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More clarity about how the carved human skulls were used at Goebekli Tepe may come with time.
The ancient temple compound is large and sprawling — roughly 22 acres.
There are also numerous statues, animal bones, carved beads, amulets and flint tools.
Researchers are still not sure what rites occurred in this haunting space — perhaps wedding ceremonies, conflict mediations or male initiation rites.
The authors wrote that of 691 bone fragments found among the rubble at Goebekli Tepe, 408 are from skulls.
This implies that human skulls were selectively present at the site.
The grooves are between 0.2 of a millimeter and 4 millimeters deep, and microscopic analysis shows that they were clearly made using stone tools.
“The buildings were semi-subterranean, and you can imagine the inside lit by a torch causing the T-shapes to flutter in the light.
There was likely drumming and singing going on — and skulls, dangling.”Archaeologists working in the region have uncovered “skull nests,” piles of skulls, that have been separated from the rest of their skeletons, as well as skulls that appear to have been decorated with ocher or covered in clay.