It’s well documented that most ancient civilizations throughout history and even prehistory, used a variety of methods to alter their consciousnesses. The particular ways varied from culture to culture, but written and oral accounts, as well as DNA evidence from temple sites make it clear, altering consciousness was a central theme of many ancient cultures. “The Immortality Key” by Brian Muraresku goes so far to trace these practices from prehistory all the way into 300 AD with the Eleusinian mystery schools. From simple mushrooms and cacti to complex fermented brews, some of the largest, and most advanced civilizations routinely used these technologies as the inspiration for proto-religious rites as far back as 4,000 BCE.
Then, Gobekli Tepe happened. A groundbreaking discovery in modern Turkey at the turn of the century. A massive temple complex (20 acres in scale) shook the archeological world when carbon dating suggested its construction between 9000 and 8500 BCE, predating our earliest known structures by several millennia. Mysteriously backfilled by the builders, the art and size of the stones have left many questions unanswered, and as of 2021, less than 5% of the site has been excavated.
Gobekli Tepe caused such a stir because it has been assumed for decades that agriculture, starting around 10,000 BCE yielded “civilization.” But, Gobekli Tepe suggests the exact opposite: hunter-gatherers developed agriculture to support the construction. Gobekli Tepe stands alone, no town or residences have been discovered to indicate permanent habitation. Landfills with thousands of animal bones, and 40 gallon stone jugs assumed to hold beer, suggest the purpose of the structure was large scale ritual or pilgrimage rather than permanent residence. In other words, proto-religion.
Modern science is helping us rewrite our history from hungry hunter gatherers who slowly developed agriculture to religion obsessed hunter gatherers, capable of incredible coordination and construction for consciousness-altering rituals. From the stone henges and megaliths in Europe, subsurface temples in the jungles of South America and Indonesia, and beneath the sands of middle east, we now have reason to suspect they were constructing religious structures on a global scale, millennia before the advent of civilization.
By collaborating with companies using satellites, sonar, LIDAR, seismographic and muon tomography, ground penetrating radar and other techniques to explore jungles, ice caps, seabeds and coastlines. Places where civilization was likely, (and equally likely to be covered up or swept away), for evidence. By exploring places where civilization may have existed but has been lost to time, we believe we are on the brink of discovering a global phenomenon that could significantly revise our understanding of human history.