Saturday, 23 March 2013

Göbekli Tepe - World's Oldest Known Existing Temple.

Göbekli Tepe, located in southern Turkey, is the oldest-known, existing temple in the world. It was built approximately 11,000 years ago. Göbekli Tepe  is a Neolithic hilltop sanctuary erected at the top of a mountain ridge in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, some 15 kilometers (9 mi) northeast of the town of Şanlıurfa  It is the oldest known human-made religious structure. The site was most likely erected in the 10th millennium BCE and has been under excavation since 1994 by German and Turkish archaeologists. Together with Nevalı Çori, it has revolutionized understanding of Eurasian Neolithic history.

Göbekli Tepe is regarded as an archaeological discovery of the greatest importance since it could profoundly change our understanding of a crucial stage in the development of human societies. The structures are round megalithic buildings. The walls are made of unworked dry stone and include numerous T-shaped monolithic pillars of limestone that are up to 3 meters (10 ft) high. Another, bigger pair of pillars is placed in the centre of the structures. There is evidence that the structures were roofed; the central pair of pillars may have supported the roof. Some of the floors are made of terrazzo (burnt lime), others are bedrock from which pedestals for the large pair of central pillars were carefully carved in high relief.
Göbekli Tepe is the world's oldest known religious structure. The site, located on a hilltop, contains 20 round structures which had been buried, four of which have been excavated. Each round structure has a diameter of between 10 and 30 meters (30 and 100 ft) and all are decorated with massive, mostly T-shaped, limestone pillars that are the most striking feature of the site. The limestone slabs were carried from bedrock pits located around 100 meters (330 ft) from the hilltop, with neolithic workers using flint points to carve the bedrock.[9] The majority of flint tools found at the site are Byblos and Nemrik points.
Two pillars are at the centre of each circle, possibly intended to help support a roof, and up to eight pillars are evenly positioned around the walls of the room. The spaces between the pillars are lined with unworked stone and there are stone benches between each set of pillars around the edges of the wall.















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