Gobekli Tepe

This site became well known lately in all over the world with the headlines: “The World’s First Temple?”

Gobeklitepe means “the hill with a belly.” It is 15 km away from Sanlıurfa. Excavations started there in 1995. The archeologist unearthed four circular or oval shaped structures and accordingly there are at least twenty similar structures on this hill. The oldest circular structure was dated to 9600 B.C. and this became shocking news in all over the world. The erection of the structure began just before the Neolithic Age. These structures have 3 to 6 meters high and 40 to 60 tones heavy T shaped pillars and other megaliths usually with animal carvings on them. Foxes, snakes, wild boars, cranes, wild ducks are common animals but also lions, bulls, gazelles, donkeys, vultures, different reptiles and insects.

Gobekli Tepe

The site is not just important about these structures but also according to excavation team the Neolithic Revolution started here including cultivation of plants and husbandry of animals. Gobeklitepe immediately took its leading place among the prehistoric sites in the world because it had the oldest known religious structure that humankind ever built.

The archeologist found very little trace of human settlement in Gobeklitepe so they consider the site as a ritual centre for the cult of dead.

Gobekli Tepe

Gobeklitepe is a place just to calm down and think about ourselves: The humankind. Forget about modern internet network, forget about huge classical period capitals and columns and forget about Bronze Age cities… There, towards the end of the Old Stone Age human beings organized themselves for centuries, in work bands in hundreds. There was not yet metal tools, there was not yet pottery making, forget about potter’s wheel. If we try to compare other megalith structures of the world, Gobeklitepe is 7000 years older than Stonehenge in Britain.

Gobekli Tepe

As the excavation goes on we will find answers to some of our questions but certainly unearthing of new structures will bring along new questions about this 12000 years old site and ourselves: How did we become us?
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