Replica of Göbeklitepe obelisk to be added to UN grounds
A replica of an obelisk from a famous site in Turkey over 10,000 years old will be exhibited on the grounds of the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Work on installing the one-half scale T-shaped obelisk from the prehistoric site of Göbeklitepe in Turkey’s southeastern province of Şanlıurfa began on Sept. 13 as part of a joint effort by Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Foreign Ministry.
After the completion of installation and landscaping works on Sept. 18, an opening ceremony will take place on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in the presence of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy.
The replica, like all the obelisks in Göbeklitepe, was carved out of limestone, known in the region as “Şanlıurfa stone,” over the course of some two months by Ahmet Demirtaş, an archaeologist and sculptor from Şanlıurfa, and his team.
“The replica is of half size of the 5.5 meter-tall T-shaped stone in Göbeklitepe, known as ‘P18.’ The limestone used in making the replica was brought to our workplace in Istanbul from a stone quarry in Şanlıurfa,” Demirtaş previously said.
“The exhibition of this replica in the U.N. will show what a big center the Anatolia is for the world and the mankind,” Ömer Çelik, spokesperson of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said in a press conference on Sept. 13.
The U.N. headquarters hosts a collection of nearly 200 artworks, historical objects and architectural pieces officially donated by member states, foundations and individual donors since 1950.
The replica of P18 will be the second object to be exhibited at the U.N. headquarters from Anatolia. A copper replica of the Kadesh Treaty, exhibited in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, was presented to the U.N. in 1970.
The treaty was signed between the Hittites and the Egyptians after the War of Kadesh in 1,200 B.C.
In joint work at the site since 1995, the German Archaeological Institute and Şanlıurfa Museum have found T-shaped obelisks from the Neolithic era towering 3 to 6 meters (10 to 20 feet) and weighing 40 to 60 tons.
During the excavations, diverse 12,000-year-old artifacts, such as human statuettes with a height of 65 centimeters (26 inches), were discovered.