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When Shermer pressed him to explain what he means by “advanced” Hancock replied: “I am saying that a group of people settled amongst the hunter-gatherers and transferred some skills for them.” When I came into the debate later and pushed him on this same issue of how an allegedly advanced civilization could lack all the features of other such societies, such as metallurgy, he demurred: “I do not make that claim.Hancock may call this reporting, but Shermer was not satisfied by such chicanery when he questioned Hancock on why the hunter-gatherers at Göbekli Tepe were not taught the “secrets of metal workings.” Hancock had no explanation as to why the hunter-gatherers at Göbekli Tepe knew nothing about metals, or even pottery, nor did he reply to Shermer’s numerous requests for a definition of an “advanced civilization” that lacked writing, metallurgy, or ceramics.Schmidt and his colleagues have arduously documented the use of flint tools for the construction of Göbekli Tepe, and none of the hundreds of thousands of animal bones and cereals found in the backfill from the lowest levels show any signs of domestication— they are all wild species.Not only is clay pottery absent, the site contans no evidence of any metal or metal workings.The obvious reason for this is that clay pottery and metals are typical of more advanced cultures.The main features of Göbekli Tepe are the T-shaped 7– to 10-ton monolithic pillars cut and hauled from crystalline limestone quarries on the tepe (hill) and erected within 10– to 20-meter ring structures made of rocks annealed by clay mortar that encircle the pillars.

The stone statues are clearly anthropomorphic— arms and hands can be seen on the sides of the pillars reaching around to the front.

Figure 1: Excavators uncover one of many circular enclosures at Göbekli Tepe.

Two large T-shaped pillars over 5m (16 feet) high typically stand in the middle of the ring with smaller pillars facing them.

is a remarkable archaeological site called Göbekli Tepe in Turkey dated to 11,600 years ago.

He contends Göbekli Tepe is too advanced to have been built by hunter-gatherers alone, and must therefore have been constructed with the help of people from a more advanced civilization.

For example, Hancock calls these ancient peoples the “Watchers” (aka the “Magicians”) in a section titled “Mystery of the Nephilim”: The Watchers begin their development project in quite small ways, teaching “charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots” to humans, and making them “acquainted with plants.” This sounds fairly harmless; apart from a bit of “enchantment,” it’s not really above and beyond the basic hunter-gatherer level of skills.