and plants. From the article:
According to the German archaeologist in charge of excavations at the site, it might be the birthplace of agriculture, of organized religion — of civilization itself.
“This is the first human-built holy place,” Klaus Schmidt of the German Archaeological Institute says in the November issue of Smithsonian magazine.
Schmidt and his colleagues say no evidence of permanent settlement has been found at the site, although there are remains of butchered animals and edible plants.
However, all of the bones are from wild animals, and all the vegetation from wild plants. That means the massive structure was built by a hunter-gatherer society, not a settled agricultural one.
It is not spelled out what specifically led Schmidt to believe this to be a holy place, but it would be fairly easy to guess. It seems likely that the social organization and time required for something like this could have been one of the contributing factors to the birth of an agricultural society and civilization, as the article suggests. One wonders what they were thinking? What could have inspired a hunter gatherer people to invest the resources into erecting several ton ten foot monoliths. Perhaps it was this:
Kudos to those who recognize this classic.