Gobekli Tepe Images

By Alton Parrish.

Gobekli Tepe, the world’s oldest known temple, dating back more than 10,000 years is located near the ancient city of Şanlıurfa.

Göbekli Tepe is an early Neolithic sanctuary located at the top of a mountain ridge in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, northeast of the town of Şanlıurfa (formerly Urfa / Edessa). It includes massive stones carved about 11,000 years ago by people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery

Overview of the Gobekli Tepe archaeological site.
Photo: http://gobeklitepe.info.tr/<br /><br /><br />
http://twitter.com/gobeklitepe

 

The history of Şanlıurfa is recorded from the 4th century BC, but may date back to 9000 BC, when there is ample evidence for the surrounding sites at Duru, Harran and Nevali Cori. It was one of several cities in the Euphrates-Tigris basin, the cradle of the Mesopotamian civilization. According to Turkish Muslim traditions Urfa (its name since Byzantine days) is the biblical city of Ur of the Chaldees, due to its proximity to the biblical village of Harran. However, based on historical and archaeological evidence, the city of Ur is today generally known to have been in southern Iraq, and the true birthplace of Abraham is still in question. Urfa is also known as the birthplace of Job.

 

Location of Gobekli Tepe and Urfa

File:Smithsonian map göbekli tepe.jpg
The tell has a height of 15 m (49 ft) and is about 300 m (984 ft) in diameter. It is approximately 760 m (2,493 ft) above sea level. It was first noted in a survey conducted by Istanbul University and the University of Chicago in 1964. The survey recognized that the rise could not entirely be a natural feature, but postulated that a Byzantine cemetery lay beneath. The survey noted a large number of flints and the presence of limestone slabs thought to be grave markers. The hill had long been under agricultural cultivation; generations of local inhabitants had frequently moved rocks and placed them in clearance piles, possibly destroying much archaeological evidence in the process.

Klaus Schmidt, chief archaeologist of Göbekli Tepe, is of the view that religion and the mobilization of labor behind the building of religious centers like Göbekli Tepe were the chief factors driving the development of civilization and the transition from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic ages

An idealized view of Gobekli Tepe as it might have looked during construction.

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A view looking down into the main dig at Gobekli Tepe.

Schmidt, now of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, was working as part of a team at a nearby site but at the same time looking for another site to dig leading a team of his own. He reviewed the archaeological literature on the surrounding area, found the Chicago researchers’ brief description of Göbekli Tepe, and decided to give it another look. “Within minutes”, he said, he realized that the flint chips on the surface of the tell were prehistoric. The following year (1995) he began excavating there in collaboration with the Şanlıurfa Museum. T-shaped pillars were soon discovered. Some had apparently undergone attempts at smashing, probably by farmers who mistook them for ordinary large rocks.

Photo: http://gobeklitepe.info.tr<br /><br /><br />
http://twitter.com/gobeklitepe

Schmidt’s view, shared by most experts, is that Göbekli Tepe is a stone-age mountain sanctuary. Radiocarbon dating as well as comparative, stylistic analysis indicate that it is the oldest religious site found to date. Schmidt believes that what he calls this “cathedral on a hill” was a pilgrimage destination attracting worshipers up to 100 miles (160 km) distant.

A carving of a lion and a boar on the stele at Gobekli Tepe.

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Butchered bones found in large numbers from local game such as deer, gazelle, pigs, and geese have been identified as refuse from food hunted and cooked or otherwise prepared for congregants

 

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Göbekli Tepe is regarded as an archaeological discovery of the greatest importance since it could profoundly change the understanding of a crucial stage in the development of human society. Ian Hodder of Stanford University said, “Göbekli Tepe changes everything”.

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David Lewis-Williams, professor of archaeology at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, has said, “Göbekli Tepe is the most important archaeological site in the world.” It shows that the erection of monumental complexes was within the capacities of hunter-gatherers and not only of sedentary farming communities as had been previously assumed. As excavator Klaus Schmidt puts it, “First came the temple, then the city.

 

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Not only its large dimensions, but the side-by-side existence of multiple pillar shrines makes the location unique.

Photo: http://gobeklitepe.info.tr
There are no comparable monumental complexes from its time. Nevalı Çori, a Neolithic settlement also excavated by the German Archaeological Institute and submerged by the Atatürk Dam since 1992, is 500 years later; its T-shaped pillars are considerably smaller, and its shrine was located inside a village. The roughly contemporary architecture at Jericho is devoid of artistic merit or large-scale sculpture, and Çatalhöyük, perhaps the most famous Anatolian Neolithic village, is 2,000 years younger.
Göbekli Tepe’s Totem by Krsanna Duran
Photo: tweet -> http://twitter.com/GobekliTepe <- tweet<br /><br /><br />
data base -> http://GobekliTepe.info.tr/ <- data base</p><br /><br />
<p>Göbekli Tepe's Totem by Krsanna Duran
At present, though, Göbekli Tepe raises more questions for archaeology and prehistory than it answers. It remains unknown how a force large enough to construct, augment, and maintain such a substantial complex was mobilized and compensated or fed in the conditions of pre-sedentary society.
Photo: The Most Important Archaeological Site In The World</p><br /><br />
<p>http://www.gobekli.net/<br /><br /><br />
http://smarturl.it/GobekliTepe
Scholars cannot “read” the pictograms, and do not know for certain what meaning the animal reliefs had for visitors to the site. The variety of fauna depicted, from lions and boars to birds and insects, makes any single explanation problematic.
As there is little or no evidence of habitation, and the animals pictured are mainly predators, the stones may have been intended to stave off evils through some form of magic representation. Alternatively, they could have served as totems.
About 20 of these large oval and circular rooms have been found with diameters of about 30 meters.
 The assumption that the site was strictly cultic in purpose and not inhabited has also been challenged by the suggestion that the structures served as large communal houses, “similar in some ways to the large plank houses of the Northwest Coast of North America with their impressive house posts and totem poles.” It is not known why every few decades the existing pillars were buried to be replaced by new stones as part of a smaller, concentric ring inside the older one.
In the center of each of the oval rooms stands a large T-shape pillar
 Human burial may or may not have occurred at the site. The reason the complex was carefully backfilled remains unexplained. Until more evidence is gathered, it is difficult to deduce anything certain about the originating culture or the site’s significance.
Each of the pillars is decorated with animals and abstract symbols are carved into the pillars indicating cultural memory and a symbolic world existing in society 12,000 years ago.
The carved pillars are proof of awesome and accomplished skills in stoneworking by our ancestors 12,000 years ago.  
The T-shape pillars are though to be stylized representations of human beings with their arms outspread.
Many of the pillars are carved with 3-D reliefs in a naturalistic style
The assumption that the site was strictly cultic in purpose and not inhabited has also been challenged by the suggestion that the structures served as large communal houses, “similar in some ways to the large plank houses of the Northwest Coast of North America with their impressive house posts and totem poles.” It is not known why every few decades the existing pillars were buried to be replaced by new stones as part of a smaller, concentric ring inside the older one.
 Photo: GÖBEKLİ's WILD ANIMAL</p><br /><br />
<p>http://www.gobekli.net/ & http://twitter.com/gobeklitepe
Human burial may or may not have occurred at the site. The reason the complex was carefully backfilled remains unexplained. Until more evidence is gathered, it is difficult to deduce anything certain about the originating culture or the site’s significance.
Future plans include construction of a museum, and converting the environs into an archaeological park, in the hope that this will help preserve the site in the state in which it was discovered.
Photo: http://www.gobekli.net/

In 2010, Global Heritage Fund (GHF) announced it will undertake a multi-year conservation program to preserve Göbekli Tepe. Partners include Klaus Schmidt and the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, German Research Foundation, Şanlıurfa Municipal Government, and the Turkish Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

The stated goals of the GHF Göbekli Tepe project are to support the preparation of a site management and conservation plan, construction of a shelter over the exposed archaeological features, training community members in guiding and conservation, and helping Turkish authorities secure UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for Gobekli Tepe.

Oldest known full size statute of a man
Photo: THE OLDEST STATUE</p><br /><br />
<p>http://gobekli.net & http://twitter.com/gobeklitepe

 

One theory about Gobekli Tepe is the nearby holes were part of a scenario where statues were placed in the larger holes and small fires were lit in the small holes.”

 

 

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