Göbekli Tepe

By UNESCO World Heritage

Megalithic structures (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

Zero point in time

Located in the Germuş mountains of south-eastern Anatolia, this property presents monumental round-oval and rectangular megalithic structures erected by hunter-gatherers in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic age between 9,600 and 8,200 BCE. These monuments were probably used in connection with rituals, most likely of a funerary nature.

Main Excavation Area / Southeast-Hollow. (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

Distinctive T-shaped pillars are carved with images of wild animals, providing insight into the way of life and beliefs of people living in Upper Mesopotamia about 11,500 years ago.

Outstanding Universal Value (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

Göbekli Tepe, regarded as one of the world’s oldest archaeological ruins discovery and its oldest temples, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2018 under the following criteria (i): to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius, (ii): to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design and (iv): It is an outstanding example of a type of architectural ensemble which illustrates a significant stage in human history.

Harald Hauptmann (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

Harald Hauptmann (1936-2018) was Professor of Prehistoric and Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Heidelberg and director of the Istanbul Department at the German Archaeological Institute (1994-2006). During his long career, he undertook several important excavations in eastern and south-eastern Turkey covering the periods from Early Neolithic to the Middle Ages.

Klaus Schmidt (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

Klaus Schmidt (1953-2014) was a German archaeologist and prehistorian. He studied pre- and protohistory, classical archaeology and geology at the universities of Erlangen and Heidelberg. Klaus Schmidt dedicated twenty years of his professional career to the excavation and research of Göbekli Tepe.

Points (arrowheads) from Göbekli Tepe (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

The distinctive and well-known T-shaped (anthropomorphic) pillars from Göbekli Tepe were carved from quarries in the adjacent limestone plateau using stone and bone tools.

The sculpture from Göbekli Tepe that was taken by a local farmer to the Şanlıurfa Museum (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

Following the first discovery of Göbekli Tepe by archaeologists in the early 1960s, artefacts continued to be revealed in the course of agricultural activities. One such find, an ithyphallic stone figure, was taken to Şanlıurfa Museum by Şafak Yıldız, a local farmer.

Building C (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

Megalithic monumental buildings

The megalithic structures have largely retained the original form and design of their architectural elements, together with numerous decorative elements and craft works that provide an insight into the way of life of the societies that occupied the site.

Outstanding Universal Value (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

The results of more than twenty years of research and archaeological excavations on the site testify to its authenticity.

Göbekli Tepe’s circular temples (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

Excavations and research under way since the mid-1990s also provide a more balanced and detailed view of the relationship between the various aspects of usage and the prehistoric importance of the property.

Building B (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

Building B is located in the Main Excavation Area/Southeast-Hollow. It has a round ground plan and measures approximately 10 metres in diameter. A total of seven T-shaped limestone pillars have so far been discovered set into its circular wall. The two central T-pillars bring the total number of monoliths in this building to nine. However, as the building is not yet completely excavated, further pillars might appear in the future. The floor of the building was excavated over several square metres in the area between the two central pillars. The floor of this building is made of a lime mortar or plaster. The inner-facing broad sides of the two central pillars carry depictions of life-size foxes (in low relief).

Rear view of a T-shaped pillar from Building B with the low reliefs of a predator and a snake (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

Rear view of a T-shaped pillar from Building B with the low reliefs of a predator and a snake.

Leopard from building C (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

A high relief of a leopard from building C worked on T-shaped pillar, below a depiction of a wild boar, dichotomy of hunter and prey is tried to be described in this scene.

Building D (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

Building D, here the best-preserved structure of round buildings can be seen, surrounding T-pillars oriented based on two central pillars.

Eastern central Pillar from Building D (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

Eastern central Pillar from Building D. The anthropomorphic characteristics of the T-pillar (arms, hands on the stomach, belt and loincloth) are clearly visible. The pillar in the background carries depictions of wild animals and insects.

Pillar 43 from Building D (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

One of the most spectacularly adorned pillars at Göbekli Tepe is P43 in Building D. It is decorated on three of its sides. The west-facing broad side is the most lavishly decorated. It features animal depictions and abstract motifs.

Göbekli Tepe: The ‘’unexcavated mound’’ (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

Göbekli Tepe: The ‘’unexcavated mound’’ prior to the onset of the archaeological excavations.

Göbekli Tepe Visitor Centre and conservation Roof structure (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

Conservation

In order to preserve as much of the original substance as possible, careful excavation aims to uncover just enough of the buildings to gain insights into its use-life. Conservation and preservation efforts have been considered from the very beginning of excavations, including the construction of provisional roof structures. Meanwhile, two permanent shelters have been constructed. These new shelters provide better protection from environmental conditions.

Göbekli Tepe Visitor Centre and conservation Visitor experience (2018) by Göbekli TepeUNESCO World Heritage

Further, in the case of the shelter at the Main Excavation Area/Southeast-Hollow, it greatly improves visitor access and visibility of the excavations and prehistoric monumental buildings.

Discovering the site.

Credits: Story

This exhibit was created by Sanliurfa Tourism Development
www.visiturfa.com/

More on Göbekli Tepe and World Heritage:
whc.unesco.org/en/list/1572

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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