, 17 tweets, 11 min read Read on Twitter
#GobekliTepe‘s monumental T-pillars are actually giant #anthropomorphic sculptures. Got to admit that in the beginning of my work there, more than 12 yrs ago, I found it quite ... challenging to recognize this likeness. Until we finally excavated the 'hands & loincloth' part ...
Of course #NevaliCori‘s pillars were already known for some time, complete with hands and stola-like garments. But their abstracted and stylised appearance (still impressively expressionistic to me, by the way) made it a bit of a challenge to easily accept their human shape.
Why am I telling all this? Because there is another find which early on helped me better seeing and understanding this human likeness. I am, of course, talking about the so-called #Kilisik-sculpture found near #Adiyaman in Turkey in the 1960s.
(Whose find history already is quite interesting, by the way. Dug by a local farmer, the sculpture was bought by two archaeology students stumbling upon it during an excursion and brought to the Adiyaman Archaeological Museum.)
Without any analogy the #Kilisik sculpture remained an oddity and was largely forgotton. Until the excavations at #NevaliCori and #GobekliTepe highlighted a completely new form of sculpture: The early Neolithic T-Pillars.
And although we do not know much about its context, the #Kilisik sculpture could be considered a very special occurence among these #Neolithic depictions since it seems to combine elements of very different types of known #sculptures:
1. Although with a height of about only 80 cm significatly smaller, it shares the rather abstract T-form of the much larger, up to 5.5 m high T-pillars, including the depiction of arms on the sides and hands above the belly.
2. The face however, in particular the emphasized nose, resembles abroup of more naturalistic, often life-sized (or smaller) human sculptures, of which the one from Urfa-#YeniMahalle (so-called #UrfaMan) maybe the best known example:

From #GöbekliTepe there are known at least numerous stone heads whose breaking edges suggest that the originally could have been part of similar sculptures once:

3. Finally, the character of the Kilisik sculpture combining a larger figure grabbing a smaller one by its head below, again reminds of the find of a peculiar composite sculpture from Göbekli Tepe:

And ... before you start, I‘m really sorry, but all #Alien #Xenomorph jokes already had been made. 🤷🏻‍♂️😉
Wow, that picked up some pace. 😱 Thanks for your interest in our research!

Had no idea people could find this part particularly interesting - maybe we should communicate more often how we arrive at our interpretations ...
No soundcloud or TED talk to share, but there's plenty more #GobekliTepe research over at our project's weblog, in case you would like to check this out instead:

And since you're apparently here for the #Kilisik sculpture, make sure to also have a look over there at the available 3D scan and additional info at @WWU_Muenster's Archaeological Museum!

Owed rather unclear find circumstances there's not much literature about the #Kilisik sculpture, but H. Hauptmann give's a good overview in his "Frühneolithische Kultbilder in der Kommagene" (Wagner (ed.), Gottkönige am Euphrat, expanded new ed. 2012):

And Hodder and Meskell discuss its characteristic features (and their interpretation) as well in "A 'Curious and Sometimes a Trifle Macabre Artistry'" (Current Anthropology 52(2), 2011):

Um, not sure this is something people would be interested in ... but there actually are prints available of that initial watercolor sketch over there at @redbubble. Just saying. 😉

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