Annual Governor James Albert Noe and Mrs Anna Gray Noe Memorial Lecture in the religious traditions of the Middle East
An Anatolian Stonehenge: Göbekli Tepe – Stone Age sanctuaries in south-eastern Turkey

Thursday 24 October 2013,

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A lecture on new discoveries at Göbekli Tepe in Anatolia dating to 10,000–9000 BC.

Göbekli Tepe is a unique site. After 18 years of excavation, we know that it is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

It belongs to the period when in south-eastern Anatolia during the 10th and 9th millennium BC – much earlier than in any other region of the world – the transition from hunting and gathering societies to food-producing early village farming communities took place.

It happened immediately after the end of the Ice Age, and one of the main questions that have exercised the minds of generations of archaeologists is: why did people first give up a hunting and gathering way of life and started to domesticate plants and animals? In other words, why did the Neolithic Revolution take place?

The new discoveries at Göbekli Tepe have turned up evidence for explanations that are quite different in comparison to the generally accepted wisdom on this issue.

The distinct character of the site is underlined by its architecture and diverse set of objects of art, ranging from small stone figurines through sculptures and statues of men and animals to large decorated megaliths.

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Aerial view onto Göbekli Tepe showing the excavation areas.