Göbekli Tepe is one of the most puzzling archaeological finds of all time and researches have only recently start with proper excavations. This prehistoric site is much older than any other similar stone structure. It was built 5,000 years before the Egyptian pyramids.

Animal bones at the site suggest that the people who built it were hunters and gatherers who had not yet formed settled communities and did not domesticate animals in order to survive. However, it is not clear how and why humans of the stone age decided to take on such a big project. In 2019, Göbekli Tepe became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it should be on every bucket list of those who decide to visit Turkey.

15 It Was Discovered Way Before It Was Clear What The Site Actually Is

In 1963, the site was first noted and surveyed by a Turkish and an American university. The researchers mistook Göbekli Tepe for just another Byzantine cemetery. They had no idea they have stumbled upon a prehistoric site like no other. Klaus Schmidt began the current research in 1994.

14 The Site Has An Organized Structure

The builders of Göbekli Tepe first made pillars and organized them in premeditated positions, then they covered them with dirt and built ANOTHER layer of stone pillars on top of them. Just like most other pre-historic sites, this one also has a circular structure.

13 How Was Göbekli Tepe Built?

Let’s start by emphasizing how Göbekli Tepe was NOT built. No metal was used! Stone age builders used primitive tools and they put a lot of thought into it – they took time to carve artistic images on stones and tell a story for us to try to decipher.

12 Archaeologists Will Have To Dig For Years To Uncover The Whole Site

Just try wrapping your head around the fact that at today’s speed of excavating, only 5% of Göbekli Tepe was so far explored. Decades will pass by before the work will be finished and it will be hard not to damage any of the site as the researches dig deeper.

11 It Was A Massive Place Of Worship

Why did people who built Göbekli Tepe went through all this trouble? Göbekli Tepe is a massive place of worship, which redefines the assumptions we have about the development of civilization. It questions the idea that people first had to settle down and farm in order to start building temples.

10 What Kind Of People Built Göbekli Tepe?

It is hard to imagine that in a time way before Stonehenge was built, people managed to build Göbekli Tepe without metal tools. The stone they worked with was a soft limestone and after shaping stone into pillars, they lifted them upright. Try explaining that impressive feat!

9 Carvings On The Stones Feature All Kinds Of Animals

Many stone carvings depict animals of all sorts, for example, vultures, scorpions, wolves, and cranes. They offer an insight into the wildlife surrounding the area of the site. But some speculate that the animals of Göbekli Tepe actually accurately represent constellations and that people had profound astronomical knowledge.

8 Generations Must Have Passed Before The Whole Site Was Completed

Göbekli Tepe is a layered hill and each layer dates back to a different time between 9,000 and 11,000 years ago. There were many different styles employed to make it look the way it does - one site with an evolutionary story of its own.

7 Göbleki Tepe Has Sparked New Theories About The Development Of Human Civilization

The discovery of Göbekli Tepe and its implications change the way we interpret the course of ancient history. Not all hunters and gatherers were as primitive as we previously thought and they obviously possessed immense knowledge of stone-masonry and teamwork. Worship was also very high on their list of priorities.

6 We Can Only Speculate What Meaning The Symbols There Have

Writing appeared in 3200 BC, thousands of years after the creators of Göbekli Tepe tried telling a story. The symbols were probably carefully selected and it is hard to be certain what information they passed on to future generations. First, we would have to know about their verbal communication abilities.

5 The Whole Site Is Buried: An Intentional Act Or Just A Natural Process?

The bottom layers of Göbekli Tepe were probably buried on purpose so construction could continue on top of it. As we know though, time has a funny way of adding layers on top of old cities. Did time cover up the rest of the site or did the people?

4 Some Believe It Is The Garden Of Eden

As soon as the news of this site hit the media, people ‘s imagination started running wild. Some suggested it is the Garden of Eden. Göbekli Tepe builders preceded agriculture and the invention of the wheel– as if they were the first people who left their mark on this planet.

3 Göbekli Tepe Might Hold Evidence Of A Comet Striking The Earth

13,000 years ago, a part of the planet entered an ice age. Some believe that Göbekli Tepe offers proof that it started with a comet impact. The key lies in stone carvings that represent a headless man and a vulture, representing a tragedy that forever changed the course of history.

There is a whole lot of mystery surrounding some aspects of Göbekli Tepi and the wildest hypothesis is probably that the Aboriginal Australians built this monument. The proof is said to be the symbol, shown on the photograph, that appears both in Aboriginal Australian culture and on the site.

1 How Did A Site This Size Stay Hidden For So Long?

Sure, this monumental site was essentially buried underground, so it wasn’t the easiest to find. But how did a hill not stick out to anyone before the 1960s? Uncovering it so late is especially exciting in a time when we think we had uncovered all of humankind’s history already.