To see New Pictures and Illustrations that have been and are being added, Scroll down just past "The Age..." Segment.
45 megaliths have been discovered...
Many more are suspected to exist in this complex site
"The most important archeological site in the world." David Lewis-Williams, professor of archaeology at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg
"...too extraordinary for my mind to understand."
Reading University professor Steve Mithen
Stonehenge Type Qualities, Yet Oh So Much More
(Click on Images to enlarge)
With stones varying in weight from 7 to 10 tons and standing as high as 16 feet, what has been un-earthed is but a tiny fraction of what exists. Through special detection instruments it appears that multiple levels of stone megaliths are yet to be excavated. Arranged in circles approximating 60 feet in diameter, they radiate out like the spokes of a wheel. They also display a managery of sophisticated animal forms that could only be created by refined stone working tools.
Some experts in the field have even suggested that some creation stories they had regarded as myths "may actually be true." Others have suggested a correlation between this site and the great flood of Noah's ark which, they mention, was described by the Bible as having come to rest on one of the nearby mountains, Mt. Ararat. Though that is problematic, it remains remarkable that this site evokes such mention by a community historically skeptical, even antagonistic, to Biblical accounts.
Possible Temple Ruins of Gobekli Tepe (Go-beckly Tepp-ay)
Discovered several years ago by a Turkish Shepherd, the array of monoliths and other stone friezes has turned the archological world on its head. Thus far 45 large, man-honed stones have been unearthed over an acre of hilltop; but ground penetrating radar-like instruments reveal hundreds of such stones in circular arrangements below the surface and covering 22 acres in breadth. Dismayingly, these stone circles are stacked atop each other with each layer having been covered with sand and then another layer of stone monuments eventually placed on the soil above it. In fact this 50 foot high rounded hilltop (notice the hill behind the Kurdish shepherd) has been created by these multiple layers of megaliths. (The name "Gobekli Tepe" means "rounded belly".)
Described as the greatest "find" in the last hundred years...some have said, "of all time," the site located in southeastern Turkey just north of Syria has stunned the experts with its age.
What does it have to do with the Bible...and why is it so important?
Kurdish shepherd who discovered the stones protruding above the soil in area to left
The outline of a monolith was cut in photo to left, but the quarrying was abandoned, possibly because faults in the slab became evident part way through the process. The mound and excavation site is in the background; everywhere in between is the site of quarrying.
The question is, with what tools would this have been cut?
"It is not the Garden of Eden: it is a temple in Eden."
These words of chief archeologist Klaus Schmidt (right) are extraordinary for a number of reasons. This wing of the scientific community is not known for its belief in the Garden of Eden as anything other than mythological. Clearly, it cannot BE the garden of Eden because the garden was and is spiritual, leaving no physical remains for man to discover. But what about a "temple in Eden" and why does he go there?
German Archeologist Klaus Schmidt
According to Genesis 2:8-14 the garden of Eden is a garden the Lord planted eastward in an already existing land called Eden. A river went out of the land of Eden to water the garden. Upon leaving the garden it parted into the headwaters of 4 different rivers; 2 of them were the Tigris (which flowed, according to Genesis, toward the east of Assyria) and the Euphrates. This would likely place the garden of Eden in the headwater area of southeastern Turkey. In the first map to the left you will see the two blue sweeping arms of both these rivers disappearing as they near each other at the top of the map. It appears to be somewhere in this vacinity that the Lord created the garden of Eden. In both maps you will see the location of Gobekli Tepe. (Click on maps to enlarge them.) This location places it near the Biblical location of the Garden of Eden.
Its proximity to the Biblical Eden coordinants, combined with its age, has been so striking as to snare the attention of those normally not pre-disposed to talk in Biblical terms.
Notice the stones surrounding megaliths here and elsewhere
Beginning exposure amid stones of Boers and Ducks megalith
The main reason scientists and scholars are so extravagant in their excitement over this site is, according to Tom Horn in his article for an on-line site, "its staggering age. Carbon-dating shows that the complex is at least 12,000 years old, maybe even 13,000 years old. That means it was built around 10,000 BC. By comparison, Stonehenge was built in 3,000 BC and the pyramids of Giza in 2,500 BC. Gobekli is thus the oldest such site in the world, by a mind-numbing margin. It is so old that it predates settled human life. It is pre-pottery, pre-writing, pre-everything. Gobekli hails from a part of human history that is unimaginably distant..."
Yet it was here...at the Exit from the Garden of Eden in which there was no toil, no farming or hunting... that the move to farming first happened.
The secular, scientific community has found that it was these "rolling Anatolian plains" that were the cradle of agriculture. The world's first farmyard pigs were domesticated at Cayonu, just 60 miles away. Sheep, cattle and goats were also first domesticated in eastern Turkey. Worldwide wheat species descend from einkorn wheat - first cultivated on the hills near Gobekli. Other domestic cereals - such as rye and oats - also started here.
With Adamic man first entering a harsh and fallen world in this very region, we would expect such a cradle of agriculture to be found here.
The Bible certainly alludes to this in reference to the grain offering of Cain and to the animal offering of Abel. It is here, in this precise Biblical region of the Garden, that human life as we know it would have established itself.
If one allows for modest, potential variants with the dating, combined with the outside considerations regarding the Biblical, generational time-line, Eden disappears from man very close to this time!
We would also expect places of worship to be erected by a being and his descendents who had walked face to face with God in a Garden Place, and it brings to mind Genesis 4: 26: "And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord."
It is Here that the Most Sophisticated Early Religious Site known to Man has been Found ...pre-dateing all previous human efforts by Thousands of Years (and making them seem primitive in comparison).
Additional Information and Photos
To the left, a human head form with a serpent on it was found nearby. To the right the world's oldest full-body statue, called "black eyes," was found not far from Gobekli Tepe.
enlarge for greater detail
This remarkable megalith above appears to dipict a dancing man. Above the prominent loin cloth notice the hands at the waist which we often see today with men in dance.
Click on the picture to the left above To better see the hands and arms, as well as the carved stone in the background dipicting snakes, a common figure found on many artifacts at the site.
(photo is from National Geographic)
Festive celebrants dance with an animal between them in this remarkable carving found on a limestone bowl near Gobekli Tepe at a site that dates 1000 years later than Gobekli.
click on picture to enlarge
To the left is an aerial view of the Gobekli site. The enlarged view clearly shows the shape of the temple site under excavation.
To the right is one of many stone beads found on site with a perfect hole "drilled" through it.
click on picture to enlarge
a seal stone
though picture is not sharp, it shows intricate scroll work on far megalith and a lizzard figure at top of near column
megalith in the raw of boer and fox-like animal
National Geographic artist rendering of temple based on excavation of ruins at Gobekli Tepe
dipiction of common bas-relief figures found on megaliths
Images of boers, ostriches, foxes, scorpions, and snakes abound in the Gobekli megaliths
This is thought to be a religious site not only because of the complex, meticulous arrangement of the stones, but because no evidence of settled human life has been found in the area to suggest the possibility of anything else. No domestic instruments of any kind have been uncovered as is the case in other sites some miles distant. All of the carvings are of wild animals and birds,especially water fowl. Many of these are not historically native to this region and none are of domesticated animals, suggesting that these stones pre-date the domestication of animals. This has led some in the archeoligical community to see possible links to something they heretofore have not believed in...Noah's ark.
Stele of Vultures found at the site
Massive amounts of arrowheads, as well, surround the site. The assumption by archeologists is that this is a religious site erected, contrary to all previous archeological understandings, by hunters rather than by farmers...an immense number, and over a prolonged period. It seems to have been a gathering place where generations of hunters worshipped their Creator. It reflects a level of civilization until now unimagined by the anthropoligical community.
Amazing Craftsmanship and Intricacy of Stone Carvings
Views here and below of Stonehenge in England
Stonehenge, though impressive in its positioning of massive stones, carried no artwork of any kind and no inscriptions. Though it was created in the era of hieroglyphics and the great pyramids of Egypt, it is elemental in comparison with the Turkish site, which pre-dates Stonehenge by thousands of years. In fact, the time-span between Gobekli and Stonehenge is far greater than the distance between us and Stonehenge.
Notice the circular similarities between Stonehenge and Gobekli pictured below. The circles of Gobekli are created by stones (as seen in many of the photos on this page.)
Most of the engravings are of ducks, ostriches, boers, foxes and serpents.
Beginning excavation of monolith to the right.
Ostriches and crab or scorpion
Scientists are at a loss as to how "cave men" could have produced the amazing quality of these sculpted pieces that required not only refined skill but sofisticated tools.
At some point, this entire site was intentionally covered and hidden with sand. Where such a massive amount of sand was secured, and why, remains a mystery.
Surrounding stone smoothed for clearer view of relief
Original appearance of most of the reliefs
broken monolith in repaired state above
Notice boer beneath the cat figure
Initial Uncovering of "lion" megalith
Extensive uncovering of area around fox megalith which appears to be a different creation than the one below.