Göbekli Tepe World Heritage Site

Prehistoric archaeological site in Turkey and UNESCO World Heritage Site

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Göbekli Tepe
Göbekli Tepe, Urfa.jpg
The ruins of Göbekli Tepe
Göbekli Tepe is located in Turkey
Göbekli Tepe
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Göbekli Tepe is located in Near East
Göbekli Tepe
Göbekli Tepe (Near East)
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Göbekli Tepe is located in Eastern Mediterranean
Göbekli Tepe
Göbekli Tepe (Eastern Mediterranean)
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LocationÖrencik, Şanlıurfa Province, Turkey
Coordinates37°13′23″N 38°55′21″E / 37.22306°N 38.92250°E / 37.22306; 38.92250Coordinates: 37°13′23″N 38°55′21″E / 37.22306°N 38.92250°E / 37.22306; 38.92250
TypeSanctuary
History
Foundedpre-10th millennium BCE
Abandoned8th millennium BCE
PeriodsPre-Pottery Neolithic A to B
Site notes
ConditionWell preserved
Official nameGöbekli Tepe
TypeCultural
Criteria(i), (ii), (iv)
Designated2018 (42nd session)
Reference no.1572
State PartyTurkey
RegionWestern Asia

Göbekli Tepe (Turkish: [ɟœbecˈli teˈpe],[1] "Potbelly Hill")[2] is an archaeological site in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey approximately 12 km (7 mi) northeast of the city of Şanlıurfa. The tell (artificial mound) has a height of 15 m (50 ft) and is about 300 m (1,000 ft) in diameter.[3] It is approximately 760 m (2,500 ft) above sea level.

The tell includes two phases of use, believed to be of a social or ritual nature by site discoverer and excavator Klaus Schmidt,[4] dating back to the 10th–8th millennium BCE.[5] During the first phase, belonging to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA), circles of massive 'T'-shaped stone pillars were erected—the world's oldest known megaliths.[6]

More than 200 pillars in about 20 circles are known (as of May 2020) through geophysical surveys. Each pillar has a height of up to 6 m (20 ft) and weighs up to 10 tons. They are fitted into sockets that were hewn out of the local bedrock.[7] In the second phase, belonging to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB), the erected pillars are smaller and stood in rectangular rooms with floors of polished lime. The site was abandoned after the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB). Younger structures date to classical times.

The details of the structure's function remain a mystery. The excavations have been ongoing since 1996 by the German Archaeological Institute, but large parts still remain unexcavated. In 2018, the site was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[8]

  1. ^ "Göbekli Tepe". Forvo Pronunciation Dictionary.
  2. ^ "History in the Remaking". Newsweek. 18 February 2010.
  3. ^ Klaus Schmidt (2009) "Göbekli Tepe – Eine Beschreibung der wichtigsten Befunde erstellt nach den Arbeiten der Grabungsteams der Jahre 1995–2007"; Erste Tempel – Frühe Siedlungen; 12000 Jahre Kunst und Kultur; Oldenburg; p. 188
  4. ^ Curry, Andrew (November 2008). "Göbekli Tepe: The World's First Temple?". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  5. ^ Oliver Dietrich; Jens Notroff (2015). "A sanctuary, or so fair a house? In defense of an archaeology of cult at Pre-Pottery Neolithic Gobekli Tepe". In Laneri, Nicola (ed.). Defining the Sacred: Approaches to the Archaeology of Religion in the Near East. Oxbow Books. p. 75. ISBN 978-1-78297-685-1. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  6. ^ Sagona, Claudia (25 August 2015). The Archaeology of Malta. Cambridge University Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-1107006690. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  7. ^ Curry, Andrew (November 2008). "Gobekli Tepe: The World's First Temple?". Smithsonian Magazine. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  8. ^ Centre, UNESCO World Heritage. "Göbekli Tepe". whc.unesco.org. Retrieved 1 July 2018.

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