Gobekli Tepe | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Gobekli Tepe

Seyrantepe, Southeastern Anatolia Region, Turkey

About Gobekli Tepe

Six thousand years older than Stonehenge, seven thousand years older than the Great Pyramids and a thousand older than the walls of Jericho, formerly believed to be the world’s most ancient monumental structure, Göbekli Tepe in south-eastern Turkey close to the city of Sanliurfa has literally rewritten human history.

Thanks to this sensational twelve thousand year old discovery by a team from the German Archaeological Institute led by Professor Klaus Schmidt, Göbekli Tepe is regarded as a find of such profound importance that it may well change our current understanding that agriculture and permanent settlements came first then religion followed, a paradigm shift in the knowledge of a crucial stage of our societal development.

Academics are calling Göbekli Tepe the ‘world’s first temple’ and it’s an example that huge complexes were well within the capabilities of early hunter-gatherers, an assumption never previously considered. Göbekli Tepe may very well be the very first thing human beings every built. It pre-dates pottery, domesticated animals and agriculture and Professor Schmidt postulates that Göbekli Tepe was the catalyst for these things to follow. He called it ‘the Rome of the Ice Age’. The discovery is that important.

There are at least 20 installations each enclosed by a wall as well as T-shaped pillars between three and six metres high weighing 40-60 tons, some with human-like appendages and some with carvings of animals such as foxes, snakes, boars and ducks.

Similarly to Stonehenge, questions remain as to how the huge monoliths got to their locations, how intricate carvings were made when even rudimentary hand tools were rare, how they were stood up on end when complex engineering of that type was centuries away, as was farming, the ability to create blueprint for construction and even permanent settlements. The next temples of this size and complexity date from five thousand years after Göbekli Tepe.