Gobekli Tepe ( Kurdish: Girê Navokê) is a hilltop sanctuary built on the highest point of an elongated mountain ridge about 15 km northeast of the Kurdish town of Urfa in northern Kurdistan. The site, currently undergoing excavation by German archaeologists,and was erected by hunter-gatherers in the 10th millennium BC (ca 11500 years ago), before the advent of sedentism. . Göbekli Tepe is the oldest human-made place of worship yet discovered. Until excavations began, a complex on this scale was not thought possible for a community so ancient. The oldest occupation layer (stratum III) contains monolithic pillars linked by coarsely built walls to form circular or oval structures. So far, four such buildings, with diameters between 10 and 30m have been uncovered. Geophysical surveys indicate the existence of 16 additional structures.Stratum II, dated to Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) (7500 - 6000 BC), has revealed several adjacent rectangular rooms with floors of polished lime, reminiscent of Roman terrazzo floors. The most recent layer consists of sediment deposited as the result of agricultural activity.The monoliths are decorated with carved reliefs of animals and of abstract pictograms. These signs cannot be classed as writing, but may represent commonly understood sacred symbols, as known from Neolithic cave paintings elsewhere. The very carefully carved reliefs depict lions, bulls, boars, foxes, gazelles, asses, snakes and other reptiles, insects, arachnids, and birds ...

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