AO Magazine - November 2018
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Our ability to change perspectives and accept new interpretations of past events is what makes history vital and meaningful. Just when a consensus is reached about how our ancestors once lived and what knowledge they possessed, another discovery occurs that upends it all.
A key example of this was the discovery of Göbekli Tepe, now recognized as one of the most important archaeological and architectural discoveries of the 21st century. Massive carved stones, some 11,500-years-old, were crafted and arranged to precisely align with astronomical phenomena by prehistoric people who had not yet invented the wheel, let alone agriculture. They were hunter-gatherers, yet they had constructed the first, largest, and most complex religious sanctuary the world had ever seen. In this issue, we unravel the secrets of Göbekli Tepe. Through an exclusive interview with Dr Robert Schoch, we learn about the sophisticated science behind its construction and how its builders sought to cope with cataclysmic disasters, while Freddy Silva throws a spotlight on the site’s astronomical alignments.
In the spirit of shaking up old ideas and seeking new perspectives, we also turn to Thanksgiving, an annual celebration in November that is considered a vital part of American history and identity. We share the traditional story that is taught across schools, from podiums, and around dinner tables, but we also challenge this familiar narrative by relaying the perspective of the Wampanoag native people who encountered the newly arrived colonists all those generations ago, presenting a very different outlook on this famous historic holiday!
Elsewhere, you’ll find features on the samurai warriors of Feudal Japan, and one of their most shocking practices – ritual self-disembowelment. We also take you back to ancient Greece, where you’ll hear about one of the most bizarre deaths in history – it involves an eagle, a tortoise, and one very unfortunate chap with a bald head! And don’t miss our mouth-watering Medieval recipe – cinnamon chicken soup.
In this issue, we hope to spur some new perspectives in our readers, as well as ignite excitement about our ever-changing understanding of our past. Happy reading!