Göbekli Tepe is a structural complex in Upper Mesopotamia that is 11,500 years old. A recent glance at the site has confirmed that it is likely one of the most mind-blowing locations in the history of humankind.

After applying algorithm-based analysis to the architectural layout of Göbekli Tepe, archaeologists from Tel Aviv University (TAU) and the Israel Antiquities Authority discovered that the prehistoric site, which is thought to be the earliest known temple, was not a simple construction of oddly placed structures but rather an orchestrated complex with an underlying geometric pattern. It is quite an effort to think that this sprawling temple complex was built around 11,500 years ago, before the widespread development of agriculture and about 6,000 years before the construction of Stonehenge.

The results of the most current investigation can be found in the most recent edition of the Cambridge Archaeological Journal.

Archaeologists are still puzzled and divided over Göbekli Tepe, considering that it is the earliest architectural monument found. In present-day Turkey, the location is on a mountain slope that views the Fertile Crescent. Built during the Neolithic age at some point between 9,600 and 8,200 BCE, it is comprised of many buildings and monuments, some of which are elaborately decorated with carvings and sculptures of animals. Some of these structures and monuments are also ornately decorated. The age of the complex is remarkable since it leads one to think that hunter-gatherers built it before the development of agriculture and thousands of years before the appearance of any other complex monumental architecture. It is believed to have had some ritual significance.


Göbekli Tepe, as seen from above. Gil Haklay/AFTAU.

It was commonly believed that such structures could only be accomplished after a civilization had mastered agriculture. However, the discovery of Göbekli Tepe raises doubts about this fundamental assumption.

According to Professor Avi Gopher of TAU’s Department of Archaeology, Göbekli Tepe is an archaeological wonder. Since there is no evidence of farming or animal domestication at the time, the site is believed to have been built by hunter-gatherers. It was built by Neolithic communities between 11,500 and 11,000 years ago, and it features enormous, round stone structures and monumental stone pillars up to 5.5 meters (19 feet) high. However, the level of architectural sophistication that they feature is very out of the ordinary for them.

Geometric pattern underlying the architectural planning of a complex at Göbekli Tepe. Gil Haklay/AFTAU.

According to the findings of this recent research, it would have been needed to have a considerable knowledge base, organizational skills, and planning ability to construct the location. For starters, to create the floor plans, which the study’s authors argue laid out in a geometric shape that is not a coincidence, someone would have needed to have a solid understanding of geometry. The research also demonstrates that the complex frequently uses rectangular architecture and square shapes, both of which were not commonly used by people of the Stone Age but are frequently considered to be a characteristic of early farmers in the ancient Levant.

According to Gil Haklay of the Israel Antiquities Authority, the findings suggest that major architectural transformations during this period, such as the transition to rectangular architecture, were knowledge-based, top-down processes by specialists. Additionally, the most significant and basic methods of architectural planning were devised in the Levant during the Late Epipaleolithic period as part of the Natufian culture and throughout the early Neolithic period. According to the findings of our most recent study, the techniques of architectural planning, abstract design rules, and organizational patterns were already being used during this formative moment in the history of humankind.

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