“Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey, Klaus Schmidt has made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: massive carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery. The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years. The place is called Gobekli Tepe, and Schmidt, a German archaeologist who has been working here more than a decade, is convinced it’s the site of the world’s oldest temple.”
ASOR July 2017
“A few kilometres northeast of modern Şanlıurfa in south-eastern Turkey, the tell of Göbekli Tepe is situated on the highest point of the otherwise barren Germuş mountain range. Rising 15 metres and with an area of about 9 hectares, the completely man-made mound covers the earliest known monumental cult architecture in the ancient Near East. Constructed by hunter-gatherers right after the end of the last Ice Age, they also intentionally buried it about 10,000 years ago.”
This is an important report and update from the team working on/at Göbekli Tepe. I visited this site a little over two years ago. The site reaches back to over 11,000 years ago and challenges our view of PP Neolithic life, agriculture, and possibly religion. I do, however, disagree with a few of the authors’ interpretations. I think it is too early to be arguing GT as a site for “feasting.” Admittedly, the authors argue that their conclusions are based on “ethnologic and historic analogies,” not archaeology in situ. So we must be cautious for now. But a very nice article nonetheless.
And here are some of my photos from March 2015:
And here is the site for their excellent blog roll: