Archaeologists have found more than 15 mega-monumental temples and 200 obelisks in Göbeklitepe, which is described as the starting point of history by historians.
On Monday, Harran University Department of Archaeology and Chairman of Şanlıurfa Cultural Assets Conservation Regional Committee Dr. Mehmet Önal thanked everyone who worked for Göbeklitepe to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Stating that Göbeklitepe in Şanlıurfa is one of the most
important settlements to ever be discovered, Önal said that Turkey's geographical location sheds a light on the history of humanity.
He noted that finding such an excavation area in this region, which hosted various civilizations throughout history, is not a coincidence and that Turkey is striving to transfer this heritage to future generations.
Önal explained that excavations have been ongoing for about a quarter of a century and when the size of the excavation area is considered, they are expected to continue for another 150 years.
"The area the visitors enjoy at the moment has been covered with an aesthetic and beautiful roof. Currently, four circular giant monumental temples in the excursion area can be visited. North of the current visiting area,
there is a new excavation site found in the remains of a new monument where archaeological studies have been conducted for the past four or five years. As the excavation works continue, the unknown features of Göbeklitepe will be revealed," he added.
Looking for traces of everyday life
Önal noted that there will be new findings as archaeological excavations continue in the coming years. He said that they have already revealed several ceremonial structures.
However, Önal also added that they still don't know who built these temples and what their lives were like; he said there is a possibility for this type of information to be revealed as the excavations continue.
Şanlıurfa Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Nihat Çiftçi said they had a lot of plans and projects for the excavation area, which is seen as the historical brand of the city.
He emphasized that they will continue the international promotion of Göbeklitepe under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and that planning had taken place with an expert team.
"The excavation area is very large. The works here will last maybe for decades. This area is so rich and we are aware that it is not possible to reveal all of its details within a few years. We are lucky that Göbeklitepe is in Şanlıurfa. Şanlıurfa is at the center of human history for 12,000 years," the mayor said.
The excavation site is located near Örencik Quarter 18 kilometers away from the city center of Haliliye district of Şanlıurfa. It
was located during surveys by Istanbul and Chicago universities for the first time in 1963.
In the works carried out jointly by the Berlin German Archaeological Institute and Şanlıurfa Museum since 1995, "T" shaped stones belonging to the Neolithic period with wild animal figures weighing 40 to 60 tons and between three to six meters tall were discovered.
In addition, the remains of the oldest temple of the world with a circular and rectangular shape with a diameter of eight to 30 meters and various historical objects like a human sculpture with a length of 65 centimeters were unearthed. Göbeklitepe was included in UNESCO's Temporary World Heritage List six years ago and included on the UNESCO World Heritage List at the 42nd World Heritage Committee meeting held on July 1, 2018.