Cradle of The Gods: Education Worksheet

Video highlights from Cradle Of The Gods

Junior and Senior Secondary

Cradle Of The Gods Eductaion Worksheet

Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary

In the heart of Turkish Kurdistan, an international team of scientists uncovers a vast, spectacular temple complex known as Göbekli Tepe. At 11,500 years old, it may well be one of the first buildings constructed by mankind. Could a recently excavated, 12,000 year old temple have propelled humans out of the Stone Age? According to historical convention, the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago was the catalyst for the ‘Neolithic Revolution’ when humans abandoned their hunter-gatherer lifestyle and built the very first human settlements. Archaeologist Dr. Jeff Rose investigates the discoveries at Göbekli Tepe and tests his theory that religion may have come first. He proves that this temple may have been the spark of civilisation that led humans towards settlement, agriculture, urban life and all that followed in our society.

Turkey, an ancient land bridging European and Asian continents, is part of the "Fertile Crescent" where humans first settled and the earliest civilisations arose 5000 years ago. In 1995 German archaeologist Professor Klaus Schmidt makes an astonishing discovery at a hill called Göbekli Tepe. Assisted by Ground Penetrating Radar, he continues his excavations and begins to piece together an extraordinary picture that puts a whole new spin on cultural evolution.

According to previously accepted historical theory, it was farming that allowed us to settle down, develop religion and build temples. Settlements grew into cities, then powerful civilisations. Without the need to hunt and gather food for every meal, people had time to think, invent and ultimately evolve out of the Stone Age.

However, beneath Göbekli Tepe Schmidt discovers four huge stone circles, each surrounded by a high stone wall, broken at intervals by large T-shaped pillars. In the middle two massive monoliths rise to 5.5m tall. It was apparent that this structure was not built for daily living. In fact Schmidt has uncovered the world's oldest temple, constructed some 11,500 years ago during the Stone Age, before the invention of the wheel. Incredibly, the temple is 6000 years older than Stonehenge, yet much more sophisticated.

Archaeologist Dr Jeff Rose travels to Turkey to follow the story, visiting archaeological sites and museums, and interviewing renowned experts on prehistoric people, their settlements and constructions. The fascinating information he gleans, along with computer generated imagery and vivid reconstructions, reveals a whole new story: a new religion in which humans are superior to beasts motivates humanity's cultural revolution. Building the temple at Göbekli Tepe unites otherwise disparate groups in a new faith, and this effort pushes mankind to take the giant evolutionary step into farming. Thus, the urge to worship, rather than the birth of agriculture sparks civilisation.


Junior Secondary Curriculum
History is a disciplined inquiry into the past that develops students' curiosity and imagination. It develops understanding of cultural, social and political events, processes and issues that have shaped humanity from earliest times. It enriches our appreciation of how the world and its people have changed, and the significant continuities that exist into the present. In this way, the study of history enables students to contribute more effectively to creating the future.
Australian Science K-10 Curriculum 2010: Rationale

Senior Secondary Curriculum
Historical study is based on the evidence of the remains of the past. It is interpretative by nature, promotes debate and encourages thinking about human values, including present and future challenges. It develops transferable skills associated with the process of historical inquiry, including the ability to ask relevant questions, critically analyse and interpret sources, consider context, respect and explain different perspectives, develop and substantiate interpretations, and communicate effectively.
Australian Ancient History Curriculum 2010: Rationale


Junior Secondary
In undertaking these tasks, students of history will develop:

•    an interest in, and enjoyment of, historical study for lifelong learning and work, including their capacity and willingness to be active and informed citizens
•    an understanding and use of historical concepts, including evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, significance, empathy, perspectives and contestability
•    a capacity to undertake historical inquiry, including skills in the analysis and use of sources, communication and explanation.
Australian History K-10 Curriculum 2010: Aims

Senior Secondary
In undertaking these tasks, students of ancient history will develop:

•    a capacity to undertake historical inquiry, including skills in independent research, interpretation using sources and communicating evidence-based arguments
•    knowledge and understanding of the past, as well as an appreciation of the origins and influence of ideas, beliefs and values
•    analytical thinking using historical concepts including evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, significance, empathy, perspectives and contestability
Australian Ancient History Curriculum 2010: Aims


Junior Secondary
Task 1
Draw a historical timeline that includes the following events:
•    construction of the Great Pyramids
•    construction of Stonehenge
•    invention of the wheel
•    construction of Göbekli Tepe
•    farming begins
•    end of the last Ice Age

Task 2
Write 50 words to explain the previously accepted theory of how humankind advanced from the Stone Age. Now write 50 words to explain Professor Klaus Schmidt's theory, following his discoveries at Göbekli Tepe. Add a paragraph stating which theory you support, and why.

Task 3
In 125 words, describe the tools and methods used to construct the temple at Göbekli Tepe. Accompany your description with a sketch of the temple, showing its dimensions.

Task 4
Write a list of five animals that are depicted in the temple, and a list of five animals whose bones were found amongst the excavations at Göbekli Tepe. Then write a paragraph of 50 words for each list to show how the findings helped archaeologists understand more about who built the temple and why.

Task 5
Explain in about 200 words how and why the temple at Göbekli Tepe lost its significance, and what replaced it. Finish your explanation by giving a more recent example of the same phenomenon.


Senior Secondary
Task 1
The documentary Cradle of the gods diametrically opposes the widely accepted theory of how human civilisation began. In 100 words, describe how the old and new theories differ. Add 50 words to explain which theory you support, and why.

Task 2
Choose three of the investigative methods shown in the documentary and write 50 words about each, explaining the part they played in arriving at the new theory for the birth of civilisation.

Task 3
Write 150 words to describe how the animal bones found at the Göbekli Tepe helped unravel the mystery of who built the monument and what it was used for. Add a paragraph to show whether or not you think there was sufficient evidence for the interpretation of events, and why.

Task 4
Cradle of the gods illustrates some ancient aspects of a religion that persist to this day. Choose one of these aspects and make a 150-word comparison between the religious worship in its past form with that of the present.

Task 5
In 250 words explain how the end of the last Ice Age impacted humanity's transition from the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and, indirectly, led to the building of the temple at Göbekli Tepe.

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