Gobekli Tepe – The Oldest Temple On The Earth

Gobekli Tepe

Gobekli Tepe. Photo by CA Eccles

Gobekli Tepe – this temple structure that lies on top of the ridge, about 15 kilometers northeast of the ancient city of Edessa. The entire mountain range is located in Turkey. Stone circles are made of carefully polished stones, which were made before the era of farming. This complex was recognized as the most ancient places of worship.

Gobekli Tepe History

The archaeologists have known about Gobekli Tepe since the early 60′s, but its meaning remained unknown for a long time. An archaeologist from the United States, Peter Benedict thought that under the complex is located Byzantine cemetery. Excavations began in 1994 by the Turkish department of the German Institute of Archaeology. The assistant in this case was a museum Shanlyura under the control of Klaus Schmidt.

Gobekli Tepe: Marshland themed glyphs on semi-buried stone monument

Gobekli Tepe: Marshland themed glyphs on semi-buried stone monument. Photo by CA Eccles

As a child, Klaus Schmidt went to the caves at in Germany, in the desire to find a prehistoric drawings. After 30 years, now as a member of the German Archaeological Institute, he found the temple complex, which is around a factor of 2 over a similar archaeological finds of this type.

It’s like a supernova – says Schmidt. We are standing under a lone tree on top of a windswept hill, 35 miles north of the Turkish-Syrian border. – As soon as I first saw it, I realized that I had two choices: either get out of here and do not tell anyone anything, or the rest of my life exploring this subject.

Behind him, one can see the first slopes of the Anatolian plateau. Ahead of the carpet color dust for many miles is Mesopotamian plain. And in front of him lay a little hidden under the stone circle Gobekli Tepe.

Gobekli Tepe Mystery

These mysterious structures are small when compared with other findings. To date, researchers have unearthed 4 items out of 20. Each of them is 30 meters in diameter. At the same level with facilities found a T-shaped pillars, on which were two stones in 5 meters. There are images of wild boars, foxes, lions, birds, snakes and scorpions on the rocks.

Gobekli Tepe Pictographs.

Gobekli Tepe Pictographs. Photo by Sean Paul Kelley

Gobekli Tepe Pictographs 2

Gobekli Tepe Pictographs 2. Photo by Yvonne Kluin

The people who created these images did not know of any agricultural or pottery or writing and the wheel. Residents of Gobekli Tepe lived by settlements and hunting.

Gobekli Tepe Pictographs 3

Gobekli Tepe Pictographs 3. Photo by Tim Ingmire

It used to be that to build such monumental sites only by a complex, hierarchically arranged civilizations that arose only after the emergence of farming – says Ian Hodder, a professor of anthropology, since 1993, manages the excavations at Çatalhöyük. Gobekli Tepe overturns every of our ideas. The objects found there skillfully handled, they are difficult to manufacture and have been made before the appearance of farming. This alone makes this set one of the most important archaeological finds in a long time.

Gobekli Tepe Excavations

As since 10 years of work, we have opened only part of the complex, the mission of Gobekli Tepe structures is still unknown. There is a theory that it was a ritual place associated with the cult of fertility, where the two central stones symbolize a woman and a man.

One of the monolithic stone pillars uncovered at Gobekli Tepe by German archaeologist named Dr Klaus Schmidt. These temple pillars have carved animal reliefs on their sides, including lions, bulls, foxes, different types of insects, and birds such as vultures and water fowl.

One of the monolithic stone pillars uncovered at Gobekli Tepe by German archaeologist named Dr Klaus Schmidt. These temple pillars have carved animal reliefs on their sides, including lions, bulls, foxes, different types of insects, and birds such as vultures and water fowl. Photo by LKHS

Schmidt does not trust this theory. He thinks that Gobekli Tepe could be “evidence of the last take-off semi-civilization, which was soon supplanted by farmers.” But the stones are no symbols of fertility, which are on the other monuments of the Neolithic.

Gobekli Tepe Excavations

Gobekli Tepe Excavations. Photo by Horus Neo Ikon Epifanes

“I think we are dealing here with the earliest images of the gods, – says Schmidt – They have no eyes, no mouths, no faces. But there are arms and hands. This is demiurges. I think those who carved them out of the stone, asked most global question: What is this world? Why are we there? “

There were no houses or graves near the stones. Schmidt thinks that the top of this hill was a place of pilgrimage for communities living within a radius of more than 100 kilometers. The highest stones “viewing” on the south-west, as if considering the plain.

Southeastern Turkey, Northern Syria –  this civilization originated is older than the Egyptian in this region.

All conclusions at the expense of temple buildings Gobekli Tepe are preliminary, because excavations are only 5% of the territory. The archaeologists think, that the study will go approximately fifty years.

Gobekli Tepe Excavations 3

Gobekli Tepe Excavations 3. Photo by Horus Neo Ikon Epifanes

The construction of such a large complex required a huge amount of people forces. It turns, out that for the manufacture and delivery of stones weighing from 10 – 20 tons to  a distance of 500 m without the efforts of the animals had to be 500 people. Other columns have weighed up to 50 tons, which means people need to be more.

Gobekli Tepe Excavations 2

Gobekli Tepe Excavations 2. Photo by Horus Neo Ikon Epifanes

In the early 8th millennium BC temple complex Gobekli Tepe has lost its meaning. But it is not just left, leaving the natural destruction. It was especially filled with 300-500 cubic meters of earth. Why do so? Until today remains a mystery.

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11 Thoughts on “Gobekli Tepe – The Oldest Temple On The Earth

  1. I studied ancient history in college. Back then Jericho and Catalhyuk were know to be the oldest signs of civilization. How long will it take the textbooks to catch up to this discovery and how long will it take main stream science to change and teach the theory that the need to gather and worship predated to need of farming and community?
    This discovery is very exciting to me. It makes me wonder how many more civilizations are buried or are so old that even the ancients knew nothing of them.

  2. Mike Bradley on August 29, 2013 at 3:41 pm said:

    The site is very close to Syria. Is the civil war there endangering the site and its workers? Has excavation been suspended?

  3. John Selmo on October 30, 2013 at 11:47 am said:

    It has occurred to me that the reason for the fact that this site is burried seemingly intentionally with debris is that I believe this site was built as a strong point at the end of the last glacial period or ice age. Around 11k years ago ice core data shows that the earth had ice down to 2000 ft in most areas but the naturally warmer areas +I believe that after devouring all the megafauna during that period of close proximity and witnessing our own possible demise as a species humans were determined to leave a lasting mark.and thus the post ice age pyramid building began around the work mostly in hot and previouslyundroEn areas. I believe when the final melt happened it buried places like this is massive amounts of debris.. Well that’s a piece of my theorie do what you will with it

    • Hello, John!

      Conversely, I much more interested to know more about your version. I’ve published here an official version about Gobekli Tepe. But this doesn’t matter that I’m exclude another versions!

      Be free, to comment this post and write everything you want to tell the world about Gobekli Tepe.

      Also, I’m interested in your opinion on the origin of Arkaim in Russia. You can get more information about the Arkaim in my article: Arkain – The Russian Stonehenge

  4. Hayman on October 30, 2013 at 4:28 pm said:

    This ancient Armenian sacred monument, it is on the part of Western Armenia had occupied. It’s called “portasar” umbilical Mountain. Has no connection with the turks as well as the name of the gobekli tepe just a translation of the origin name from the Armenian language. The monumental bas-reliefs depict the constellation Orion and the Swan. The constellation of Orion is a sacred symbol of the Armenians and their forefather Hayk in Sumerian transcription Ea-Haya. Тherefore Armenians call themselves Hay.

  5. Here I need to mention that Portasar is the old name of what is now called Gobekle Tepe which is a direct translation of Armenian “Portasar” which means Mountain Naval. Ex. Big Hayq; Armenian Kingdom of Kilikia; Urfa(Urha), Last name was Edesia province
    The temple was built over 9-11000 years ago, but turkish ethnic groups appeared in Armenian Highlands in 11th century.

  6. This ancient Armenian sacred monument, it is on the part of Western Armenia had occupied. It’s called “portasar” umbilical Mountain. Has no connection with newly arrived as well as the name of the gobekli tepe just a translation of the origin name from the Armenian language. The monumental bas-reliefs depict the constellation Orion and the Swan. The constellation of Orion is a sacred symbol of the Armenians and their forefather Hayk in Sumerian transcription Ea-Haya. Тherefore Armenians call themselves Hay.

  7. I am interested in the iconography of ancient religions. I wonder to what extent the vultures and winged creatures developed into the iconography of later Babylonian and Persian depiction of gods and angels.
    There seems to be a direct link between sky burials and the removal and decoration of heads and ancestor worship. The Teraphim that Rebecca hid under her camel seat may have been just such a head.

    Also is it possible that the wings of vultures later morphed into the representation of angels, derived from the association of the soul carried into heaven. Also the practice of shamans adorning themselves with the wings of Vultures giving them a god like status in the eyes of their subjects later transcribed into the godlike depiction of the Kings of Babylon and Persia which was of course anathema to the Jews. Thus the Isaiah 14 prophecy against the Nebuchadnezzar’s god delusion. I refer to the image representing Darius with wings to give him godlike status.

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