21 km away from the city center of Şanlıurfa, the discovery of Göbekli Tepe overthrown everything we had known about the history of civilization. Believed to have been built in BC 10,000, Göbekli Tepe is one of the oldest monumental temples of the world.
Located at the west side of the mountain chains of Germüş, Göbekli Tepe was firstly discovered in 1960's, yet its significance has been only recognized thanks to the still-continuing excavations that started in 1995. Göbekli Tepe proves that our hunting and collecting ancestors had much more complex beliefs, organizational forms and technologies than we had thought.
It was later found out that Göbekli Tepe was not covered due to natural conditions but by humans themselves. It is not a settlement area or necropolis. Because there is yet no evidence that humankind was settled or buried there.
First the belief came
As stated by Klaus Schmidt, the head of the excavations, Göbekli Tepe terminated various theories regarding the history of civilization. Before Göbekli Tepe, it was believed that hunter and collector ancestors settled by having cultures of seeds and agricultural revolution took place, thus the need for organization arose and societies of class showed up. Therefore, the reverend directing this community towards a goal, the soldier protecting the community, and the labour and peasants working and producing by conducting agriculture and livestock breeding were needed.
However, when Göbekli Tepe was built in BC 10,000, the world was still in the Palaeolithic era; the people were hunters-collectors, the most modern technological tool used was Neolithic and the only pet domesticated was dogs. Selecting seeds, cultivation, and agricultural activities had newly started around this time.
Göbekli Tepe demonstrated that people had beliefs before settling and having a class organization. Göbekli Tepe is a temple and a point of assembly built in the name of a belief. In other words, there came belief before everything.
Over Göbekli Tepe, there lies 20 ellipsis shaped columns, 2 in the middle and 12 columns around it weighing between 4 and 7 tons. There are animal shapes such as those of fox, lion / leopard, wild boar, onagers, aurochs, spider, snake, crane, duck / ruddy shelduck, bald ibis are embossed and designs similar to those of fishnet on the columns. Moreover, there are also H and S symbols and hand & arm designs united over a belly.
Since there were no metal tools at that era, all of these tools were made by sculpturing harder Neolithic stones. These columns were brought to Göbekli Tepe after being cut in a 500 meters away quarry. The hunters and collectors at that time had to be seriously organized in order to accomplish that.
With its history dating back to BC 9600's, Göbekli Tepe is 6100 years older than Ggantija Temple in Malta, 6600 older than Stonehenge in the UK, and 7100 years older than Egyptian Pyramids.
Changing the history of civilization, the oldest monumental structure of the world, Göbekli Tepe calls for your name to explore the mysterious history of humans and your own.