Критика предшествующих гипотез зодиакальной трактовки
have suggested that the early Neolithic monumental enclosures at Göbekli Tepe were space observatories. Not only do they interpret the com-plex iconography found at the site as the commemo-ration of a catastrophic astronomical event (Younger Dryas Comet Impact), they also argue that some of the many (often complex) reliefs adorning the T-shaped pillars are representations of stellar constella-tions. In this context they refer to images on a small number of the pillars
At this point, we should note that similar observa-tions have a long tradition in pseudo-archaeology circles (Colavito 2017), albeit this observation does not disqualify the argument per se. However, it is more than surprising that while authors of „ancient alien‟ fame have found their way into the cited refer-ences of this paper, the large scientific body of work on the site of Göbekli Tepe and Pre-Pottery Neolithic iconography produced over the last two decades is mostly omitted.
4. Sweatman‟s and Tsikritsis‟ contribution appears incredibly arbitrary, considering images adorning just a few selected pillars. Their study certainly does not cover “much of the symbolism of Göbekli Tepe” as stated in the paper (Sweatman and Tsikritsis 2017, 233), but merely a very small part of a complex icon-ographic landscape. Meanwhile more than 60 mon-umental limestone T-pillars are known from Göbekli Tepe – among these many feature similar carved low reliefs of animals and abstract symbols, a few even as complex as Pillar 43 (e.g. Pillar 56 in Enclosure H;
Fig. 3; Schmidt 2013, Dietrich et al. 2016). Further-more, the iconographic programme is not restricted to the limestone pillars; it is known from other find groups (including stone vessels, shaft straighteners, and plaquettes) not only from Göbekli Tepe but also from numerous contemporary sites in the wider region (Schmidt 2005, Becker et al. 2012, Dietrich et al. 2012).