World’s oldest temple site Göbeklitepe reopens to visitors in Turkey’s southeast
The ancient site of Göbeklitepe, which is considered the world’s oldest temple area and has been closed for the last 18 months, has once again opened its doors to visitors following the construction of protective roofs.
Located in the Örencik neighborhood, 18 kilometers from the city center in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, the Neolithic-age settlement has been undergoing archaeological excavations since 1995 in collaboration with the Şanlıurfa Museum and the Berlin Archaeology Institute.
Neolithic-era T-shaped stones with wild animal figures and various artifacts have so far been unearthed in the ancient site, which contrains the ruins of the world’s oldest temple.
Göbeklitepe was included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List five years ago and will be one of Turkey’s nominees to enter the Permanent List during the 42nd World Heritage Committee this year.
Final preparations are currently underway for the UNESCO bid. The construction of a 4,000-squaremeter protective roof, which cost 6.6 milion Euros, aims to support the application. The roof will facilitate the long-term preservation of the ancient settlement.