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The Hd samples are from charcoal in the fill of the lowest levels of the site and date the end of the active phase of the occupation of Level III – the actual structures will be older. The Ua samples come from pedogenic carbonate coatings on pillars and only indicate the time after the site was abandoned – the A number of radiocarbon dates have been published:[15]

The Hd samples are from charcoal in the fill of the lowest levels of the site and date the end of the active phase of the occupation of Level III – the actual structures will be older. The Ua samples come from pedogenic carbonate coatings on pillars and only indicate the time after the site was abandoned – the terminus ante quem.[16]

Area of the fertile crescent, circa 7500 BCE, with main sites. Göbekli Tepe is one of the important sites of the In addition to its large dimensions, the side-by-side existence of multiple pillar shrines makes the location unique. There are no comparable monumental complexes from its time. Since its discovery, however, surface surveys have shown that several hills in the greater area also have 'T'-shaped stone pillars (e.g. Hamzan Tepe,[51] Karahan Tepe,[52] Harbetsuvan Tepesi,[53] Sefer Tepe,[54] and Taslı Tepe[43]) but little excavation has been conducted.

Most of these constructions seem to be smaller than Göbekli Tepe, and their placement evenly between contemporaneous settlements indicates that they were local social-ritual gathering places,[54][43] with Göbekli Tepe perhaps as a regional centre.[55] So far none of the smaller sites are as old as the lowest Level III of Göbekli Tepe,[43] but are contemporary with the younger Level II (mostly rectangular buildings, though Harbetsuvan is circular). This could indicate that this type of architecture and associated activities originated at Göbekli Tepe, and then spread to other sites.[citation needed]

A site that is 500 years younger is Nevalı Çori, a

Most of these constructions seem to be smaller than Göbekli Tepe, and their placement evenly between contemporaneous settlements indicates that they were local social-ritual gathering places,[54][43] with Göbekli Tepe perhaps as a regional centre.[55] So far none of the smaller sites are as old as the lowest Level III of Göbekli Tepe,[43] but are contemporary with the younger Level II (mostly rectangular buildings, though Harbetsuvan is circular). This could indicate that this type of architecture and associated activities originated at Göbekli Tepe, and then spread to other sites.[citation needed]

A site that is 500 years younger is Nevalı Çori, a Neolithic settlement. It was excavated by the German Archaeological Institute and has been submerged by the Atatürk Dam since 1992. Its 'T'-shaped pillars are considerably smaller, and its rectangular ceremonial structure 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, was built 2,000 years later.

It remains unknown how a population 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 have been unable to interpret the pictograms, and do not know 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 many of the animals pictured are predators, the stones may have been intended to stave off evils through some form of magic representation. Alternatively, they could have served as totems.[56]

The assumption that the site was strictly cultic in purpose and not inhabited has been challenged as well 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."[57] 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.[58]

Human burials may have occurred at the site. The reason the complex was carefully backfilled remains unexplained. Based on current evidence, 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.[59]

In 2010, Global Heritage Fund (GHF) announced it will undertake a multi-year conservation program to preserve Göbekli Tepe. Partners include the German Archaeo

In 2010, Global Heritage Fund (GHF) announced it will undertake a multi-year conservation program to preserve Göbekli Tepe. Partners include the German Archaeological Institute, German Research Foundation, Şanlıurfa Municipal Government, the Turkish Ministry of Tourism and Culture and, formerly, Klaus Schmidt.[60]

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.[61]

The conservation work caused controversy in 2018, when Çiğdem Köksal Schmidt, an archaeologist and widow of Klaus Schmidt, said the site was being damaged by the use of concrete and "heavy equipment" during the construction of a new walkway. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism responded that no concrete was used and that no damage had occurred.[62][63]

Construction

Göbekli Tepe follows a geometric pattern. The pattern is an equilateral triangle that connects enclosures A, B, and D. This means that the people who built Göbekli Tepe had at least some rudimentary knowledge of geometry.[64] The authors of the paper discuss the implications of their findings. The authors suggest that enclosures A, B, and D are all one complex, and wi

Göbekli Tepe follows a geometric pattern. The pattern is an equilateral triangle that connects enclosures A, B, and D. This means that the people who built Göbekli Tepe had at least some rudimentary knowledge of geometry.[64] The authors of the paper discuss the implications of their findings. The authors suggest that enclosures A, B, and D are all one complex, and within this complex there is a "hierarchy" with enclosure D at the top. The authors also say that, compared to previous estimations, the amount of manpower required to build Göbekli Tepe should be multiplied by three. Third, the idea that each enclosure was built and functioned individually seems less likely—at least in planning and their early stages—given their findings. But they maintain that their suggestions that enclosures A, B, and D are a single complex makes it unlikely that each enclosure was built separately.[65]

See also