CULTURE


Turkiye’s Göbekli Tepe - world’s oldest known megalithic structure protected by UNESCO

Baku, April 12, AZERTAC

The famed ancient site of Gobekli Tepe, located in Turkiye’s southeastern Sanliurfa province, 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.

According to UNESCO, these monuments were probably used in connection with rituals, most likely of a funerary nature.

The site was added to UNESCO's list during the ongoing 42nd UNESCO World Heritage Committee session in Manama, Bahrain, in 2018.

Göbekli Tepe is located in Upper Mesopotamia, a region which saw the emergence of the most ancient farming communities in the world. Monumental structures, interpreted as monumental communal buildings (enclosures), were erected by groups of hunter-gatherers in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period (10th-9th millennia BC).

The monuments were probably used in connection with social events and rituals and feature distinctive limestone T-shaped pillars, some of which are up to 5.50 meters tall. Some of the pillars, which are abstract depictions of the human form, also feature low reliefs of items of clothing, e.g. belts and loincloths, as well as high and low reliefs of wild animals. Recent excavation works have also identified the remains of non-monumental structures, which appear to stem from domestic buildings.

The communities that built the monumental megalithic structures of Göbekli Tepe lived during one of the most momentous transitions in human history, one which took us from hunter-gatherer lifeways to the first farming communities.

The monumental buildings at Göbekli Tepe demonstrate the creative human genius of these early (Pre-Pottery Neolithic) societies.

Göbekli Tepe is one of the first manifestations of human-made monumental architecture. The site testifies to innovative building techniques, including the integration of frequently decorated T-shaped limestone pillars, which also fulfilled architectural functions.

The imagery found at Göbekli Tepe, adorning T-pillars and some small finds (stone vessels, shaft-straighteners, etc.), is also found at contemporaneous sites in the Upper Mesopotamian region, thus testifying to a close social network in this core region of Neolithisation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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