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Göbeklitepe- The World’s First Temple

12,000 years ago, the world’s first temple, Göbeklitepe, was built near Urfa in Turkey. 

Massive carved stones were arranged in rings by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools. The stones are covered in carvings of foxes, lions, vultures, and scorpions using only stone hammers and blades. The tallest pillar is 16 feet and the site pre-dates Stonehenge by 6,000 years.

 After Göbeklitepe was dismissed by many as an abandoned Medieval cemetery, German archeologist Klaus Schmidt decided to look for himself. He saw a hill with a gently rounded top and knew it had to have been man-made.

Funnily, Göbeklitepe means “potbelly hill” in Turkish. Schmidt and a team of archeologists have been excavating and analyzing the site. The site is believed to have been a social ritual gathering place attended by hunter and gatherer inhabitants.

A documentary on the Göbeklitepe is available online and has been made available for free by the filmmakers.  Watch it below or you can find it on both YouTube and Vimeo.

Have you been to the Göbeklitepe site? Let us know in the comments. And, be sure to sign up to get Festival emails so you don’t miss any SEEfest events!