I imagine that in every intelligent species development cycle comes the age when they are smart enough to ask profound questions but not enough intelligence or data to answer those questions. At that point they create fanciful stories giving natural elements meaning. Thunder? God of clouds is angry. Flood? God of water is angry. Forest fire? God of fire is angry. At some point they even managed to create shrines to those gods and eventually full-blown temple. And with temples comes human sacrifice and blood bath with an orgy once in a while on special holidays. I kid old time religions, they very really brutal and mental but luckily their time has long gone. But their temples are still around, or most of them.
This is Göbekli Tepe, early evidence of prehistoric worship, the hilltop site was previously shunned by researchers as nothing more than a medieval cemetery. Some say this is the first human holy place, oldest temple on Earth as old as 10th millennium BC! You know how old that is? It predates inventions of wheel or even agriculture! I’ll just leave you few seconds to process that. You finished? Good. Let us move to something newer.
What you see here is the Temple of Amada. It is the oldest temple in Nubia and it was constructed by Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III in the 15th century BC. Not so old as the one before but still pretty old. What is interesting about this one is that it had a litle drama with different eras destroying the names of one god for it be restored on next set priest and removing the god of old era. I guess changing gods as the fashion dictated was a thing at the time.
Now this grand marvel would be temple of Hatshepsut. It was built for this girl:
She was the fifth pharaoh of the eighteenth dynasty of Egypt. And she had to be really hot for people to make her such huge temple. Or, you know, order her soldiers to chop the heads of everyone who doesn’t want to work. That would work too.
Just this temples? Where is <insert temple here>?
I know, there are thousands of temples out there. Every historical epoch, every continent and every culture had mountains of different temples with different gods to worship and different religions to preach. But if I show you everything now what’s the point of researching later on your own? Alright, one last temple for you guys.
Didn’t expect that one, did ya? This is one of the most famous temples in the world, hands down. We don’t really know how this thing was built but we know stone used in its construction was brought from location 40 kilometers to the north of Stonehenge on the Marlborough Downs. They probably used logs and a lot of manpower to transport this rock, usually simplest solutions have highest probability to be right. Even if don’t really know anything about this place it didn’t stop people to conjure stories of druids and sun worshipers or even restart those religions in Neomodern versions. So I guess era of ancient religions isn’t really over yet, let’s just hope they leave human sacrifices out of their rituals this time.
Visual content acquired at Wikimedia Commons.