Oldest worship place in Black Sea region unearthed
The Kahin Tepe excavations in the northern province of Kastamonu’s Araç district have unearthed findings belonging to the Neolithic period in the the oldest place of worship found in the Black Sea.
Having started in 2018, the excavations have been going on ever since by the Kastamonu Museum Directorate and consulted by the Düzce University head of the Protohistoric and Near Eastern Archaeology Department, Nurperi Ayengin.
Nineteen students and academics from various universities are working in the excavation field.
Speaking to the Anadolu Agency, Ayengin said that they started the excavations in the region two years ago for a dam rescue project near Başköy village.
Pointing out that Kahin Tepe is located in a strategic location, Ayengin said, “We discovered the settlement dating to the Aceramic Neolithic period, which lasted between 12,000 and 7,000 BC.”
“One of the most famous of this period is Göbeklitepe located in the southeast. When we look at the social structure of the period, we know that the main element was a rigid and complex religious belief,” Ayengin noted.
She stated that new discoveries that would change the history of Anatolia were expected at Kahin Tepe.
“These excavations will yield very serious results in terms of both Anatolia and world history. In the qualified sculptures unearthed in the excavations, we can say that we have determined, which animals the gods of the Aceramic Neolithic period consisted of,” Ayengin added.
“We think that this is a sacred area where people came at certain times of the year to hunt, share their knowledge, worship, and make statues of animals,” she said.
Noting that both the region and the artifacts unearthed in the excavations are very similar to the characteristics of Göbeklitepe, Ayengin said that the city was one of the settlements with the most similar details to Göbeklitepe, especially when looking at the hybrid works and the depictions of the clergy.
“Kahin Tepe is the oldest temple site of the Aceramic Neolithic period in the Black Sea. This is a religious place where people both worship and transfer their knowledge. It is the oldest place of worship found in the Black Sea,” she said.
“We have seen that Anatolian history is pregnant with many unexplored settlements. Much bigger discoveries await us,” she noted, adding that this game-changer excavation will continue to change history.
Last year, the excavations in the region have unearthed findings such as a grinding stone and ornaments belonging to the same period.