At hilltops sites overlooking the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, archaeologists have uncovered very ancient temples close to the world’s first settlements. The circular stone temples contain strange symbols and carvings of animals which have proved difficult to interpret. In this talk we will explore these early ritual buildings, and examine how their strange signs and symbols contributed to the development of the first complex societies. We will trace out an intellectual journey through the Neolithic ‘revolution of symbols’ that led our ancestors towards the first true written scripts. Dr. Lightbody is Co-Editor of the Journal of Ancient Egyptian Architecture and a former Lecturer in Egyptology, University of Glasgow.