The archaeological site of Göbeklitepe was added to the UNESCO List of World Heritage - Tentative List in 2011. Because the discovery of this particular region changed all the known understanding about the history of humanity, the history of religions, and the settlement of people. With the ongoing archaeological work since 1995, the Göbeklitepe history dating back to 10.000 B.C. continues to question the knowledge of the history of mankind throughout the world. Therefore, in this article we bring together facts about this special region that is reshaping the history of humanity. Here is what you should know about Göbeklitepe...
Where is Göbeklitepe?
Göbeklitepe is located within the borders of Şanlıurfa province and is located near Örencik village, 20 km north-east of Şanlıurfa.
The first and largest temple known
Göbeklitepe could be the oldest religious site. There are about 20 temples detected in the area and only 6 of them have excavated so far.
7500 years older than the Pyramids
The history of Göbeklitepe, which is more than 11,000 years old, dates back to the Neolithic Age. The cult structures in the region are known to have been built by the last hunting groups close to agriculture and animal husbandry.
The archaeological excavations in the region began in 1995
Göbeklitepe was founded in 1963 under the project of Southeast Anatolia Prehistoric Research Projects conducted jointly by Istanbul University and the University of Chicago. The main work was done by Klaus Schmidt of Heidelberg University in 1994 and the monumental character of the region was uncovered. Excavation works began a year after this discovery.
Embossed animal figures
Large number of wild animals motifs are observed in Göbeklitepe. The animals in the motifs vary and are in harmony with the fauna of the said period. The animal figures were embossed and there are many animal motifs on the stones such as scorpions, foxes, snakes, wild boar, lions, pike and wild ducks.
The first wheat
Research shows that the ancestor of wheat, an important cultural herb, was grown in this region. The biggest indicator of this are the einkorn grains, a wild wheat species, which were found in the soil of the Göbeklitepe. Other plant residues identified in the region are wild species of almonds and groundnuts.
Construction of the temple
In the period when Göbeklitepe was constructed, people lived in small groups collecting plants and hunting animals. Thus, they probably gathered in such a crowd for the first time for the construction of Göbeklitepe. Because, large pillars and heavy stones for the temple were carried by people without handcarts and animals from the rocky regions for 2 km.
The information on nomadic societies settling with agriculture changed
We have heard this many times in history lessons: Nomadic societies settle by learning agriculture. The researches in Göbeklitepe has completely changed this historical knowledge. Archaeologist Schmidt commented that as a result of the research he conducted in the region, the hunter and gatherer communities constantly gathered in religious centers such as Göbeklitepe and settled down. Therefore, what really pushes mankind to settle is the desire to stay around religious temples.
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