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Göbeklitepe There are substantial grounds to claim that the most significant archaeological discovery of the 21st century is the Göbeklitepe. First of all, it dates back to 12 thousand years ago. In other words, it’s approximately 8 thousand years older than the pyramids and 7 thousand years older than the Stonehenge. Furthermore, it is even older than the human transition to settled life. Therefore, contrary to the widely held view, it proves the existence of religious beliefs prior to the establishment of the first cities.
Findings of researchers at Göbeklitepe shows that a religious class existed even at such early ages, division of society into social classes took place well before the widely assumed dates, and perhaps the first agricultural activity may have been conducted in the region. The site is also remarkable with the first patriarchal thought, the first terrazzo flooring and the first statues and reliefs of the Neolithic Age. As a result, all this new information has been added to the collective knowledge of humanity and into the history books. On the merits of its contribution to human history, Göbeklitepe was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2018.
While the discovery of Göbeklitepe site took place in 1963, the first scientific excavation started in 1995, eventual findings of which added new pages to the history, changing long standing assumptions. Rather than being used as a settlement, the area actually served religious purposes and contain a number of temples. In that respect, it is not only the oldest centre of worship, but also the largest one. Although six of those temples were unearthed to date, on the basis of geomagnetic surveys, the total number of those monumental structures is believed to be twenty, with all temples sharing a resemblance to each other, making this entire region suggestive of being a centre of faith and pilgrimage during the Neolithic Age. There are six-metre-tall T-shaped stone pillars, carved with reliefs of animals, erected to form circles. Those carvings that maybe the earliest three dimensional depictions of animals carved into stone are testament to the artistic ability of our ancestors. Professor Klaus Schmidt, who had led the excavation work in the site for 20 years, firmly stated that the T-shaped stone pillars represented human figures since some of them have carvings of hands and fingers.