Göbekli Tepe, engraving of a female person from layer II (foto Dieter Johannes, DAI). 

Göbekli Tepe, engraving of a female person from layer II (foto Dieter Johannes, DAI). 

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The transition from nonfood producing to farming societies first took place during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN) of the Near East. It happened immediately after the end of the Pleistocene, between the 10(th) to the 8(th) millennium BC. One of the main questions that have exercised the minds of generations of archaeologists is why people first gav...

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... German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt started excavations in 1995 with the cooperation of the Şanlıurfa Archeology Museum and the German Archeology Institute (Schmidt, 2010). As a result of research and scientific excavations, it was determined that the structures unearthed in Göbeklitepe were built at least 7000 years earlier than Stonehenge in the south of England and 7500 years earlier than the Egyptian Pyramids (Collins, 2014 (Wolf, 2017). ...
... Contrary to what is known, the Neolithic people have proven their mathematical intelligence at the level of specialized manual skills, architecture, and sculpting. Göbeklitepe has become an important tourist attraction with its increasing popularity in national and international academic and scientific studies (Mann, 2011;Curry, 2016;Schmidt, 2010;Nontanari, 2017;McCarthy, 2018;Collins, 2014;Peters & Schmidt, 2004). Finds from Göbeklitepe excavations are exhibited in Şanlıurfa Archeology and Haleplibahçe Mosaic Museum. ...
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When the destinations are evaluated within the scope of cultural tourism, the archaeological sites in the destinations have an important place for people curious about the past. Göbeklitepe, one of these archaeological sites, is located near Örencik village of Şanlıurfa Province. As a result of the archaeological excavations made in Göbeklitepe, whose history dates back to 10,000 BC, it has been determined that the archaeological site is the oldest place of worship and settlement in Anatolia so far. As a consequence of the excavations carried out in Göbeklitepe, symbolized by "T"-shaped stones, many more figures such as animal statues, jewelry and flint tools were unearthed. Göbeklitepe, the most exciting and intriguing archaeological discovery of recent times, is a unique sacred place of the Neolithic Period in terms of the location, dimensions, dating, and monumentality of architectural remains and sculptural pieces, and is the largest human-made cult center in the world to date. The purpose of the research carried out in this direction is to determine whether the students of the tourism guidance department have Göbeklitepe destination brand awareness. A questionnaire prepared for this purpose was applied to 383 graduate and undergraduate students of Tourism Guidance in Turkey. It was concluded that the brand awareness of Göbeklitepe differed according to the class level of the students, and the sources of learning about Göbeklitepe differed as their education levels differed. Within the scope of the study, suggestions were made to the instructors and students of the tourism guidance department.
... German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt started excavations in 1995 with the cooperation of the Şanlıurfa Archeology Museum and the German Archeology Institute (Schmidt, 2010). As a result of research and scientific excavations, it was determined that the structures unearthed in Göbeklitepe were built at least 7000 years earlier than Stonehenge in the south of England and 7500 years earlier than the Egyptian Pyramids (Collins, 2014 (Wolf, 2017). ...
... Contrary to what is known, the Neolithic people have proven their mathematical intelligence at the level of specialized manual skills, architecture, and sculpting. Göbeklitepe has become an important tourist attraction with its increasing popularity in national and international academic and scientific studies (Mann, 2011;Curry, 2016;Schmidt, 2010;Nontanari, 2017;McCarthy, 2018;Collins, 2014;Peters & Schmidt, 2004). Finds from Göbeklitepe excavations are exhibited in Şanlıurfa Archeology and Haleplibahçe Mosaic Museum. ...
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When the destinations are evaluated within the scope of cultural tourism, the archaeological sites in the destinations have an important place for people curious about the past. Göbeklitepe, one of these archaeological sites, is located near Örencik village of Şanlıurfa Province. As a result of the archaeological excavations made in Göbeklitepe, whose history dates back to 10,000 BC, it has been determined that the archaeological site is the oldest place of worship and settlement in Anatolia so far. As a consequence of the excavations carried out in Göbeklitepe, symbolized by "T"-shaped stones, many more figures such as animal statues, jewelry and flint tools were unearthed. Göbeklitepe, the most exciting and intriguing archaeological discovery of recent times, is a unique sacred place of the Neolithic Period in terms of the location, dimensions, dating, and monumentality of architectural remains and sculptural pieces, and is the largest human-made cult center in the world to date. The purpose of the research carried out in this direction is to determine whether the students of the tourism guidance department have Göbeklitepe destination brand awareness. A questionnaire prepared for this purpose was applied to 383 graduate and undergraduate students of Tourism Guidance in Turkey. It was concluded that the brand awareness of Göbeklitepe differed according to the class level of the students, and the sources of learning about Göbeklitepe differed as their education levels differed. Within the scope of the study, suggestions were made to the instructors and students of the tourism guidance department.
... Its history goes back to 4000BC, it has a site believed to be Noah's Tomb, and it has a deep and rich culture with traditional and modern elements; including aspects of gastronomy, languages, religion, and hand crafts. The region also has been gaining more attention with the discovery of nearby Göbekli Tepe [40]; but many unique localities, like the Cizre District, in the neighbourhood of Göbekli Tepe are yet to be discovered by the general tourist population. The Cizre District (Map 1) is a settlement with low socioeconomic characteristics, under-developed in terms of infrastructure and industry, and has a multicultural society. ...
... The presence of the Göbekli Tepe archaeological site, recognized as the world's oldest temple and included the World Heritage List, adds to all. Discovered only recently it is an eye-opener for many reasons; specifically for its 12,000 years history, thus its importance in human history and development [40].Its importance for Cizre is that this popular tourist destination is only 323 km away from the Cizre District and Cizre is one of the beneficiary of extended visits to Göbekli Tepe, thus additional opportunity for Cizre to promote more local features of her own. Specific geographical features of Cizre includes unique nature and river landscapes, streams, mountains, historical and cultural values within the rural areas that have important resources for tourism. ...
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... Nevali Çöri, Aşıklı Höyük, Körtik Tepe and Göbekli Tepe cf. Özdoğan 2014; Schmidt 2010). Geographical location of Türkiye, its climate, and fertile lands has contributed to its status of being an open-air museum that incorporates a sophisticated archaeological and cultural heritage spectrum ranging from late Paleolithic times to actual. ...
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The ancient city of Ḫattuša, which is already in the UNESCO World Heritage List, is one of the most attractive cultural tourism spots in the central Anatolian landmass. The city is located in the Boğazkale district of the Çorum province and is one of the most important settlements in the Hittite history. The city had served as the capital of the Hittites approximately for 500 years. The oldest archaeological findings in this ancient city start from the Chalcolithic Age and extend to the Byzantine period; however, the city reached its golden ages during the reign of the Hittite Empire. Especially the construction of the monumental structures has been considered to be initiated during the old Hittite Kingdom, in the mid-sixteenth century B.C. Besides the famous cultural tourism attractions, the city and its surroundings host important geological structures. In this aspect, we propose twelve potential geosite candidates, which are quantitatively evaluated. These potential geosites are evaluated in basis of their stratigraphic, volcanic, sedimentological, structural geological value and historical significance. Especially, six of these geosite candidates are already located within the archaeological protection area and have an important potential to be registered as future geosites. A quantitative assessment of these geosites and the region for its scientific value (SV), potential educational use (PEU), potential touristic use (PTU) and degradation risk (DR) has shown that the study area has moderate high regional SV, PEU and PTU scores (288, 279 and 278, respectively) and low moderate (213) DR score. The results of the quantitative assessment show that the region has an important potential for geology education and geotourism activities.
... Majority of the comments concentrated around the question of why such monumental structures adorned with depictions of fauna were constructed. Unearthing of the "special structures" at the excavations first has led to evaluation of said "special structure" as a "temple" and interpretation as a sacred mountain that hunters in the basin visited temporarily for religious purposes during certain periods (Schmidt, 2005(Schmidt, , 2006(Schmidt, , 2010Dietrich & Notroff, 2015;Dietrich et al., 2012). Although Lee Clare, who later took over the chairmanship of the excavation, highlighted the fact that the initial excavation team considered that such structures were constructed on the basis of "religious zeal" (Clare, 2020), one can actually state that Klaus Schmidt was also influenced significantly by the functionalist approaches (See Notroff et al., 2014). ...
... Accordingly, a different socio-economic context was suggested in the initial assessments on Göbekli Tepe especially led by the excavation team. In this model, the general notion was that Göbekli Tepe was used only as some kind of temple by the hunters and no economic activity was conducted therein other than the feasts held at the times of gathering (Schmidt, 2005(Schmidt, , 2010Dietrich et al., 2012;Dietrich et al., 2019;Notroff et al., 2014). However, at this point, one can state that Göbekli Tepe (including other sites) is a settlement inhabited by the population that makes their living by hunting and gathering ( Clare, 2022( Clare, , Çelik, 2019Güler et al., 2013;Jeunesse, 2020:53, Karul, 2022a). ...
... Perceiving this site as some sort of "temple" until recently led to interpretation of the symbols and structures thereon in terms of functionality accordingly. The excavation team chaired by Klaus Schmidt too substantially adopted Trevor Watkins's conceptualization of "imagined communities" as borrowed from Benedict Anderson (Schmidt, 2010;Notroff et al., 2014;Clare et al., 2019). According to Watkins, the structures and symbols at Göbekli Tepe created a shared memory and ensured that the individuals in the society felt they belonged to a larger imagined community and remained in cohesion. ...
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At the beginning of the Early Holocene Period, the hunter-gatherer groups in the Upper Mesopotamia region left behind complex structures, monumental stone pillars, and various sculptures and Neolithic cultural zone that stand out with rich symbolism accompanying thereto in unprecedented permanent settlements. Excavations were initiated at new Neolithic hills within the scope of the “Taş Tepeler” project in Göbekli Tepe cultural zone, rather known for Göbekli Tepe Neolithic Period site. By whom, how and why this early Neolithic civilization that reverses some basic assumptions on the history of the mankind remains the most important area under discussion. The excavations currently in progress, and the surveys carried out, at the Neolithic sites in this culture region provide comprehensive data on the social and economic foundations that allowed rise of this civilization. In particular, the prevalent and enormous hunting grounds/entrapment areas discovered in this region stand out as the most important economic grounds that allowed this civilization to rise. Moreover, the finds referring to the material exchange and craftsman network conducted in a wide area appears as another socio-economic factor. Despite recognizing the socio-economic foundations, this study shall place the speculative "knowledge" highlighting the psycho-cultural aspect of the people of that era as the main triggering driver regarding rise of this civilization. In conclusion, this study shall endeavour to deduct reasonable interpretation on how Göbekli Tepe culture started to rise on the basis of the sociological perspective that considers knowledge at an autonomous place against other socio-economic conditions.
... Karahan Tepe (Çelik, 2011), Taşlı Tepe, Sefer Tepe (Güler et al, 2013), Ayanlar Höyük (Gre Hut) (Çelik, 2017) and Harbetsuvan Tepesi (Çelik, 2019) can be listed as several Neolithic settlements that share symbolic aspects with Göbekli Tepe. Discovery of such cultural world presented new insights into the onset of agricultural activities and transition of human beings to permanent settlements (Schmidt, 2010;Albayrak, 2010;. Before excavations at Göbekli Tepe, it was assumed that emergence of complex settlements occurred in line with the agriculture; however, Göbekli Tepe and other excavations associated thereto have invalidated the link between domestication of animals and plants and establishment of settlements (Hodder, 2021: 108). ...
... Since the initial years of the excavation, an important debate engaged during the studies on the cultural environment of Göbekli Tepe was whether T-shaped special structures were temples/ sanctuaries or domestic structures (Schmidt, 2010;Banning, 2011;Dietrich & Notroff, 2015). ...
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Göbekli Tepe and the Neolithic sites around Urfa, which were identified by surveys, provide rich data for the transition of human beings from hunter-gatherer groups to settled and semi-settled agricultural societies. It is possible to trace most of the institutional foundations of today's societies to this transition period. Social theory, which was heavily influenced by the "Neolithic revolution" paradigm, ignored this transitional period. Sociological thought categorizes societies as hunter-gatherer and agricultural societies starting from the back and moves from the axiom that hunter-gatherer societies are egalitarian and agricultural societies are hierarchical. On the other hand, archaeological studies, while addressing the hierarchical "nature" of Neolithic societies, do not sufficiently benefit from the relatively rich theoretical background of sociology. As a result, it becomes important that the two disciplines work in cooperation. This study will emphasize that egalitarian hunter-gatherer groups lived in a relatively long transition period before class-based stratification originating from the economy, and that they went through a hierarchical social order based on social prestige rather than economic inequality during this transition period. For this, Weber's concept of status, which emphasizes different inequalities, rather than Marx's conceptualization of class division based on the ownership of the means of production, will be taken into consideration. Göbekli Tepe society was a classless society, but a hierarchical society based on status. It is possible to define societies that share Göbekli Tepe culture as "status society" in which individuals and groups have prestigious status on an ideological basis. In this scenario, some people had a more prestigious position than others because they monopolized the mythological narrative that made the world meaningful, causing social differentiation. Unlike the main claim of social conflict analysis, the article will argue that the symbolic world, which expresses the social hierarchy in Göbekli Tepe culture, has important functions that enable the Neolithic lifestyle, besides providing a meaningful explanation of the social world rather than causing an exploitation mechanism against a part of the Neolithic society.
... The structure's plan displays different or uncommon architectural features (e.g. Kenyon 1960;Schmidt 2010). ...
... For these reasons, the very terms 'ritual' and 'ceremonial' were (and still are) frequently invoked by archaeologists in ways that were/are problematic (and simplistic) to reference the weird and wonderful or the odd and unexplained (fetishizing the exotic). Yet many dimensions of material culture can be subsumed under cult and ritual and the material implications are 'profound' [3,5,8,9,13,[24][25][26]. Attitudes and paradigms in archaeological thought have swung from ignoring and downplaying cult, ritual, and 'symbol-based approaches' (such as in both processual and culture-historical frameworks where it was a low priority and considered 'epi-phenomenal' and/or a 'mentalist' preoccupation/distraction) to treating religion and ritual as singular and near totalising (well exemplified by traditional scholarship on Mesopotamian temple estates and the social organisation of early urban societies in the 4th and 3rd millennium BCE of the Near East [22,27,28]). ...
... A new blend of determinism (and causality) has surfaced in recent scholarship emphasising the centrality of cult and religion for driving unprecedented change (Neolithisation) following the Pleistocene. Hence, the new provocative rallying cry: 'it all began with ritual' [6,19,25,29,30], even though there are claims for complex cultures prior to the Holocene [31]. ...
... Nowhere else in the world have these themes/issues/debates been so intensely scrutinised than Hodder's 25-year Neolithic excavation project at Çatalhöyük [5,32,33], followed by Schmidt's excavations at Gobekli Tepe [24][25][26]. In a recent volume dedicated to the memory of Klaus Schmidt, Hodder [19] defines religion as "a "transcendental social," an imagined communal identity of a social entity" realised/expressed through ritual theatre. ...
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Most studies of ritual and symbolism in early complex societies of the Near East have focused on elite and/or public behavioural domains. However, the vast bulk of the population would not have been able to fully participate in such public displays. This paper explores the zooarchaeological and associated archaeological evidence for household rituals in lower-stratum residences in the Early Bronze Age (EB) of the southern Levant. Data from the EB III (c. 2850–2550 BCE) deposits excavated at the site of Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath, Israel, are illustrative of the difficulty in identifying the nature of household rituals. An integrated analytical approach to the architecture, figurines, foundation deposits, and domestic donkey burials found in lower-stratum domestic residences provides insights into the nature of household rituals. This integrated contextual perspective allows the sacred and symbolic role(s) of each to be understood and their importance for EB urban society to be evaluated. Open Access link - https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/12/15/1931/pdf
... Domestic architecture was variable in its organization but largely revolved around mudbrick and plaster construction, sometimes in semisubterranean discrete hut forms, yet by 7000 bc occasionally organized into larger, multicellular architectural agglomerations. Commonalities are also evident in ritual and funerary activity (especially secondary manipulation of human remains), although there are currently few parallels for the monumental complex at Göbekli Tepe (Schmidt 2010). Despite evident (and, considering the spatial scale, unsurprising) variability, the material and paleoenvironmental record across this area suggests recurring suites of materials and species, and these, in turn, imply comparably co-occurring subsistence activities, patterns of labor expenditure, technological organization, and probably social organization. ...
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Why did the farming lifestyle appear and proliferate so rapidly through the Mediterranean basin between 7000 and 5500 bc? In this paper, I review the archaeological and bioarchaeological data pertinent to Mediterranean Neolithization, suggesting that a preponderance of evidence indicates that this process involved migration—long-distance, targeted colonization along the north Mediterranean littoral. I argue that this process was driven by rapid fissioning within early farming communities, fissioning in turn caused by competing centrifugal and centripetal economic forces within small-scale egalitarian groups.
... Göbeklitepe, Türkiye'nin Şanlıurfa destinasyonunda yer alan insanlığın ilk kutsal tapınağıdır (Schmidt, 2010). Schmidt'e göre Göbeklitepe, alışkanlıktan doğan bir ürün değil, inanç sistemlerinden birinin başlangıcı olarak insan eli tarafından yapılmıştır. ...
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Archaeological sites are important tourism attraction centers with their various features. It is possible to be characterized such destinations through some human-specific personality traits. Just like other destinations, archaeological sites can be characterized by their personality traits and embodied in the minds of visitors. Thus, they could gain a competitive advantage. This study has been carried out in order to determine the brand personality of Göbeklitepe Archaeological Sites, which is among the important archaeological sites of Turkey, in line with the views of the visitors. The ethics committee permission for the study has been obtained with the decision numbered 17/19 of the Scientific Researches Ethics Committee of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University School of Graduate Studies on 30.09.2021. The brand personality of Göbeklitepe Archaeological Sites has been tried to be determined by evaluating the comments of visitors on the Tripadvisor.com website. In this context, the contents of comments on the website has been analyzed by using the content analysis method, which is one of the qualitative research methods. After the analysis, it has been determined that the brand personality of Göbeklitepe Archaeological Sites stands out with three dimensions: originality-excitement, competence and sophistication-ruggedness.