Monday, November 21, 2022

Göbekli Tepe — History Mystery

Göbekli Tepe

Göbekli Tepe is called Girê Mirazan. In Kurdish, people know it as Xirabreşkê. It is a Neolithic archaeological site located in Turkey's Southeastern Anatolia area. The site's existence is expected between c. 9500 and 8000 BCE. Here, you will get to see several big structures of circular shape. Whereas giant stone pillars are designed to support these structures.

It is the oldest megalith in the world. You can see the pillars with anthropomorphic details, clothing, and reliefs of wild animals. Thus, archaeologists can get several rare insights from these pillars. In addition, here you can see many tiny buildings in the 15 m (50 ft)-high, 8 ha (20-acre). Besides, there are quarries, stone-cut cisterns from the Neolithic, and many more.

People used the site first at the dawn of the Neolithic period. In Southwest Asia, this period marks as the time when the old human settled permanently in the world. According to the Prehistorians, Neolithic Revolution has connections to agriculture's advent. However, they disagree that humans started living there due to farming or vice versa. In this article, you will learn about Göbekli Tepe, like how old it is, who built Göbekli Tepe, etc. You will also get to know why Göbekli Tepe was buried.

What is Göbekli Tepe?

Göbekli Tepe is a monumental complex. It was made on the top position of the rocky mountain. There were no known water sources. Besides, we don't have any exact proof of agricultural cultivation.

What did Klaus Schmidt Say about Göbekli Tepe?

To describe it, Klaus Schmidt, a German archaeologist and the site's original excavator, mentioned the term "world's first temple." He said that this one was a sanctuary that some nomadic hunter-gatherers used. According to him, there were very few or no permanent inhabitants. But there were a few archaeologists who disagreed with the interpretation. So, they challenged it and said that a lack of agriculture and the population in a residential area is far from conclusion.

A survey in 1963 mentioned that Schmidt detected the site's importance first. He directed excavations from 1995 until he died in 2014. However, work has been running since then under the auspices of Istanbul University, Şanlıurfa Museum, and the German Archaeological Institute. In addition, this site was designated in 2018 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its imprest value was recognized as "one of the first manifestations of human-made monumental architecture." However, less than the site's 5% had been excavated as of 2021.

It was one of the most startling archaeological discoveries. This old town is in southeastern Turkey and is six miles from Urfa. There were huge carved stones about 11,000 years old. It can let you know how old Göbekli Tepe is.

In this regard, you should know that prehistoric people crafted and organized these. However, these people had not invented metal tools. We also got evidence of the existence of megaliths. Stonehenge was predated by some 6,000 years to these people. We know the place as Gobekli Tepe. According to Schmidt, this site is the world's oldest temple.

Brief synthesis: 

This site is situated in Upper Mesopotamia. In this regard, you should know that this region witnessed many ancient farming communities' emergence.

Groups of hunter-gatherers built the Monumental structures. We describe these structures as monumental communal buildings. These hunter-gatherers erected the enclosures in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period, i.e., 10th-9th millennia BC. Moreover, architects have found a link between monuments, social events, and other rituals. In addition, you can see there are some limestone T-shaped pillars where a few are up to 5.50 meters tall.

A few pillars come with low reliefs of clothing items like belts and loincloths. Moreover, here you can see wild animals' high and low reliefs. Now, let's know about some criteria for this site. We have given here the criteria which will let you know some information about it.

Criterion (i):

It was the most significant transition in human history when the communities lived. Basically, the megalithic structure of Göbekli Tepe was manufactured by them.

Criterion (ii):

This site is one of the humans' first manifestations of monumental architecture. Besides, it testifies to some unique building techniques. In this case, the T-shaped limestone pillars' integration is one of the examples. It met the architectural functions. People can find the imagery at contemporaneous sites in the Upper Mesopotamian area. In this way, the site has testified to a near social network in the core region of Neolithisation.

Criterion (iii):

This site is an excellent instance of a monumental ensemble of monumental megalithic structures. You can see the pillars carved from the nearby limestone plateau. They are the witnesses who saw the existence of specialized craftsmen. In addition, they saw that hierarchical forms were emerging in human society.


The site has almost all the elements required to express its Universal Value. Moreover, it can ensure that the features & procedures are represented completely. Hence, you should know that the property's physical fabric is in good condition.


In 2013, a management plan was drawn up, which was later revised in 2016. Finally, in 2017, it got finalized.

In 2016, an Advisory Board was set up. Its job is to test the management plan. Besides, it helped to submit all suggestions to make decisions and execute the plan. Also, in that year, a Coordination and Audit Board was established. Its function was to test the draft master plan and approve it also.

Frequently asked questions:

Q. Who built Göbekli Tepe, and for what purpose?

It was made around 11,000 to 12,000 years ago. People believe that hunter-gatherers built it for animal domestication or farming.

Q. Is Göbekli Tepe the oldest civilization?

It is expected that this one is the oldest civilization of humans, and it is about 12,000 years old.

Q. Why was Göbekli Tepe abandoned?

According to Klaus Schmidt's opinion, people later used the area for farming (previously used for hunting). That's why it was abandoned.

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