East – Turkey – GobekliTepe (Potbelly Hill)

Gobekli Tepe (Potbelly Hill).

Gobekli Tepe was may be the most facinating place we visited. It is an archeological excavation that is uncoverong a holy place that is 12000 years old, (6000 years older than Stomehenge). People were hunters-gatherers at that  time so they had no permanent places where they lived. Still they made this place with appoximately 200 T-shaped stones, pilars, that weigh up to 50 tons. It has been estimated that it would require at least several hundereds  men to do this. Remember there was no organized society and they had no metal tools, no wheels, so there are many questions with no answer. Up to 100 000 bones from wild animals have been found and that can mean sacrifices, but to what? There are also small depressions on top of some of the pilars for sacrifices. They have found bones of a 20 year old man that might have been a sacrifice.

To add to the mystery, the site was deliberately buried , why? There are a lot of decorations on the pilars, but not on all of them. Most of them are decorated with animals and some of them has human arms along the sides.

With ground-penetrating radar they have found about 20 such circular sites in the area,

National Geographic Magazine June 2011 has an article about this place called “The birth of religion” not even with a question mark. It descibes two theories. One is the traditional one, that domestication, permanent living places, organized society and agriculture led to religion. The second theory follows the findings at Gobekli Tepe, that religion led to cooperation, organized society, need to produce food, agriculture and permanent living.

The surprise of the place and the finds are interesting and a thoughtstimulants for me. I would like to learn more about this. My old interest from my teenage years about archeology and ancient cultures really got a boost.

I talked with Timur, the owner of the land, and he knew a lot of facts our guide did not tell us, and he also showed me details for instance about the sacrifices.

Another must-see place.

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