Friday, October 4, 2019

Religion by Katherine Pym


Fanciful rendition, Babylon Ziggurat
Religion has been extremely important to mankind since what seems the onset of our species. Spiritual markings abound in caves, on megaliths or stone circles with no markings, but we surmise them as ritualistic. Ziggurats, or step pyramids are scattered around the world. Symbols and worshipful edifices continue to this day. They are evidence of mankind’s need for religion.

Gobekli Tepe dig purposefully buried
Another look at Gobekli Tepe dig
One of the oldest places of worship is Gobekli Tepe (circa 11,000-13,000 BCE depending on the source), located in what is now Turkey, predates the Egyptian pyramids by several thousand years. New data says it even predates farming. One expert feels it was built as a religious monument, which brought farming & civilization. This is opposite from earlier thought of hunter gatherers to farming. No writing exists on the site, so no one knows for sure.

Curiously constructed, then strangely buried, a smaller version was built on top of it, and so it went over the centuries. The footprint became smaller until people put icons of the bull in their homes, which kept a constant reminder of their beliefs. By this time, the entire site of Gobekli Tepe had been purposefully buried.

Then Sumer (oldest part of Mesopotamia) came along approx. 5000 BCE, which is quite a span of time between the two. Based between the Tigris & Euphrates rivers, it is considered by many to be the cradle of civilization. Also known as Sumeria, they suspect these people came from the Indus Valley (Pakistan and NW India). They were a devout group who developed writing, the wheel. Some say they developed hydraulics. They perfected irrigation, planted during the inundation, which was the winter melt originating in Turkey.

Tigris Euphrates
Artist rendition of ancient Sumer

The Sumerians were an advanced species who worshiped a denizen of gods, many of which were at one time kings or queens. They believed in many things we recognize. They have a battle between the gods in the heavens, a Moses, a flood, and sacrifice. They developed law codes that were in part similar to the 10 Commandments. They built ziggurats for high priests and the elite to worship which were the forerunner of the pyramids, but not for burial purposes. 

Mayan Step Pyramid so much like Sumer's Ziggurats

 In many ways our modern world meets old civilizations in thought and beliefs. Man has always worshiped a god, several or one. We are connected by these beliefs attached to early man. The concept is fascinating. 


  1. Fascinating bit here. Keep writing your great books

  2. Amazing. Interesting and thought provoking as usual, Katherine. Thank goodness we have historians, storytellers and archaeologists so that this information keeps going.


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