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Gobeklitepe, Shigir Idol, American Pacific Northwest totems are related by migrations: genetical proof


By Mehmet Kurtkaya, Published on July 1, 2019

Shigir Idol face Shigir Idol Image from Wikimedia

Gobeklitepe is related to ...

The most ancient wooden sculpture in the world, The Shigir Idol, 9600 BC. It was Found in the Urals, Russia in 1894. The totem pole is contemporaneous with Gobeklitepe, southeast Turkey, some 2500 kilometers away.


Gobeklitepe is one of the most interesting archaeological sites in the world, opening a window into the life and spiritual world of hunter-gatherers at the boundary of the transition to sedentary lifestyle. The Tepe Telegrams is a great blog run by Gobeklitepe archaeologists.

In "What is the connection between Gobeklitepe and ...?" written in July 2017, Gobeklitepe archaeologist Oliver Dietrich argued, like most other archaeologists, that there is no connection between Gobeklitepe and other similar cultures around the world except the ones in Southeast Turkey and Northern Syria.

This seemed like a case of "pots, not people" motto denying migrations as a reason for cultural similarities among distant civilizations. This motto had become the norm in the 20th century and still continues to this day in the 21st century even when archaeogenetics revolution of the last twenty years proved that the scientific reality is the exact opposite.

"Interrelatedness is a result of migrations!" I had exclaimed in my reply in the comments section of his blog post, just like I had shown on my website and my book Sumerian Turks: Civilization's Journey from Siberia to Mesopotamia first published in December 2016.

I had already suggested, based on existing data, that the migrations out of Siberia is central to the spread of advanced civilizations around the world, including the Sumerian. I had identified the population named as "Ancient North Eurasians" by geneticists as the key people in the founding of civilizations in Eurasia, Americas and the Near East.

To my comment: "... Sumerian civilization tells a lot about these societies. Compare them to animal life human progress in other parts and the similarities will appear very significant in terms of beliefs and social context/progress. And also the emergence of class society!"

Oliver Dietrich replied "...They are however not directly interrelated, and none of the sites mentioned is Sumerian."

To which I had replied among others:

"...Unfortunately people do not talk about the migrations of the last 25,000 years yet geneticists keep coming up with facts and proofs of these migrations out of Siberia/Central Asia. Otherwise impossible to explain similarities of totem poles in Northwest America and Gobekltepe, Shigir Idol Russia. Even a concept of totem pole is a very very unnatural thing that would require a set of thoughts and beliefs as well as social organization that cannot happen independant of each other. The last 50000 years is what made all major human changes possible and many migrations can be mapped since...."

This was in June 2017, before a series of ground-breaking genetics study results published in the last two years have further proven my research.

Totem pole of Gobeklitepe and totem poles in the American Pacific Northwest

It was already known that a totem pole-like stone pillar discovered in Gobeklitepe in 2010 was reminiscent of the totem poles in North America, especially, American Pacific Northwest, with animals on human heads. There is a similar pole in Nevali Cori in Southeast Turkey, not far from Gobeklitepe.

The ground breaking observations about Shigir Idol, Urals, Russia in 2018

Shigir Idol face
Shigir Idol is the name given to a wooden sculpture found during gold mining in the Shigir peat bog about 100km north of Yekaterinburg in Middle Urals, Russia.

In a very important research paper that sheds light to the religious and artistic expressions of hunter gatherers around 12,000 years ago,

Early art in the Urals: new research on the wooden sculpture from Shigir written by Mikhail Zhilin, Svetlana Savchenko, Svend Hansen, and Karl-Uwe Heussner, the relevance and meaning of the sculpture and related finds are discussed.

Towards the end of the paper we find a very important remark:

"South-east Anatolia, with sites such as Nevalı Çori and Göbekli Tepe, is therefore the only region besides the Urals where we find evidence for monumental anthropomorphic sculptures and animal representations of Early Holocene date (Figure 10). The finds from the Shigir peat bog indicate the existence of an impressive, elaborate tradition of art contemporaneous with that of south-east Anatolia. Early Holocene hunter-gatherers clearly inhabited a symbolic world with richer and more complex forms of artistic expression than was previously believed."

The connection between Shigir Idol in the Urals and Gobeklitepe in southeast Anatolia, is established in terms of artistic and symbolic expression even when there is a distance of about 2500 kilometers between the two sites!

The research paper was also discussed in a newspaper article which provides general information such as:

"Co-author Mikhail Zhilin of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow believes the idol shows local forest spirits. The zigzag patterns could be a “keep out!” warning to mark a dangerous or taboo space."

Genetic proof for the connection between Gobeklitepe, Shigir Idol and American Pacific Northwest totem poles

In May 2018, The Genetic Prehistory of the Greater Caucasus reported this surprising discovery:

"...the existence of a yet-to-be identified ancient north-central Eurasia population with a wide distribution between the Caucasus, Urals and the Pacific coast", of which they have discovered so far the southwestern-most and also the youngest genetic representative..."

The genetic ancestry of an individual in Maykop (Northern Caucasus) who relates to Native Americans, namely the Karitiana tribe from the Amazon forests in Brazil!

Another study published the same month, Damgaard et. al. paper remarked among many other major revelations about Central Asia:

"Intriguingly, we find that direct descendants of Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherers of Central Asia, now extinct as a separate lineage, survived well into the Bronze Age."

This and other ancient genome research papers kept on revealing new discoveries showing the extent and the time depth of the ancestry of the people dubbed as Ancient North Eurasians (ANE) among modern and ancient population throughout Eurasia.

The final evidence establishing the proof

The final evidence establishing the proof came with the ancient genome study titled "Paleolithic DNA from the Caucasus reveals core of West Eurasian ancestry" published online in September 2018 by Lazaridis et.al. where authors reported genome-wide data from two 26 thousand year old individuals from Dzudzuana Cave in Georgia in the Caucasus from around the beginning of the LGM (Last Glacial Maximum).

The analysis revealed the existence of Ancient North Eurasian ancestry in the Near East:

"..We document major population turnover in the Near East after the time of Dzudzuana, showing that the highly differentiated Holocene populations of the region were formed by ‘Ancient North Eurasian’ admixture into the Caucasus and Iran".

Caucasus Hunter Gatherers (CHG) in Satsurblia at 13.3 kya and Iran Neolithic in the Zagros mountains at 10kya had Siberian ANE ancestry!

Moreover, study authors revealed that "Caucasus hunter-gatherers (CHG) sampled in Georgia in Satsurblia and Kotias Klde caves near Dzudzuana were genetically intermediate between EHG and the first agriculturalists of Iran sampled from the Zagros mountains (Iran_N; ~10kya)".

It is already known that EHG known from samples near the Urals, albeit at a later date (Samara 7.5kya), do have ANE ancestry as well.

Gobeklitepe 11.6-8.6kya is equidistant to both locations where ANE ancestry is recorded Satsurblia (13.3 kya), Georgia and Zagros, Iran (10kya). It is also in the middle of these two locations along the north-south axis. Moreover, Zagros mountains are the continuation of the eastern Taurus mountains where Gobeklitepe is located.

The data clearly indicates the spread of ANE ancestry to the Near East between 13-10 kya at the latest.

Ancient North Eurasian Migrations

Siberian Ancestry in Sumerians is once more confirmed with this study



Siberian ancestry is found in the Zagros mountains, Iran Neolithic, as early as 8000 BC. The fact that Sumerian civilization was not authocthonous/indigenous is largely accepted by main stream archaeologists and many say that the Sumerians came from the Zagros mountains.

From my book published in December 2016, Sumerian Turks: Civilization's Journey from Siberia to Mesopotamia

"...And there is a stupid claim that these people, including Sumerians, came from the Zagros mountains, as if a mountain range in Iran is the end of the world and there is nothing beyond, say, like Central Asia or Siberia! We know Sumer had trading partners beyond Iran, such as India and Afghanistan."

The genetic research has proven my above statement two year after the publication of my book.

Since the people in Zagros are now known to have ancestry from Siberia, the main stream suggestion that they came from Zagros simply supports the Siberian origins of the Sumerian civilization! And for those who claim Sumerians came from the Caucasus, the above would still hold, they would still have ANE ancestry.

They came from Central Asia, Botai/Kelteminar mixed with Iranian farmers, which had ANE ancestry too. And there might have been a wave from the Caucasus too. And we know that direct descendants of ANE were alive during the Bronze Age, comptemporary with the Sumerian civilization.

The fact that Sumerians had Siberian ANE ancestry is certain even when we still do not have ancient genome data from Sumerians.

Only Ancient North Eurasian migrations may connect Gobeklitepe, Shigir Idol and American Pacific Northwest

The date for the start of ANE contribution to the Near East is between 24,000 BC (Dzudzuana without ANE) - 11,000 BC (Satsurblia with ANE) both located in Georgia, the Caucasus, and the Iran Neolithic from Zagros with ANE dated to around 8000BC, towards the end of the Gobeklitepe civilization.

Probable date range of ANE migration to the Near East also correspond to the Bering Land corridor migration events from Siberia to the Americas between 17,000-11,000 years ago, though later migrations via sea travel are also theorized to have taken place.

To sum up, the date range Ancient North Eurasian people swept into the Near East perfectly corresponds to the known Ancient North Eurasian migrations from Siberia to the Americas, and both migration events are proven with genetics science.

Ural - Near East connected through Central Asia, and may be Caucasus too, at least until the Sumerian period

The migration of people with Siberian ancestry into the Near East some time between 25,000-13,000 years ago was not a single isolated event.

I have already proven the original homeland of the Sumerians to be Central Asia. Lake Baikal is the area I had included along with the Lake Balkash and Altai mountains as the ancestral homeland of the Sumerian Turks, while noting the connection to the 24,000 year-old Mal'ta boy from the same region.

Thanks to ancient genome studies we now know that Uralic speakers migrated from Siberia, ancestral homeland of the Turks. For more see Uralic and Turkish.

Sumerian was classified as a Uralic language by Parpola even though he had stated that genetic relationship with Turkish seemed likely due to highest number of word matches! Kenanidis had classified it as r-Altaic. I had shown that Sumerian is largely an Ugur Turkish language, hence Ugric, but also related to Altaic Uguz/Oguz Turkish. See Sumerian Language Turkish comparisons and analysis. Peter Revezs had found Uralic and Dravidian substrate in Sumerian.

See Sumerian Migrations, Sumerian Original Homeland Central Asia, Ancestral Homeland Siberia, Ugur (Hurrian), and Implications for the Indo-European Homeland for details.

Sumerian Migrations
Sumerian Migrations on Eurasian Map click on the map for the article and full size image

Shigir Idol post on Tepetelegrams blog in February 2019

In Tracking analogies the Shigir Idol from the Urals/ published by Oliver Dietrich mentions Shigir Idol - Gobeklitepe artistic/religious connection, and the following quote is from that blog post:

"At this point in time, there is only one other site that has produced human respectively human-like monumental depictions – Göbekli Tepe. There is a considerable geographic distance between both sites, however, which makes direct contacts and interaction not the most probable explanation for these apparent similarities."

He also included the above listed paper by Mikhail Zhilin et. al. written in 2018.

That's great but the problem is that there is no information regarding archaeogenetics research that certainly is related to the research regarding the identity of the people who built Gobeklitepe and our understanding of Gobeklitepe and its relation to Shigir Idol and the totem poles of American Pacific Northwest.

The biggest surprise in ancient genome studies: A previously unknown, "ghost population" identified: Ancient North Eurasians (ANE)

Main article Origin and spread of human language
Spread of Languages
(Click to read the article and see full size image)

Origin and Spread of Languages on Eurasian Map based on Genetics Research and my books as of May 2019. The world's first known language Sumerian was favorably compared to many linguistic families in Eurasia and America. Comparing ancient Sumerian migration routes constructed from ancient genome studies to these languages will give the opportunity to trace back world languages to a common language spoken some 20,000 years ago.

puzzle1





etruscan sumerian (Click on the image for the answer)

Which language did the people of Gobeklitepe speak?

In 2013, a computer based research using modern languages was published: Ultraconserved words point to deep language ancestry across Eurasia Quote from the paper:

"Here we use a statistical model, which takes into account the frequency with which words are used in common everyday speech, to predict the existence of a set of such highly conserved words among seven language families of Eurasia postulated to form a linguistic superfamily that evolved from a common ancestor around 15,000 y ago."

See also Origins of human Language

Gobeklitepe Neolithic skull cult and its similarities to others in South Asia

Modified human crania from Göbekli Tepe provide evidence for a new form of Neolithic skull cult by Julia Gresky et. al. analyzes marks in the skulls found in Gobeklitepe and compares them to skull cult finds from other locations such as the Pacific and South Asia. The following quote is especially interesting:

"Remarkably, the positions of the cords in the ethnographic example of the Naga people from India (31) are practically identical to the positions of carvings observed on the Göbekli Tepe skulls, that is, on prominent parts of the facial skeleton and on the back of the head."

Indo-European Languages derive from ANE language

The 2019 genetic findings from Spain showing that Bell Beakers spoke a non-Indo-European Vasconic language supported my research that the Urheimat of Indo-European languages is located south of the Caucasus, specifically Caucasus and Taurus, Turkey - Zagros, Iran mountains.

You may read more at: The spread of Indo-European languages: genetic evidence, haplogroup info suggests Sumerian and Hurrian origins With special emphasis on the linguistic affiliations of Haplogroup J and R1b who migrated with J.

The study about the Dzudzuna cave showed that the Caucasus Hunter Gatherers and Iran Neolithic had ANE ancestry around 13,000-10,000 years ago, long before the estimated date of the formation of early proto-Indo-European. This proves that Indo-European was derived from Siberian ANE language. And even if Indo-European languages were formed in the Pontic Steppe per Kurgan theory, it would still be a language spoken by descendants of ANE people since we already know that Yamnaya had ANE ancestry too.

Continuity of Turkish presence in Northwest Iran and Southeast Turkey from at keast 4200 years ago in Mesopotamian cuneiform records

From Etruscans, Greece and Rome: In Archäologische Mitteilungen aus Iran, Volume 19. published in 1986 by German scholar Verlang von D. Reimer there is mention of Turuk (Turukkaeans),Su (Suteans) and Lullu (Lullubaeans) being differently named inhabitants of the Aratta country, who probably belonged to the Altaic-Turkish language community.

And then, there is another very important remark, that the "Upper Sea" mentioned in Sumero-Akkadian inscriptions, from Sumerian King Lugalzaggesi (around 2200 bc) onwards, meant the Urmia Lake.

Other related information

While searching for cultural links between Gobeklitepe and American Pacific Northwest I came across this book, Snakes, Birds and Dreams by Toru Nakamura, PhD where he states totem poles about family ancestors reminiscent of Pacific Northwest of North America, like the scene of snakes supporting a baby from two sides in a totem pole, a sketch by Klaus Schmidt and other interesting observations.

other interesting observations

There are also many important blog posts from Tepetelegrams such as:

Kilisik Sculpture from Adiyaman

Urfa Man It is the oldest known statue of a man, slightly larger than life-size. The current distribution of ites with T shaped pillars

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Discover groundbreaking revelations on the roots of modern civilization in one short book. How did we arrive to where we are? How ancient civilizations a world apart, Sumer and Maya were connected. An overview that covers a wide range of topics from human migrations 50000 years ago to Gobeklitepe, the first temple in history, the first matriarchal society with written records, Elam, and to the Sun Cult of the Hattis. Their origins and influence on other ancient civilizations including their neighbors, distant relatives: Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Hurrian, Scythian, Oguz, Kassite, Gutian, Hyksos and more. (Many of my articles on this website included)

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