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Faith arrived earlier than thought PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Johnston   
Sunday, 28 February 2010 22:54

Standing Stones in Turkey

There is an amazing article in the March edition of Newsweek telling of the latest archaeological finds in Turkey that seem to be turning our understanding of human development, civilisation and religious expression on its head.

The archaeologist Klaus Schmidt has dated these complex Temple structures (many of which still lay buried, though sensors can detect them underground) to 11,500 years ago. That is twice the age of Stonehenge and 7,000 years older than the Great Pyramids.

The ruins are so early that they predate villages, pottery, domesticated animals, and even agriculture—the first embers of civilization. In fact, Schmidt thinks the temple itself, built after the end of the last Ice Age by hunter-gatherers, became that ember—the spark that launched mankind toward farming, urban life, and all that followed.

Rather than organised religion, centred around places of worship being one of the developments that came after the formation of settled communities, as has been argued for many years, maybe it was the need to worship together that was the catalyst for settled communities.

It lends the shorter catechism's first question even more depth: What is the chief end of man? Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

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