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Göbekli Tepe

Göbekli Tepe

Göbekli Tepe ("Potbelly Hill") is a Neolithic site located about 9 mi. [15 km.] north of Sanliurfa in south–central Turkey.  This 22 acre [9 ha.] site was functional from roughly 9,600 BC to 8,200 BC and is being excavated by Klaus Schmidt of the German Archaeological Institute (www.dainst.de) and the Archaeological Museum of Sanliurfa.

It was a religious center constructed by and used by foragers (not farmers!).  The excavated portions consist mainly of rings of well-carved standing limestone pillars—the tallest 18 ft. [5.5 m.] high.  Images of gazelles, snakes, foxes, scorpions, and boars are carved on them in low bas-relief.

How these pillars were carved, transported, and erected—in 9,600 BC!—is very mysterious.

Schmidt believes that it was a worship center for foragers, for he has not found any walls, houses, hearths, or signs of agriculture.

The finds at the site are beginning to revolutionize the understanding of the transition from Natufian culture to the Neolithic age.

The worship center is actually almost 1,600 earlier than Kathleen Kenyon's famous Neolithic Tower at Jericho.

In this section you may find some high-resolution images that you can download for your own PowerPoint lectures.  Many articles and YouTube videos can be found on the Internet—but I think these will be some of better (best?) images for your personal use.