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GÖBEKLI TEPE AND THE BIRTH OF EGYPT


The cover of Andrew Collins’s new book The Cygnus Key: Göbekli Tepe and the Birth of Egypt.
Cover artwork by Russell Hossain

With the extraordinary evidence emerging right now to suggest that a newly-discovered archaic human population known as the Denisovans might have attained advanced levels of behaviour beyond that even of our own ancestors Andrew Collins finds out what we know about the achievements, distribution and the impact of their legacy on our own civilization

In the 2000s human fossil remains were unearthed in the Denisova Cave within the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia. DNA testing showed that the bones – two molars and a pinky bone – belonged to a previously unknown human population today known as the Denisovans. They are now thought to have inhabited Eastern Eurasia from around 400,000 years down to around 40,000 years ago (and arguably much later still). During their final years the Denisovans achieved an advanced level of human behaviour, including the creation of sophisticated symbolic or non-functional objects including an arm bracelet in bottle-green chloritolite with a bored hole that can only have been made using a high-speed drill; a bone needle with an eye for thread, suggesting the manufacture of tailored clothing, as well as finely finished, pierced ostrich eggshell beads no more than a centimeter in diameter.

In addition to this, fragments of horse bones found inside the Denisova Cave have suggested that Denisovans domesticated, herded and maybe even rode horses long before it was thought humanly possible. So who exactly were the Denisovans? What do we really know about them, and how are they linked to Neanderthals and our own ancestors?

In advance of the publication of his new book The Cygnus Key: Göbekli Tepe and the Birth of Egypt, Andrew Collins in a brand new presentation for Origins 2017, reveals how the Denisovans might well have been the first human population to engineer landscapes, make dams and waterways, create stone monuments, fashion musical instruments, understand the importance of sound acoustics, and create a polarcentric cosmology based around the stars of the northern night sky. More importantly, he will demonstrate that it was their extraordinary knowledge that would eventually inspire the creation of Göbekli Tepe in southeast Turkey, Gunung Padang in Java and the Giza Pyramids of Egypt.

The Cygnus Key: Göbekli Tepe and the Birth of Egypt is published by Inner Traditions/Bear & Co.

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