Here it is – a bit of a late night needed to finish it, but this is the final draft of the Gobekli Tepe illustration.
As you can see, I’ve tried to pull in all the stuff I talked about in the rough drafts – people, carvings, clans, celebrations, food, etc., etc.
I debated a little bit about which of the carved pillars to show, and I finally decided to use one of the more heavily-decorated pillars – despite the fact that it might not actually come from this enclosure. I felt I need to pull in this much more detailed pillar, as the carvings on the upright stones weren’t close enough to be seen properly. I wasn’t sure what evidence there was for carving tools, so I’ve suggested a range of possible tools – all sitting on the uncarved end of the pillar: a hammerstone, some hafted stone or obsidian tools, an unhafted stone/obsidian tool and two antler or bone punches for the detail work. The pillar being carved is the one with lots of animals depicted on it, and so I used them as cues for decoration on some of the people, as it’s been suggested the animals may have represented tokens of social groupings. So not only do the costumes of the three supervisors echo the costumes on the pillars – the belts and leopard skins – but their body markings echo the animals and decorative elements from the pillar. I think it makes a visual connection between the events taking place in the image and some of the interpretative discussion about the site. Following on from that, I’ve also included a lot more people in the background of this inked-in version so as to draw in some ideas about the communal nature of the construction taking place at the site. I’ve included women on the walls, people sitting in the unfinished enclosure, and children helping out carrying earth up to the ramp behind the rising pillar. I’ve also added in some rising smoke from cooking fires and vultures circling to suggest the butchery and preparation of food for the gathering. Finally, a last little touch: the shelter over the carving area and the ladder propped up against the outside of the enclosure wall also echo debates about whether the enclosures were roofed and how they were accessed from outside once the walls were fully constructed.
Be interesting to see this published and see what other people think about it. I quite like it, but it doesn’t look like a lot of images of Gobekli Tepe – certainly doesn’t look like the paintings in National Geographic.