Gobekli Tepe pillar art in structural analysis

Below are some Gobekli Tepe pillar engravings, and related artworks, demonstrating archetypal structuralist art analysis (after Edmond Furter; Mindprint, 2014, Lulu.com, 200 illustrations, about $28). The site in Turkey is dated about BC 8000 based on mud plaster, but some researchers date it BC 6000, since local soil contain pre-civilisation debris.

The animal top centre on the famous pillar D43 is a fox burrowing to the right. It expresses type 15 Maker or Gemini, which is canid in 12% of artworks worldwide. This update corrects its earlier interpretation based on lower resolution photos, as an animal rampant to the left. Two dents on its head, on the right, are not misplaced eyes, but probably ancient damage. See a new paper on the archaeo astronomy of Gobekli art, on http://www.stoneprint.wordpress.com and with larger images on Academia.edu.
See structuralist analyses of buildings, villages, temples, complexes, pyramid fields, geoglyphs and cities, including Gobekli Tepe houses plans, and the Gobekli Tepe village plan, at http://www.stoneprint.wordpress.com

The book Stoneprint, the human code in art, buildings and cities (2016, 400 pages, 130 illustrations), demonstrates that cultural grammar, or the periodic table of culture, is innate, and readable in all our works, including building site plans. It includes a chapter on Gobekli Tepe.

Gobekli Tepe pillar D43 in structuralist analysis. The animal top centre (labelled ge15) is a fox burrowing to the right. Type 15 Maker or Gemini is often canid, as its ‘decans’ Canis and Canis Minor are in myth and thus in the sky (photo after Bertholt Steinhilber /DAI. Season or cosmology labels and grid after Furter 2014, 2016. See houses plans, and the site plan, in Stoneprint, 2016, Four Equators Media, via edmondfurter at gmail dot com).

Pillar D43 is an Ice Age thaw styling portrait

Gobekli Tepe pillar D43 expresses the usual set of visual archetypes; in the standard sequence; with their eyes on the standard ocular (eye-to-eye) axial grid; with the two usual exceptions to a heart and a womb; and with the standard tri-polar structure, with the orientation of the cultural Age embedded. The implied time-frame is in the Younger Dryas, or Ice Age thaw, about 5000 years before Sumerian culture, but the artwork is later, as usual.

Type label; Characters on pillar D43 (noting archetypal features):

1 Builder or Taurus; Hut or keep (building), of reed bundles, for stock animals (See Inanna huts below. 1 /2 is/are bovid in 19% of artworks). Some stone figurines found nearby are of animals with loophole bodies for tying down a rope, like weights for leather hut covers in China, and trade weights in Babylonia.
2 Builder or Taurus; The same hut or keep as in 1, implying animals inside.
2c Basket; Spider hut totem (weave). In some emblems, this type is a crayfish (decan Cetus tail), since shape and posture is just as expressive as species.
3 Queen or Aries; Flamingo or bird (long-necked) hut totem.
4 King or Pisces; Water-bird or ibis (bird).
5a Priest or Aquarius; Water-bird’s heart (of 12 opposite), or the bird body forms a snake ‘tailcoat’ head (see John Baptist icons).
5b Priest or Aquarius; Bird, or vulture chick, with a ‘tailcoat’ body, nearest the pole (ingress is more usual at 6).
6 Exile or Capricornus; Triangular body, or ‘tailcoat’ head (more usual at 5).
7 Child or Sagittarius; Skin bag (bag), headless (decapitated), perhaps a skin stuffed with birds as a meat fermentation cache, as arctic people still make (BBC DVD: Human planet). Rock artists often expresses type 7 as a transforming ‘buck bag’ or cocoon.
7g Galactic Centre; Large bird’s neck (limb joint).
8 Healer or Scorpius; Large (large) bird.
9 Healer or Scorpius; Large (large) scorpion (rare, but some zodiacs express this option, not implying that the Gobekli Tepe pillar art is a zodiac; see my detailed paper cited above).
9c Basket Lid; Fox (caprid); decan Lupus, Wolf.
10 Teacher or Libra; Snake (snake); decan Serpens.
11 Womb or Virgo; abdomen (womb), of the vulture, a maternal animal. Vultures were, and still are in some areas, used to clear corpses, thus the abdomen could imply ancestors and rebirth.
12 Heart or Leo; Heart (heart) or pendant, opposite a heart-shaped body on the same axis.
13 Heart or Leo; Vulture (some characters express two or three types in minimalist artworks, usually by subconsciously placing the eye, heart and womb on the axial grid).
14 Mixer or Cancer; Small bird hut totem, far out (egress).

15 Gemini; Fox (canid), burrowing to the right, perhaps expressing the end of Age Gemini.

Axial centre; Sphere’s edge (juncture).

4p Galactic.S.Pole; Bird knee (limb joint). And front edge upper loincloth (juncture); decan Pegasus.

11p Galactic Pole; Vulture elbow (limb joint).

Midsummer; Sphere (juncture), on the vertical plane, on the axis analogous to Leo1, implying spring and the time-frame in Age Taurus1, as in some other late Ice Age artworks and buildings (some are demonstrated in the book Stoneprint). These features may support archaeological dating, however the rate of precession and obliquity at that time is uncertain (contrary to astronomy assumptions. See the Dodwell curve in the archaeo-astronomy paper cited above); and works are usually framed in the age prior, when the artist’s culture is assumed to have formed.
Cosmology and myths are aids to interpretation, but art is not astronomy, nor just illustration of myth or ritual or calendars. However constellations offer a good myth map, with some inbuilt optionality. For example, Sagittarius could be a chariot, centaur, bag, newborn antelope, or teapot (the latter is not recurrent and thus not archetypal). The pillar edge or ‘face’, below the loincloth (decan Pegasus?), has another spider or frog carving (analogous to type 4p Galactic South Pole at the Cetus spout), perhaps expressing the triple polar alignment on the Pisces-Virgo axis in Age Gemini-Taurus.

Sumerian Inana huts of the Uruk period in Babylonia, from a cylinder seal engraving rollout. Many details agree with the Gobekli Tepe huts or 'baskets' in the pillar D43 engraving; arched top, two central pillars, animal totems suspended above, reed weave, and lattice texture. The protruding posts here hold Inana rosettes and banners. Similar huts are still built in marshes in Iraq.
Sumerian Inana huts of the Uruk period in Babylonia, from a cylinder seal engraving rollout. Many details agree with the Gobekli Tepe huts or ‘baskets’ in the pillar D43 engraving; arched top, two central pillars, animal totems suspended above, reed weave, and lattice texture. The protruding posts here hold Inanna rosettes and banners. Remaining marsh Arabs still build similar huts in Iraq.

Ancient domestic technology

A row of Inanna temple huts in a Babylonian cylinder seal imprint, resemble the Gobekli hut shapes; and resemble the suspended totem animals (here alongside Inanna rosette poles); and the woven reed textures in the landscape; and the two central pillars in the houses.
Pairs of pillars, as of Samson, or Hercules, express daily and yearly poles, as in cosmology. Gobekli huts may have had beams of reed bundles, as legendary Noah’s ark had; or adobe shells or half-shells. Biblical ‘gopher’ is from KPR, perhaps bitumen tar, not ‘wood’. Revival of species was probably a major Younger Dryas theme, retained in legends and myths such as of Noah’s ark.

Gobekli Tepe pillar H56 (image after Nico Bekker /DAI. Typology numbers with cosmology or season labels, and axial grid by E Furter, updated 2017. The initial analysis in 2014 contained some errors due to the low resolution photo available at the time). The small heart circle on type 12 Heart or Leo, and the womb circle on type 11 Womb or Virgo, are added for clarity.

Gobekli Tepe pillar H56 expresses axial Age Gemini-Taurus spring


The relief carving on Gobekli Tepe pillar H56 is one of the only two complex artworks discovered at the site (and of the Younger Dryas era worldwide) up to 2018. The first structuralist analysis of it (in Mindprint, 2014) was made on a low resolution night photograph available at the time. A tracing made by the archaeology team on site enabled better identification of the species, and the position of their eyes, and a more definitive structuralist analysis. Polar markers and the resulting Age Gemini calibration, is unaffected by the update.

The number of known isolated optional features doubled in 2017, after papers on various themes in rock art and art history published in the anthropology journal Expression. Average rates of expression of more optional features became known from statistics of a larger sample of artworks and rock art works worldwide (the April 2017 review was slightly adjusted after a review of 50 miniature artworks on cylinder seals, stamps and seal rings in Stoneprint Journal in 2018). This review of subconscious structuralist elements in pillar H56 uses the 2017 caption format standard (more detailed than the informal format in earlier posts).

The general theme in House H may express type 15g Gate, the galactic ‘gate’ on Gobekli Hill (see notes on the general theme on this artwork below). Archetypes in the Gobekli Tepe pillar H56 relief engraving of about BC 8000 or BC 6000 are listed below.

Type label; Character (noting archetypal features):

1 Builder or Taurus; Hippopotamus B (bovid). And large central bird (bird).

2 Builder or Taurus; Bird C (bird), preening (twisted, in a group of four (cluster).

2c Basket; Bird B (c-types are usually off the axial grid, but in their sectors).

3 Queen or Aries; Bird A, sitting (more typical of 4). And hippopotamus A (‘dragon’?). And the large central snake, probably an Arabian Horned viper (dragon). The eyes of the species sit near the front of the head.

4 King or Pisces; Bird E (bird), sitting (squatting). And bird F (bird, twins), sitting (squatting).

4 King or PiscesB; Bird G (bird), in a row of four (twins), with two chicks (twins).

5a Priest or Aquarius; Small bird. On the pillar front edge here is a bovid skull (tailcoat head?). And bird G’s chest (heart, of 12 opposite).

5c Basket Tail; Snakes or eels (weave).

6 Exile or Capricornus; Snake (reptile), perhaps an Arabian viper (horned), or eel (amphibian, snake-dragon), far from the centre (egress).

7 Child or Sagittarius; Small bird (juvenile) or hatchling (unfolding). And small antelope (juvenile), perhaps an ibex (horned, of 6).

7g Galactic Centre: Foreground (path or water), or bird beak (limb joint).

8 Healer or Scorpius; Bird with wings forward (bent forward).

9 Healer or Scorpius; Bird bent (bent forward).

10 Teacher or Libra; Bird.

11 Womb or Virgo; Bird, axis to her midriff (womb).

11 Womb or VirgoB; Hippopotamus G midriff (womb, water).

12 Heart or Leo; Hippoptamus E’s chest (heart, water-work); decan Ursa.

13c BasketHead; Hippopotamus D; decan Ursa Minor.

14 Mixer or Cancer; Hippopotamus C with open jaw and canine tooth upward, or a rhinoceros or elephant; decan Ursa Minor. And a large snake; decan Hydra.

15 Maker or Gemini; Vulture spread (rampant), or “crane eating a snake” (Schmidt 2012). Rear-facing (subconsciously expressing Age Gemini end?). Nearer the centre, but ingress is more typical of type 14.

Extra characters; Five birds and ten snakes. See notes on the general theme below.

Axial centre; Unmarked as usual.

4p Galactic South Pole; bird neck (an unusual limb ‘joint’) or snake jaw (limb joint).

11p Galactic Pole: Hippopotamus G’s jaw (limb joint); decan Ursa retro as a jaw. And hippopotamus F.

Midwinter; Crane beak (limb-joint). The horizontal plane (orientation) confirms ‘summer’ in Virgo, thus implying ‘spring’ and the cultural time-frame in Age Gemini, confirmed by the top central type; probably expressing the era before the work as usual. In later Age Taurus works, the summer position is sometimes marked by a spread bird (which in myth, calendars and astronomy appears as the decan, or supporting ‘determinant’ character of Ursa or Ursa Minor; as an eagle in Mesopotamian art; or as the pregnant hippopotamus Taweret in Egyptian art (see the Seti I astronomical ceiling in Mindprint, and in one of my papers in Expression; or a bear in classical European myth, or a horse in some Renaissance emblems). In Age Gemini, Ursa Minor was probably a spring marker, which could be tested if about 50 Younger Dryas artworks may become available.

General subconscious themes in this pillar engraving include type 7g Galactic Centre (water, gate, juncture, path, and the point from where visual inspiration may unfold); and its opposite 15g Galactic Gate (churn, gate, river, juncture, path; where two equators cross, and where the celestial equator also crossed in Age Gemini-Taurus, the axial age of re-creation after the very long Ice Age). The two g-points are on the vertical axis of the work. The conscious theme may include spring migration, confirmed by the top central position of type 15 Maker or Gemini.

Another general subconscious theme in Gobekli Tepe art and the village, is the four half-types, 2c Basket (container, snakes, secret), 5c Basket Tail, 9c Basket Lid (revelation, disc, snake), and 13c Basket Head (prediction, time precession). The site may have been an oracle (compare similar themes at much later Greek oracles, and their scenes in art, in Mindprint; and in Delphi’s Apollo precinct (in press), and in a Zimbabwe oracle rock art panel).

Seven hippopotami and many birds set yet another general theme, of circumpolar characters (see the note on decan Usa as a bird, or as the pregnant hippopotamus Taweret, above, and in another post).

Correspondences revealed by structuralist analyses are too many, too holographic (inter-dependent), and too embedded in several media, to support the paradigm of cultural ‘invention’ development, adoption and diffusion’. Only archetypal inspiration could sustain the five levels of structure revealed here, and demonstrated in the art, rock art, building sites, calendars, myth and cosmology of all cultures and all eras. The number of structuralist analysis examples already exceed 600, of which about 300 have been published. The five structural layers of expression are subconscious to artists, architects, builders and members of any culture.

The above analysis will be included in Stoneprint edition Two, with a score for testing the validity of about 100 recurrent features in visual media.

The polar ‘clock’ usually indicates the age prior to the work, thus the age of the formation of the artist’s culture. Calibrators in art are never detailed enough for dating.

Arabian horned viper. Its head resembles the Gobekli snake carvings (after Daines 2017). Its horns incidentally express type 6 Capricornus (often horned, sometimes a reptile, amphibian, or snake-like dragon).
Kurdish engraving of rows of huts, perhaps totems. Compare to the row of huts engraved on Gobekli Tepe pillar D43. (Mindprint labels and axial grid by Edmond Furter. Based on the book Mindprint, 2014, Lulu.com).
Kurdish engraving of rows of huts, perhaps totems. Compare to the row of huts engraved on Gobekli Tepe pillar D43. (Cosmology or momth labels with archetypal numbers, and axial grid by E Furter. After the book Mindprint, 2014, Lulu.com).

Popular hut technology

Interpretation of some Gobekli Tepe pillar art features, is informed by a Kurdish stele with relief engravings (after HPG. Xakk.org. Seasonal or cosmology labels with archetypal numbers, and axial grid by E Furter). Compare the three levels of rooms, to three-layered Inana temple huts. Birds above and below recall bird navigators of Noah’s ark. Birds were important scouts of land and vegetation re-emerging in the Younger Dryas thaw. The bird below left perches on a T-shaped pillar, as at Gobekli. Here it expresses type 7 Child or Sagittarius, its head over a reed bundle or rope. Type 11 Womb or Virgo is a bird egg, and bird womb. People in the middle register each have a bench, as in Gobekli houses.

* See papers on Gobekli Tepe art and buildings, and the implications for science and culture, on http://www.stoneprint.wordpress.com and related papers in the anthropology journal Expression, volume 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, Atelier Etno, Italy.
* See structuralist art analysis method, in context with philosophy, structural anthropology, depth psychology, and art history, with 200 demonstrations, in Furter, ED, 2014; Mindprint, the subconscious art code, Lulu.com, USA, about $28.
* Order the book Stoneprint (2016) via edmondfurter at gmail dot com.

  • See updates on structuralist analyses of Pictish beasts, crop circles, Paris, and London, in Stoneprint Journal editions. The edition featuring London is available from Lulu.com, 24 pages.

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