The Mysteries Of Göbekli Tepe

                  On a rounded hill that rises amid the barren plateaus of the Germuş mountains in southeast Turkey lies Göbekli Tepe: a site of massive carved stones, almost 12,000 years old, crafted and arranged by Neolithic people. The megalist predate Stonehenge by over 6,000 years.

                  Göbekli Tepe (Potbelly Hill) is 15 kilometers northeast of the provincial capital Şanlıurfa (often simply called Urfa) A survey by the University of İstanbul and University of Chicago first examined the nine hectare hilltop site in the 196os and discovered limestone slabs, which they assumed to be part of a medieval cemetery. The true significance of the site would not be uncovered for another three decades.
                  In 1994 the German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt, two was working on his own survey of prehistoric sites in the region, visited the hill and identified it as something excavations began soon after and are continued today by the Orient and İstanbul Departments of the German Archaeological İnstitute. While the sheer size the structures is staggering, the site-which was recently admitted to Unesco's World Heritage List is also upending knowledge about the development of societies in Neolithic Anatolia, and has provoked debate about the ancient significance of the space.

                  The stone rings date back to the Neolithic era, before the development of metal tools or pottery. Five-meter-tall T-staped pillars in center, weighing between seven to 10 tons, are encircled by slightly smaller inward-facing stones.

                  The T-shape of the pillars are believed to be abstract depictions of the human body, horizontal parts of the stone represent the human head, tall vertical parts represent the torso, with reliefs of arms on the sides. A closer look at some pillars reveals reliefs of naturalist symbols and abstract signs, likely carved by flint. Some have been deciphered and others still being researchered by the excavation team. The best-preserved pillars contain clear decorative motifs of wild Eurasian animals, including foxes, vultures, wild boar, and snakes.

                  The function of the space is still debated. Some archaeologists, such as Klaus Schmidt, believe that Göbekli Tepe may be the world's oldest human-built temple. Others, however, argue that the space was likely not restricted only to religious practies. Whatever the function of the site, discoveries from Göbekli Tepe have been revolutionary in challenging previously held beliefs about the development of human civilization, which typically held that people only constructed complex societies and temples only after learning to farm in settled communities.

                  But the construction of Göbekli Tepe was a massive undertaking reqiuring hundreds of workers, two would have needed housing and feeding in a relatively organized and stable social system that predated the establishment of agriculture. The domestication of einkorn wheat around Karacadağ mountain close to Göbekli Tepe at 7,800-7,500 BC, while initial constructions of Göbekli Tepe started approximately 9,600 BC. This would suggest that agriculture followed societal and cultural change.
                  Another interesting feature is the carved symbols on the megalights which predate Sumerian hieroglyphics traditionally thought to be tge basis of written languages by around 8,000 years. Göbekli Tepe was part of an active civilization for nearly three millennia, before being abandoned around 9,000 years ago under mysterious circumstances. To date, four large sections have been to visitors. These enclosures reveal just 3-4 percent of the entire site. Radar scans ruggest there are at least 16 other stone rings that remain hidden.

                  As excavations continue to yield insight about its creators, Göbekli Tepe is a messenger from the past, posing intriguing questions, stirring dabate, and humbling visitors with its grandeur and mystery.
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