Göpeti Tepli, Askili Höyük, and Chaco CanyonPosted: December 15, 2020
Reading up on some of these Turkish archaeological sites. Göbekli Tepe is sometimes described as “the world’s oldest town,” but it may have been more like a ritual site that people went to sometimes, rather than lived in all the time. I’m not totally up on recent archaeological literature about the sites, but they seem to have been something more like seasonal or periodic gathering places. This was around 9,000 BCE.
Askili Höyük, similar deal.
People who were still hunter gatherers, or at least semi-nomadic, would gather seasonally or sometimes at these places, to build, do ceremonies maybe, and party.
The time frame is completely off, but I wonder if the concept of these sites can be applied to Chaco Canyon, in what’s now New Mexico, which was peaking in around 900 AD.
Steve Lekson, who wrote several books on Chaco and the ancient Southwest, suggests Chaco was more permanent, something like a Mesoamerican city state.
Jared Diamond, in Collapse, presents Chaco in “city” terms as well.
But what if it was more like the playa of Burning Man than like Chichen Itza or Teotihuacan?
If it wasn’t a city, but a ceremonial/festival/party location for people who were still semi-nomadic?
Or what if it were a city, but one like Las Vegas, with locals who ran the place but a big, shifting population of tourists?
What if there’s a stage between “primitive hunter gatherer bands” and “agricultural early cities” that’s like “semi agricultural nomads who occasionally meet to party”? Just musing!