New temples, stones found in Turkey’s Göbeklitepe site
ŞANLIURFA - Anadolu Agency
Archeologists have discovered new temples and standing stones in Göbeklitepe, an archeological site located in Turkey’s southeastern Şanlıurfa province.
In an interview with state-run Anadolu Agency, Mehmet Önal, the head of the Archeology Department at Harran University in Şanlıurfa, said at least 15 more mega-monumental temples and more than 200 standing stones were discovered as part of geophysical surveys in the region.
“As archaeological excavations continue in the coming years, we will come across new constructions,” said Önal.
He noted that the excavations in Göbeklitepe are estimated to continue for at least 150 years.
Göbeklitepe has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List since 2011. It was discovered in 1963 when researchers from Istanbul and Chicago universities were working at the site. Since then, the excavations have never stopped.
The German Archaeological Institute and Şanlıurfa Museum have done joint work at the site since 1995 and have found T-shaped obelisks from the Neolithic era measuring three to six meters (10 to 20 feet) high, and weighing 40 to 60 tons.
During the excavations, diverse historical artifacts like 65-centimeter-long human statues dating back 12,000 years were also discovered.
A 4,000-square-meter steel roof was erected to protect the site during preparations for its candidacy.
After being temporarily closed to visitors due to restoration work, Göbeklitepe partially reopened in February.