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Göbeklitepe, the Forgotten Temple of History

11.10.2023
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Göbeklitepe, the Forgotten Temple of History
Guest Post

Göbeklitepe, a mysterious place lost in the depths of history, offers a fascinating example of archaeological discoveries. Göbeklitepe is located in the Southeastern Anatolia Region, approximately 15 kilometers northeast of Örencik village in Şanlıurfa province. This unique area contains many secrets that excite archaeologists and historians and make them rethink the writing of human history.

The Mystery of Göbeklitepe

The most striking feature of Göbeklitepe is that it is an open-air temple from the prehistoric period, filled with large stone columns. These stone pillars are an extraordinary feat of engineering, considering the period in which they were built. These columns in Göbeklitepe weigh 10 to 20 tons and stand in the deep cavities in which they were placed. The reliefs on these columns contain animal figures, human faces and symbols. These figures can be considered a form of artistic expression and bear the traces of the thoughts that the people of that period tried to express with symbols.

The biggest secret of this magnificent structure is the evidence found about its construction date. Göbeklitepe, estimated to date back to B.C. It was built in 9600-9500 BC. This is a history that requires us to revise previously thought knowledge of human history. Even though Göbeklitepe was built in a period when agriculture and settled life were not yet developed, it has such a large and complex structure. This suggests that their people had more complex social and cultural structures than previously thought.

Cultural and Historical Importance of Göbeklitepe

The discovery of Göbeklitepe is a major turning point that allows us to re-evaluate human history. This ancient temple sheds light on the period when people's transition from hunter-gatherer communities to settled agricultural communities and their social organization began. Göbeklitepe also functions as a laboratory that helps us better understand the religious and cultural beliefs of ancient civilizations.

The acceptance of Göbeklitepe as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is of great importance in terms of protecting this area and transferring it to future generations. At the same time, opening this area to visitors offers a fascinating experience for history and archeology enthusiasts.

Discovery of Göbeklitepe

The exploration of Göbeklitepe was initiated by German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt in the early 1990s. At that time, this area was considered primarily just a natural hill. However, Schmidt found traces of huge stone columns during his excavations. These columns were part of a large project that required special civil engineering. At first, the fact that these columns appeared to date back 10 thousand years caused astonishment in the scientific world.

Social and Religious Meaning of Göbeklitepe

The region where Göbeklitepe is located is at the center of a period when hunter-gatherer communities lived. This represents the period before humans discovered agriculture. The construction of Göbeklitepe bears the signs of a great transformation in this period. Humans may have transitioned from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to sedentary agricultural societies, heralding the emergence of larger and more complex societies.

In addition, Göbeklitepe has great religious importance. According to research, this area may have been the center of religious ceremonies and rituals. The reliefs on the stone pillars are probably symbols reflecting the beliefs and mythology of the community. Göbeklitepe bears traces of the religious and cultural expression of this period and offers important clues about prehistoric religious beliefs.

Göbeklitepe and World Heritage

The acceptance of Göbeklitepe as a UNESCO World Heritage Site has ensured that this area is protected and supported for scientific research. At the same time, the opening of this area for tourists has provided economic development opportunities to the region and increased the touristic importance of Şanlıurfa.

Göbeklitepe continues to offer the key to new information about human history. This area is still a great source of discovery for archaeologists and historians and may unravel more mysteries with future studies.

Göbeklitepe is an archaeological treasure that bears the traces of the events and changes that shaped human history. This ancient temple helps us understand how people built and changed their societies and beliefs. This special place is an endless source of discovery for history and archeology enthusiasts and will remain an important milestone in the journey to understanding human history.

The mystery, historical significance and ongoing research of Göbeklitepe are likely to continue to play an unforgettable role in humanity's journey to better understand its own past.