Karahan Tepe and Caves: “the Birthplace of Architecture” is connected to Bunker-like Caves

It is starting to look as if secure rock shelters or bunkers are at the core of the development of human civilisation. 

Karahan Tepe is one of the oldest known megalith archeological sites in the world; dated to at least 9,100 BC (disputed up to 10,000 BC).

It is believed to be a village with a temple or astronomical structure with subterranean enclosures and megalith pillars, similar to its sister site Gobekli Tepe, which is located about 50 Kilometres away, also near the Harran Plain in the Şanlıurfa Province, in South-Eastern Turkey. Leading archeologist Dr. Necmi KARUL considers Karahan Tepe as the location of “the beginning of architecture.”

Excavations at Karahan Tepe began only in 2019 and the first results were recently presented. 

Disclaimer: The following images and descriptions are from Andrew Collins. However, Colins does not indicate that he shares my views that part of the importance of the site were the nearby caves to be used as actual fall-out shelters or bunkers for celestial or atmospheric catastrophes. 

The main structures in Karahan Tepe as well as at Gobekli Tepe are not underground, but today open subterranean enclosures. As of today, there are no known caves directly beneath any of these sites, however, only a small portion of either of the sites have been excavated below the most prominent layers so far.

According to Collins, the architectural arrangements of the main temple or shrine point to a nearby small hill. 

This hill, called Kecili Tepe, is about two kilometres north from Karahan Tepe (half an hour walk). On the top are the  only known caves in the entire area.

There are two large caves and one small one, the latter is a natural rock fissure. Andrew Collins crawled through narrow passageways for a distance of perhaps 15 to 20 metres. The biggest cave forms a chamber that could hold about 30 people with a small entrance the size of a normal door, it was carved on the inside with rectangular corners and a perfectly plane floor. It has not been determined how much of these spaces are man-made and what portion of them are natural. The way they present themselves today, they both have the structure of modern-day military bunkers/ shelters, they are shaped in a very similar way as the ancient underground cities of Derinkuyu,  also in souther Turkey, which once could shelter 20,000 people.

Near one of the entrances on the hill, there is also a large rectangular stone slab with an 18-inch round hole, the slab is currently used to cover a well outside the cave. The hole looks much like a “soul hole” of a dolmen, wide enough for an adult to crawl through. It has not been investigated whether this slab could once have been used to cover the entrance doorway of one of the caves, which would create a very similar setting as in many dolmens. These holes can be seen best in the well-preserved dolmen sites in the Caucasus region.  

In my article Dolmens as Shelters/ bunkers for celestial fallout events, I presented my hypothesis that dolmens and other megalith structures and artificial caves were initially built as shelters for astronomical fall out events, atmospheric catastrophes, electrical discharge events, solar flairs etc. and only in later millennia were sometimes reused as burial structures. 

The fact that yet another megalith site of disputed purpose – and in this case the oldest known sites of its kind – is connected to a well- suited cave, may provide reinforcement to the original theory. 

The locations of the sites of Karahan Tepe and Gobekli Tepe (at ca. 700 m altitude) are comparable to those of many dolmens: near the top of mellow hills in protected from flooding. 

This are some of the newly excavated parts of the main site of Karahantepe, in Turkey’s southeastern province of Şanlıurfa:

The main enclosures of Karahan Tepe after excavation.

16 & 17. Left, the entrance to Keçili Tepe’s cave WS1 and, right, its opening chamber (pic credits: Andrew Collins, 2015).

“Two more caves were located on Keçili Tepe’s western slope. The entrance to one (designated Western Slope or WS1) is clearly carved with a rounded top and straight sides. It easily allows access into a fairly large chamber, which although natural in origin has been deliberately enhanced in its northwest and southwest corners to create a crude rectilinear finish. The chamber is about 9 metres (30 feet) across, with an internal height of around 3 metres (10 feet).”

“A further cave (designated Western Slope or WS2) existed just 15 metres (50 feet) to the north of the one mentioned above. It also has an enhanced entrance, and inside this was an opening chamber that seemed larger and more spread out than its neighbour.”

18. Composite image of The interior of Keçili Tepe cave WS 2 (pic credit: Andrew Collins, 2015).


13. Stone slab with a hole covering the well at Keçili Tepe.
Measure in inches.(pic credit: Andrew Collins, 2015)

“Also close to the first cave explored was a deep beehive structure cut out of the bedrock (designated the name Beehive Cave or BC 1), its only visible point of access being an overhead hole around 0.75 metres (2.5 feet) in diameter. A measuring device showed that the drop from the opening to the covering of rock debris at the bottom of the shaft was around 2.3 metres (7.5 feet).”

“One suggestion put to me is that the structure was created for the purposes of underground grain storage, a large stone being placed over the hole to both seal and disguise its location.”

Left, the entrance to the beehive cave on Keçili Tepe and, right, a glance inside the beehive structure. Note the regularity of the circular aperture and interior structure (pic credits: Andrew Collins, 2015).

With an appropriate movable stone door or stone blocks in the entrance, the large two caves could be used as fall out shelters for protection from natural disasters in a quality comparable to a modern day military-grade bunker. 

The local farmer told Andrew Collins that in modern days, the caves are used to put animals in in very bad weather or in winter. (see 23:00 ANDREW COLLINS UNPACKS MAJOR NEW DISCOVERIES AT KARAHAN TEPE, GÖBEKLI TEPE’S SISTER SITE)

I suggest that this is exactly what the neolith settlers did with humans here, to protect people from extreme weather and other terminal natural disasters. 

A small underground cave is also present in the nearby site of the same age called Harbetsuvan Tepesi.

A small-scale cult centre in Southeast Turkey: Harbetsuvan Tepesi B. Çelik @article{elik2016ASC,; Bahattin M. Çelik; 2016; A small-scale cult centre in Southeast Turkey: Harbetsuvan Tepesi,; Documenta Praehistorica; volume 43, pp.421-428
For comparison fron of a Dolmen in Russia

Categories: Allgemein

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