Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeast Turkey, Klaus Schmidt made one of the most amazing archaeological discoveries of our time: enormous carved stones that are roughly 11,000 years old and were crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet invented metal tools or even pottery. Stonehenge was built 6,000 years before the megaliths. The site is called Gobekli Tepe, and Schmidt, a German archaeologist who has spent more than 10 years excavating there, is confident that it is the location of the oldest temple ever built.
Over 500,000 tourists visited the Gobekli Tepe archaeological site in southern Turkey, which is regarded as the start of history, in the first eight months of this year. According to official statistics, 495,725 people visited the archaeological site between January and August of 2022.
Aydin Aslan, head of culture and tourism in Anlurfa, claims that the region is prepared to surpass its previous record by welcoming 600,000 visitors by the end of September. Aslan pointed out that despite the Corona virus outbreak, the area saw a record-breaking 560,000 tourists in 2017.
The Turkish official claimed that “Gobekli Tepe” is one of the main reasons why foreign tourists are becoming more interested in the Anlurfa archaeological sites. The archaeological site “Göbeklitepe” attracted more tourists after President Recep Tayyip Erdoan declared that year the country’s “Gobekli Tepe year” on March 8th, 2019.
The Göbekli Tepe site was discovered in 1963 by researchers from the universities of Istanbul and the American University of Chicago, making it one of the planet’s oldest temples. They carried out research and excavations there for the ensuing 54 years.
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Numerous artefacts, including stone “T”-shaped obelisks from the Neolithic period with murals, animal shapes, and human statues, were discovered in the area in 1995. These obelisks were 3 to 6 metres tall and 40 to 60 tonnes in weight.
Even after being included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2018, the Gobekli Tepe region continues to be the subject of several books, films, documentaries, television programmes, and animations.