Where is Göbeklitepe and is it safe to be there?
Göbeklitepe archaeological site is near Örencik village, 15 km northeast of Şanlıurfa aka Urfa, which is one of the most mystical cities of Turkey. It is situated in South East part of Turkey. It was discovered in 1963. Only 5 percent of the whole site has been unsurfaced so far but the excavation is still going.The city is close to Syrian border. However, that doesn’t mean that it is a dangerous place. The life in Urfa is as safe as the rest of the cities in Turkey. Everyone is incredibly kind and you might even find the hospitality much better than in the tourist beach areas.
Why Göbeklitepe is significant?
Before the discovery of Göbeklitepe also known as Potbelly hill, archeologists thought that temples and religious structures where to be seen only where farming communities presented. However, in Göbeklitepe, temples found are dating back to the era when farming hadn’t started yet. This place is at least 6000 years older than Stonehenge in England and 5.500 years older than the first cities of Mesopotomia. It is believed to be a centre of faith and pilgrimage during the Neolithic Age and also It proves the existence of religious beliefs prior to the establishment of the first cities.
What to see in Göbeklitepe?
This place is considered to be the oldest ruins of Anatolia. It is a temple complex more than a city. It depicts various animal figures, belief systems and sacrificial areas. There is no evidence of people living there, no cooking supplies, no building suggesting that somebody actually lived there. So don’t expect to see somewhere like Ephesus in Izmir or Sobesos in Cappadocia. You will be seeing temple complexes, sanctuaries and spiritual worshipping areas.
There are six of those temples unearthed to date, on the basis of geomagnetic surveys, the total number of those monumental structures is believed to be twenty. There are stone pillars which are six-metre-tall and T-shaped carved with reliefs of animals, erected to form circles.
And according to some experts those carvings might be the earliest three dimensional depictions of animals carved into stones.