Göbekli Tepe

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Göbekli Tepe
structures A - D
Göbekli Tepe is located in Turkey
Shown within Turkey
Location northeast of Şanlıurfa
Region Southeastern Anatolia Region, Turkey
Coordinates 37°13′23″N 38°55′21″E / 37.22306°N 38.92250°E / 37.22306; 38.92250Coordinates: 37°13′23″N 38°55′21″E / 37.22306°N 38.92250°E / 37.22306; 38.92250
Type Sanctuary
Periods pre-pottery Neolithic A–B
Site notes
Condition well preserved
Website references:[1] Megalithic Portal

Göbekli Tepe (Turkish: [ɡøbe̞kli te̞pɛ],[2] "Potbelly Hill"[3]), is an archaeological site at the top of a mountain ridge in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, northeast of the town of Şanlıurfa. The tell has a height of 15 m (49 ft) and is about 300 m (984 ft) in diameter.[4] It is approximately 760 m (2,493 ft) above sea level. Since the mid-1990s, it has been excavated by a German archaeological team that since 1996 has been under the direction of Klaus Schmidt.

The tell includes two settlement phases dating back to the 10th-8th millennium BC. During the first phase (PPNA), circles of massive T-shaped stone pillars were erected. More than 200 pillars in about 20 circles are currently known through geophysical surveys. Each pillar has a height of up to 6 m (20 ft) and a weight of up to 20 tons. They are fitted into sockets that were hewn out of the bedrock.[5] In the second phase (PPNB), the erected pillars are smaller. They stood in rectangular rooms. These rooms had floors of polished lime. Obviously, the site was abandoned after the PPNB-period. Younger structures date to classical times.

The function of the structures is not yet clear. The most common opinion, shared by excavator Klaus Schmidt, is that they are early neolithic sanctuaries.


The site was first noted in a survey conducted by Istanbul University and the University of Chicago in 1963. American archaeologist Peter Benedict identified it as being possibly neolithic.[6] He further postulated that the Neolithic layers were topped by Byzantine and Islamic cemeteries. This might be the reason why no excavations started then. The survey noted numerous flints. Huge limestone slabs, upper parts of the T-shaped pillars, were thought to be grave markers. The hill had long been under agricultural cultivation; generations of local inhabitants had frequently moved rocks and placed them in clearance piles, possibly destroying much archaeological evidence in the process.

In 1994, Klaus Schmidt, now of the German Archaeological Institute, who had previously been working at Nevalı Çori, was looking for another site to dig, leading a team of his own. He reviewed the archaeological literature on the surrounding area, found the Chicago researchers’ brief description of Göbekli Tepe, and decided to give it another look. With his knowledge of comparable objects at Nevalı Çori, he recognized the possibility that the rocks and slabs were parts of T-shaped pillars.

The following year, he began excavating there in collaboration with the Şanlıurfa Museum. Huge T-shaped pillars were soon discovered. Some had apparently been subjected to attempts at smashing, probably by farmers who mistook them for ordinary large rocks.[7] The nearby Gürcütepe site - also Neolithic - was excavated until 2000.[8]


View of site and excavation

The imposing stratigraphy of Göbekli Tepe attests to many centuries of activity, beginning at least as early as the epipaleolithic, or Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA), in the 10th millennium BC. The PPNA buildings have been dated to about the close of the 10th millennium BCE. There are remains of smaller houses from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) era and a few epipalaeolithic finds as well.[citation needed]

There are a number of radiocarbon dates (presented with one standard deviation errors and calibrations to BCE):

Lab-Number Date BP Cal BCE Context
Ua-19561 8430 ± 80 7560–7370 enclosure C
Ua-19562 8960 ± 85 8280–7970 enclosure B
Hd-20025 9452 ± 73 9110–8620 Layer III
Hd-20036 9559 ± 53 9130–8800 Layer III

The Hd samples are from charcoal in the lowest levels of the site and would date the active phase of occupation. The Ua samples come from pedogenic carbonate coatings on pillars and only indicate a time after the site was abandoned—the terminus ante quem.[9]

The complex[edit]

Göbekli Tepe is situated on a flat and barren plateau. Buildings fan in all directions. In the north, the plateau is connected to a neighboring mountain range by a narrow promontory. In all other directions, the ridge descends steeply into slopes and steep cliffs.[10] On top of the ridge, there is a lot of evidence of human impact in addition to the actual tell. Excavations took place at the southern slope of the tell, south and west of a mulberry that marks an Islamic pilgrimage,[11] but archaeological finds come from the entire plateau.


Complex E

The plateau has been transformed by erosion and quarrying. Quarrying took place not only in the Neolithic, but also in classical times. There are four 10 m (33 ft) long and 20 cm (8 in) wide channels on the southern part of the plateau, interpreted as the remains of an ancient quarry from which rectangular blocks were taken. These are possibly related to a square building in the neighborhood, of which only the foundations are preserved. Presumably, these are the remains of a Roman watchtower which belonged to the Limes Arabicus. However, this is not known with certainty at this time.[12]

Most structures on the plateau seem to be caused by Neolithic quarrying. These quarries were used as sources for the huge monolithic architectural elements. Their profiles were pecked into the rock, with the detached blocks then levered out of the rock bank.[12] Several quarries where round workpieces had been produced were identified. Their interpretation was confirmed by the find of a 3 by 3 m piece at the southeastern slope of the plateau. Their function is not yet clear. Unequivocally Neolithic are three T-shaped pillars that have not been levered out of the bedrock. The biggest of them lies on the northern plateau. It has a length of 7 m (23 ft) and its head has a width of 3 m (10 ft). Its weight might be around 50 tons. The two other unfinished pillars lie on the southern Plateau.

At the western edge of the hill, a lion-like figure was found. In this area, flint and limestone fragments occur more frequently. It was thus suggested that this could have been some kind of sculpture workshop.[13] It is unclear, on the other hand, how to classify three phallic depictions from the surface of the southern plateau. They are near to the quarries from classical times, making their dating quite difficult.[14]

Apart from the tell, there is an incised platform with two sockets that could hold pillars, and a surrounding flat bench. This platform corresponds to the complexes from Layer III at the actual tell. Continuing the naming pattern, it is called complex E. Owing to its similarity to the cult-buildings at Nevalı Çori it has also been called "Temple of the Rock". Its floor has been carefully hewn out of the bedrock and smoothed. That is reminiscent of the terrazzo floors of the younger complexes at Göbekli Tepe. Immediately northwest of this area are two cistern-like pits, believed to be part of complex E. One of these pits has a table-high pin as well as a staircase with five steps.[15]

At the western escarpment, a small cave has been discovered in which a small relief was found. It depicts a bovine. It is the only relief found in this cave.[16]

Layer III[edit]

Pillar 2 from Enclosure A (Layer III) with bull, fox, and crane rendered in low relief

At this early stage of the site's history circular compounds or temenoi first appear. They range from 10 to 30 meters in diameter. Their most notable feature is the presence of T-shaped limestone pillars evenly set within thick interior walls composed of unworked stone. Four such round structures have been unearthed so far; geophysical surveys indicate that there are 16 more, enclosing up to eight pillars each, amounting to nearly 200 pillars in all. The slabs were transported from bedrock pits located approximately 100 meters (330 ft) from the hilltop, with workers using flint points to cut through the bedrock.[17]

Two taller pillars are at the centre of each circle. The circles were probably roofed, and the pair of central pillars may have helped support the roof but this is conjectural. Stone benches designed for sitting line the interior.[18] Many of the pillars are decorated with abstract, enigmatic pictograms and carved animal reliefs. The pictograms may represent commonly understood sacred symbols, as known from Neolithic cave paintings elsewhere. The reliefs depict lions, bulls, boars, foxes, gazelles, donkeys, snakes and other reptiles, insects, arachnids, and birds, particularly vultures. (At the time the shrine was constructed, the surrounding country was much lusher and capable of sustaining this variety of wildlife, before millennia of settlement and cultivation led to the near–Dust Bowl conditions prevalent today.)[7] Vultures also feature prominently in the iconography of Çatalhöyük and Jericho; it is believed that in the early Neolithic culture of Anatolia and the Near East the deceased were deliberately exposed in order to be excarnated by vultures and other carrion birds. (The head of the deceased was sometimes removed and preserved—possibly a sign of ancestor worship.)[19] This, then, would represent an early form of sky burial, as still practiced by Tibetan Buddhists and by Zoroastrians in Iran and India.[20]

Pillar 27 from Enclosure C (Layer III) with the sculpture of a predatory animal

Few humanoid figures have surfaced at Göbekli Tepe. However, some of the T-shaped pillars have human arms carved on their lower half, suggesting that they are intended to represent the bodies of stylized humans (or perhaps gods). Loincloths also appear on the lower half of a few pillars. The horizontal stone member on top is thought to symbolize a human head. The pillars as a whole therefore have an anthropomorphic identity.[21] Whether they were intended to serve as surrogate worshipers, symbolize venerated ancestors, or represent supernatural, anthropomorphic beings is not clear.

The discovery of a predator—a crocodile, perhaps, built low to the ground, very muscular, shown with teeth bared and distinguished by a long tail that nearly doubles back on itself—has excited particular interest for being carved almost in the round, hinting at a degree of artistic training and division of labor again surprising in a hunter-gatherer society. (Pillar 27, Enclosure 2, Layer III).

Some of the floors in this, the oldest layer, are made of terrazzo (burnt lime), others are bedrock from which pedestals to hold the large pair of central pillars were carved in high relief.[22] Radiocarbon dating places the construction of these early circles in the range of 9600 to 8800 BC; carbon dating suggests that (for reasons unknown) the enclosures were also backfilled during the Stone Age.

Layer II[edit]

Creation of the circular enclosures in layer III later gave way to the construction of small rectangular rooms in layer II. Rectangular buildings make a more efficient use of space compared with circular structures. They are often associated with the emergence of the Neolithic.[23] But the T-shaped pillars, the main feature of the older enclosures, are also present here, indicating that the buildings of Layer II continued to serve as sanctuaries.[24] Layer II is assigned to Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB). The several adjoining rectangular, door- and windowless rooms have floors of polished lime reminiscent of Roman terrazzo floors. Carbon dating has yielded dates between 8800 and 8000 BC.[25] Several T-pillars up to 1.5 meters occupy the center of the rooms. A pair decorated with fierce-looking lions is responsible for the name "lion pillar building" by which their enclosure is known.[26] Here too is found a Venus accueillante figure roughly incised on the surface of a bench between two interior pillars. Comparing it with the careful execution of the bas-reliefs found on the pillars, Schmidt characterizes it as "graffiti".[27]

Layer I[edit]

Layer I is the uppermost part of the hill. It is the shallowest, but accounts for the longest stretch of time. It consists of loose sediments caused by erosion and the virtually uninterrupted use of the hill for agricultural purposes since it ceased to operate as a cult center.

The site was deliberately backfilled sometime after 8000 BCE: the buildings were buried under debris, mostly flint gravel, stone tools, and animal bones that must have been imported from elsewhere.[28] In addition to Byblos points (weapon heads, i.e. arrowheads etc.) and numerous Nemrik points, Helwan-points and Aswad-points dominate the backfill's lithic inventory.

Chronological context[edit]

All statements about the site must be considered preliminary, as less than 5% of the site has so far been excavated, and Schmidt plans to leave much of it untouched to be explored by future generations (when archaeological techniques will presumably have improved).[7] While the site formally belongs to the earliest Neolithic (PPNA), up to now no traces of domesticated plants or animals have been found. The inhabitants are assumed to have been hunters and gatherers who nevertheless lived in villages for at least part of the year.[29] So far, very little evidence for residential use has been found. Through the radiocarbon method, the end of Layer III can be fixed at c. 9000 BCE (see above) but it is believed that the elevated location may have functioned as a spiritual center c. 11,000 BCE or even earlier.

The surviving structures, then, not only predate pottery, metallurgy, and the invention of writing or the wheel; they were built before the so-called Neolithic Revolution, i.e., the beginning of agriculture and animal husbandry around 9000 BCE. But the construction of Göbekli Tepe implies organization of an advanced order not hitherto associated with Paleolithic, PPNA, or PPNB societies. Archaeologists estimate that up to 500 persons were required to extract the heavy pillars from local quarries and move them 100–500 meters (330–1,640 ft) to the site.[30] The pillars weigh 10–20 metric tons (10–20 {{{u}}}; 11–22 {{{u}}}), with one still in the quarry weighing 50 tons.[31] It is generally believed that an elite class of religious leaders supervised the work and later controlled whatever ceremonies took place. If so, this would be the oldest known evidence for a priestly caste—much earlier than such social distinctions developed elsewhere in the Near East.[7]

Around the beginning of the 8th millennium BCE "Potbelly Hill" lost its importance. The advent of agriculture and animal husbandry brought new realities to human life in the area, and the "Stone-age zoo" (Schmidt's phrase applied particularly to Layer III, Enclosure D) apparently lost whatever significance it had had for the region's older, foraging, communities. But the complex was not simply abandoned and forgotten to be gradually destroyed by the elements. Instead, each enclosure was deliberately buried under as much as 300 to 500 cubic meters (390 to 650 cu yd) of refuse consisting mainly of small limestone fragments, stone vessels, and stone tools; many animal, even human, bones have also been identified in the fill.[32] Why the enclosures were buried is unknown, but it preserved them for posterity.


Schmidt's view, shared by most experts, is that Göbekli Tepe is a stone-age mountain sanctuary. Radiocarbon dating as well as comparative, stylistic analysis indicate that it is the oldest religious site found to date.[7][33][34] Schmidt believes that what he calls this "cathedral on a hill" was a pilgrimage destination attracting worshipers up to 100 miles (160 km) distant. Butchered bones found in large numbers from local game such as deer, gazelle, pigs, and geese have been identified as refuse from food hunted and cooked or otherwise prepared for congregants.[35]

Schmidt considers Göbekli Tepe a central location for a cult of the dead. He suggests that the carved animals are there to protect the dead. Though no tombs or graves have been found so far, Schmidt believes that they remain to be discovered in niches located behind the sacred circles' walls.[7] Schmidt also interprets it in connection with the initial stages of an incipient Neolithic. It is one of several sites in the vicinity of Karaca Dağ, an area which geneticists suspect may have been the original source of at least some of our cultivated grains (see Einkorn). Recent DNA analysis of modern domesticated wheat compared with wild wheat has shown that its DNA is closest in sequence to wild wheat found on Mount Karaca Dağ 20 miles (32 km) away from the site, suggesting that this is where modern wheat was first domesticated.[36] Such scholars suggest that the Neolithic revolution, i.e., the beginnings of grain cultivation, took place here. Schmidt and others believe that mobile groups in the area were compelled to cooperate with each other to protect early concentrations of wild cereals from wild animals (herds of gazelles and wild donkeys). Wild cereals may have been used for sustenance more intensively than before and were perhaps deliberately cultivated. This would have led to early social organization of various groups in the area of Göbekli Tepe. Thus, according to Schmidt, the Neolithic did not begin on a small scale in the form of individual instances of garden cultivation, but developed rapidly in the form of "a large-scale social organization"[37]

Schmidt has engaged in some speculation regarding the belief systems of the groups that created Göbekli Tepe, based on comparisons with other shrines and settlements. He assumes shamanic practices and suggests that the T-shaped pillars may represent mythical creatures, perhaps ancestors, whereas he sees a fully articulated belief in gods only developing later in Mesopotamia, associated with extensive temples and palaces. This corresponds well with an ancient Sumerian belief that agriculture, animal husbandry, and weaving were brought to mankind from the sacred mountain Ekur, which was inhabited by Annuna deities, very ancient gods without individual names. Schmidt identifies this story as a primeval oriental myth that preserves a partial memory of the emerging Neolithic.[38] It is also apparent that the animal and other images give no indication of organized violence, i.e. there are no depictions of hunting raids or wounded animals, and the pillar carvings ignore game on which the society mainly subsisted, like deer, in favor of formidable creatures like lions, snakes, spiders, and scorpions.[7][39][40]


Göbekli Tepe is regarded as an archaeological discovery of the greatest importance since it could profoundly change the understanding of a crucial stage in the development of human society. Ian Hodder of Stanford University said, "Göbekli Tepe changes everything".[3] It shows that the erection of monumental complexes was within the capacities of hunter-gatherers and not only of sedentary farming communities as had been previously assumed. As excavator Klaus Schmidt puts it, "First came the temple, then the city."[41]

Not only its large dimensions, but the side-by-side existence of multiple pillar shrines makes the location unique. There are no comparable monumental complexes from its time. Nevalı Çori, a Neolithic settlement also excavated by the German Archaeological Institute and submerged by the Atatürk Dam since 1992, is 500 years later; its T-shaped pillars are considerably smaller, and its shrine was located inside a village. The roughly contemporary architecture at Jericho is devoid of artistic merit or large-scale sculpture, and Çatalhöyük, perhaps the most famous Anatolian Neolithic village, is 2,000 years younger.

At present, though, Göbekli Tepe raises more questions for archaeology and prehistory than it answers. It remains unknown how a force large enough to construct, augment, and maintain such a substantial complex was mobilized and compensated or fed in the conditions of pre-sedentary society. Scholars cannot "read" the pictograms, and do not know for certain what meaning the animal reliefs had for visitors to the site. The variety of fauna depicted, from lions and boars to birds and insects, makes any single explanation problematic. As there is little or no evidence of habitation, and the animals pictured are mainly predators, the stones may have been intended to stave off evils through some form of magic representation. Alternatively, they could have served as totems.[42] The assumption that the site was strictly cultic in purpose and not inhabited has also been challenged by the suggestion that the structures served as large communal houses, "similar in some ways to the large plank houses of the Northwest Coast of North America with their impressive house posts and totem poles."[43] It is not known why every few decades the existing pillars were buried to be replaced by new stones as part of a smaller, concentric ring inside the older one.[44] Human burial may or may not have occurred at the site. The reason the complex was carefully backfilled remains unexplained. Until more evidence is gathered, it is difficult to deduce anything certain about the originating culture or the site's significance.


Future plans include construction of a museum, and converting the environs into an archaeological park, in the hope that this will help preserve the site in the state in which it was discovered.[45]

In 2010, Global Heritage Fund (GHF) announced it will undertake a multi-year conservation program to preserve Göbekli Tepe. Partners include Klaus Schmidt and the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, German Research Foundation, Şanlıurfa Municipal Government, and the Turkish Ministry of Tourism and Culture.[46]

The stated goals of the GHF Göbekli Tepe project are to support the preparation of a site management and conservation plan, construction of a shelter over the exposed archaeological features, training community members in guiding and conservation, and helping Turkish authorities secure UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for GT.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "GHF - Gobekli Tepe, Turkey - Overview", globalheritagefund.org: GHF3.
  2. ^ "Göbekli Tepe". Forvo Pronunciation Dictionary. 
  3. ^ a b "History in the Remaking". Newsweek. 18 Feb 2010. 
  4. ^ Klaus Schmidt (2009): Göbekli Tepe - Eine Beschreibung der wichtigsten Befunde erstellt nach den Arbeiten der Grabungsteams der Jahre 1995-2007. In: Erste Tempel - Frühe Siedlungen. 12000 Jahre Kunst und Kultur. Oldenburg, p. 188.
  5. ^ Curry, Andrew (November 2008). Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple?. Smithsonian.com. Retrieved August 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ Peter Benedict (1980): Survey Work in Southeastern Anatolia. In: Halet Çambel; Robert J. Braidwood (ed.): Prehistoric Research in Southeastern Anatolia I. Edebiyat Fakültesi Basimevi, Istanbul, pp. 151–191.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Curry, Andrew (November 2008). "Göbekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple?". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  8. ^ Klaus Schmidt (2006): Sie bauten die ersten Temel. Das rätselhafte Heiligtum der Steinzeitjäger. Die archäologische Entdeckung am Göbekli Tepe. Munich, pp. 83-92.
  9. ^ Upper Mesopotamia (SE Turkey, N Syria and N Iraq) 14C databases: 11th–6th millennia cal BCE
  10. ^ Klaus Schmidt: Sie bauten die ersten Tempel. Das rätselhafte Heiligtum der Steinzeitjäger. Die archäologische Entdeckung am Göbekli Tepe. Munich 2006, p. 102.
  11. ^ Klaus Schmidt: Göbekli Tepe. Eine Beschreibung der wichtigsten Befunde erstellt nach den Arbeiten der Grabungsteams der Jahre 1995-2007. In: Erste Tempel - Frühe Siedlungen. 12000 Jahre Kunst und Kultur. Ausgrabungen und Forschungen zwischen Donau und Euphrat. Oldenburg 2009, p. 188.
  12. ^ a b Schmitt 2006, p. 105
  13. ^ Schmidt 2006, pp. 109-111
  14. ^ Schmitt 2006, p. 111
  15. ^ Schmidt 2006, p. 109
  16. ^ Schmidt 2006, p. 111.
  17. ^ Schmidt 2000b, pp. 52–53
  18. ^ Mithen 2004, p. 65
  19. ^ Mithen 2004, pp. 93–96.
  20. ^ Peters & Schmidt 2004, p. 214
  21. ^ Schmidt 2010, pp. 244, 246
  22. ^ Schmidt, 2010, p. 251.
  23. ^ Flannery and Marcus, The Creation of Inequality, p. 128
  24. ^ Schmidt 2010, pp. 239, 241.
  25. ^ Schmidt 2009, p. 291
  26. ^ Schmidt 1990, p. 198
  27. ^ Schmidt (2010), p. 246.
  28. ^ Schmidt 2010, p. 242
  29. ^ The Guardian report 23 April 2008
  30. ^ "Which came first, monumental building projects or farming?". Archaeo News. 14 December 2008. 
  31. ^ Taracha, Piotr (2009). Religions of second millennium Anatolia. Eisenbrauns. p. 12. ISBN 978-3-447-05885-8. 
  32. ^ Schmidt 2010, pp. 242—243, 249.
  33. ^ "The World's First Temple". Archaeology magazine. Nov/Dec 2008. p. 23. 
  34. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8DOjnZu8H4
  35. ^ Peters & Schmidt 2004, 207
  36. ^ Heun et al., Site of Einkorn Wheat Domestication Identified by DNA Fingerprinting, Science, 278 (1997) 1312–14.
  37. ^ Klaus-Dieter Linsmeier: Eine Revolution im großen Stil. Interview mit Klaus Schmidt. In: Abenteuer Archäologie. Kulturen, Menschen, Monumente. Spektrum der Wissenschaft, Heidelberg 2006, 2, ISSN 1612-9954
  38. ^ Schmidt 2006, pp. 216–221
  39. ^ Schmidt 2006, pp. 193–4; 218.
  40. ^ Peters & Schmidt 2004, p. 209
  41. ^ K. Schmidt 2000: “Zuerst kam der Tempel, dann die Stadt.”
  42. ^ Peters & Schmidt 2004: pp. 209–212
  43. ^ Banning 2011
  44. ^ Mann, June 2011, p. 48
  45. ^ K. Schmidt in Schmidt (ed.) 2009, p. 188.
  46. ^ "GHF - Göbekli Tepe - Turkey", globalheritagefund.org, web: GHF2.


  • Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe (ed.): Vor 12.000 Jahren in Anatolien. Die ältesten Monumente der Menschheit. Begleitbuch zur Ausstellung im Badischen Landesmuseum vom 20. Januar bis zum 17. Juni 2007. Theiss, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-2072-8
  • E.B. Banning, "So Fair a House: Göbekli Tepe and the Identification of Temples in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic of the Near East", Current Anthropology, 52.5 (October 2011), 619 ff.: http://www.scribd.com/doc/67961270/Gobekli-Tepe-temples-Ted-Banning-2011
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  • Andrew Curry, "Göbekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple?". Smithsonian Magazine (November 2008): http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/gobekli-tepe.html
  • DVD-ROM: MediaCultura (Hrsg.): Vor 12.000 Jahren in Anatolien. Die ältesten Monumente der Menschheit. Theiss, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-2090-2
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  • David Lewis-Williams and David Pearce, "An Accidental revolution? Early Neolithic religion and economic change", Minerva, 17 #4 (July/August, 2006), 29–31.
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  • Charles C. Mann, "The Birth of Religion: The World's First Temple" National Geographic Vol. 219 No. 6 (June 2011), pp. 34–59: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/06/gobekli-tepe/mann-text
  • Steven Mithen, After the Ice:A global human history, 20,000-5000 BC. Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 2004, ISBN 0-674-01570-3. Pp. 65–69, 89–90.
  • J. Peters & K. Schmidt: "Animals in the symbolic world of Pre-Pottery Neolithic Göbekli Tepe, south-eastern Turkey: a preliminary assessment." Anthropozoologica 39.1 (2004), 179–218: http://www.mnhn.fr/museum/front/medias/publication/10613_Peters.pdf.
  • K. Pustovoytov: Weathering rinds at exposed surfaces of limestone at Göbekli Tepe. In: Neo-lithics. Ex Oriente, Berlin 2000, 24–26 (14C-Dates)
  • Sandra Scham, "The World's First Temple," Archaeology 61.6 (November/December 2008): http://www.archaeology.org/0811/abstracts/turkey.html
  • K. Schmidt: Frühneolithische Tempel. Ein Forschungsbericht zum präkeramischen Neolithikum Obermesopotamiens. In: Mitteilungen der deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 130, Berlin 1998, 17–49, ISSN 0342-118X
  • K. Schmidt: “Zuerst kam der Tempel, dann die Stadt.” Vorläufiger Bericht zu den Grabungen am Göbekli Tepe und am Gürcütepe 1995–1999. Istanbuler Mitteilungen 50 (2000): 5–41.
  • K. Schmidt, 2000a = Göbekli Tepe and the rock art of the Near East, TÜBA-AR 3 (2000): 1–14.
  • K. Schmidt, 2000b = Göbekli Tepe, Southeastern Turkey. A preliminary Report on the 1995–1999 Excavations. In: Palèorient CNRS Ed., Paris 2000: 26.1, 45–54, ISSN 0513-9345: http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/paleo_0153-9345_2000_num_26_1_4697
  • K. Schmidt: Sie bauten die ersten Tempel. Das rätselhafte Heiligtum der Steinzeitjäger. Verlag C.H. Beck, München 2006, ISBN 3-406-53500-3.
  • K. Schmidt, "Göbekli Tepe. Eine Beschreibung der wichtigsten Befunde erstellt nach den Arbeiten der Grabungsteams der Jahre 1995–2007", in K. Schmidt (ed.), Erste Tempel—Frühe Siedlungen. 12000 Jahre Kunst und Kultur, Ausgrabungen und Forschungen zwischen Donau und Euphrat, (Oldenburg 2009): 187–233.
  • K. Schmidt, "Göbekli Tepe—the Stone Age Sanctuaries: New results of ongoing excavations with a special focus on sculptures and high reliefs," Documenta Praehistorica XXXVII (2010), 239–256: http://arheologija.ff.uni-lj.si/documenta/authors37/37_21.pdf

External links[edit]