Web News

Göbekli Tepe: Fortuity Discovery of the World’s First Temple

Göbekli tepe

Are you ready to read the accidental discovery of the Göbekli tepe temple, the world’s first temple that reprinted the history of the world? Let’s read.

In this article, we are heading to Turkey. The year is 1986. Şafak Yıldız, a farmer from the province of Şanlıurfa in the southeastern region of Turkey, is plowing his field with his horse to sow a new crop.

By chance, he stumbles upon two small sculptures in the field. He is indecisive for a while, unsure whether to throw them away or take them to a museum. Eventually, he brings the small sculptures home and decides to take them to the museum when he has the opportunity.

The farmer entertains the possibility that the sculptures might be ancient and hopes to be rewarded by the museum director. However, the museum director, who is also a history teacher, dismisses the significance of the sculptures, likely due to having connections to become the museum director and feeling no obligation towards the farmer’s effort to bring them.

gobeklitepe3d Göbekli Tepe: Fortuity Discovery of the World's First Temple
in history Gobekli Tepe

Who should throw the sculptures away?

Not wanting to throw the sculptures back onto the street, the farmer says, “I’m leaving; it’s your job to dispose of the stones then.” The museum director, who is a history teacher, is too lazy to throw the sculptures away and instructs a museum janitor to do it.

The janitor, unwilling to discard the sculptures on the street, stores them in a storage room, and since no one volunteers to throw them away, the sculptures end up waiting in the museum for years.

The sculptures are accidentally discovered In 1992, after a gap of six years, a massive dam called Atatürk Dam is built. However, there is a problem; the construction site of the dam overlaps with the ancient Nevali Çori settlement, which will be submerged under water. The historical artifacts from Nevali Çori are taken to Şanlıurfa Museum. Klaus Schmidt, an Alman archaeologist and head of the Nevali Çori excavation, coincidentally encounters the sculptures brought to the museum years ago.

Klaus Schmidt Göbekli Tepe: Fortuity Discovery of the World's First Temple
Klaus Schmidt

The sculptures are 12,000 years old

Conducting research on the sculptures that the museum director had dismissed, Klaus Schmidt determines that they are 12,000 years old. When he asks the museum director about their origin, he receives a vague response, “I don’t know, an old man brought them.”

Holding a small figurine made of limestone dating back 12,000 years, the archaeologist doesn’t know exactly where to look. Based on the fragmented information recalled by the museum director, Schmidt searches for weeks to find the location from which the stone sculptures were brought. He eventually identifies the village called Göbekli Tepe, from where Şafak Yıldız had brought the sculptures, and, with special efforts, obtains permission for excavations.

safak yildiz jpg Göbekli Tepe: Fortuity Discovery of the World's First Temple
Şafak Yıldız, A peasant who found a statue in his field.

The villager’s field is to be excavated

The area that Klaus Schmidt suspects as a potential archaeological site is a hill. However, the hill is privately owned, and convincing the villagers to allow excavation proves to be somewhat challenging since they annually plant wheat, lentils, and similar crops there.

The German archaeologist persuades the landowner, promising, “If we find historical artifacts, you will become rich, and if not, we will restore the excavated area as it was, and you won’t suffer any losses.” Convinced by this reasonable offer, the villagers agree to start the excavation.

The excavation at Göbekli Tepe begins

In 1994, Klaus Schmidt and his team commence the excavation. Although the team expects to encounter a great surprise in the form of a man-made mound, the discovery is not as massive as they initially anticipated. The archaeologist and his team dig for about 40 days, and Schmidt personally funds the excavation. However, they face a problem – Schmidt is still unable to find what he is looking for; they uncover only small stones that seem to have no significance. He even starts to wonder if the excavations are in vain.

gobekli tepe history Göbekli Tepe: Fortuity Discovery of the World's First Temple
Göbekli Tepe: Fortuity Discovery of the World's First Temple 6

A broken stone with a hammer becomes a ray of hope

The field where the excavation is taking place is used for agriculture, and in the middle of the field, there is a large stone that the landowner has been unable to remove, hindering crop cultivation. Finally, the landowner breaks the stone with a hammer. Years later, when hope seems to be fading for Klaus Schmidt, someone suggests they should look at this broken stone too.

They excavate around the broken stone and discover a massive T-shaped pillar with a relief of a bull on top. This discovery marks the unearthing of Göbekli Tepe, which is considered the oldest structure built by humans and holds countless secrets. Many misconceptions about world history will be rewritten in history books.

Göbekli Tepe is acknowledged as a significant archaeological site, and it contains numerous enigmas. The article mainly focuses on the story of its discovery. In the next articles, the importance and mysteries of Göbekli Tepe will be explored.

Stay tuned.

To top