Taş Tepeler GoTürkiye

Land of Great Transformation 

Taş Tepeler encompasses the expansive archaeological site that includes Göbeklitepe, Karahantepe, and related excavation sites. Dating back around 12,000 years, Taş Tepeler predates iconic landmarks such as the Pyramids, Stonehenge, and Machu Picchu. Covering an area of 200 km from one end to the other, and Estimated to span 1500 years, Taş Tepeler is an Anatolian and Upper Mesopotamian region which hosted the earliest settled communities. With a twelve-thousand-year-old history, the region was the stage of an important transformation in world history – the transformation that took us from hunter-gatherer lifeways to the first sedentism, new dietary habits and a new way of life during Neolithic era.  

A two-day trip to Şanlıurfa gives the chance to visit the twelve main sites to explore the earliest settlements of mankind. Some of these big and small sites are now excavation sites that will enlighten a crucial yet little-known period of history. These settlements, collectively referred to as Taş Tepeler, include Karahantepe, Sayburç, Sefertepe, Harbetsuvan Tepesi, Gürcütepe, Çakmaktepe, Kurttepesi, Taşlıtepe, Ayanlar, Yoğunburç and Yeni Mahalle, in addition to Göbeklitepe. 

Republic of Türkiye Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) presented Taş Tepeler, a project that aims to reveal the land where the change in human history took place and a great transformation from hunter-gatherer way of living to agriculture, with a series of visits, meetings and events from 21 to 27 September, 2021.  Within the scope of the program, academicians and researchers from Türkiye and around the world met on a hybrid symposium on “Reflections of the Neolithic in the World” in Şanlıurfa on September 23, 2021.

It is believed that the finds from these excavations will make considerable and far-reaching contributions to our knowledge of humanity in prehistoric times, including their daily lives and rituals. It is estimated that, there are several sites in Şanlıurfa similar to Göbeklitepe, which reflect the early phases of the Neolithic Age. The recent finds from the Karahantepe excavations are exhibited in the “Karahantepe and Neolithic Human Exhibition” in Şanlıurfa Archeaological Museum which was opened on September 23, 2021 during the Taş Tepeler Project Launch Event.

Taş Tepeler Project, considered to be the beginning of the transformation of shelters into houses 12,000 years ago, and in which villages emerged, stratified society formed, and the ability to carry out basic trade developed. It is thought that the monumental megalithic structures in the area were believed to be communal spaces where people gathered.  

Taş Tepeler is a must-see-land to explore the change in human history and the great transformation from hunter-gatherer lifestyle to farming.  

Did you know that? 
• As far as we know, Taş Tepeler region is the first example of sedentism and social union on Earth.
• 12,000 years ago, this period of transformation where shelters became houses and real villages appeared. 
• In Taş Tepeler, human beings experimented examples of organized labour and specialisation the first time. 
• It is believed monumental megalithic structures were communal spaces where people gathered. 
• Sedentism engendered new methods for food purveyance and storage. Human beings developed skills to store and supply stored food in the region. 
• During the later stages of the period, new eating habits caused the production of terracotta bowls, and dishes cooked in sauce became a new element of nutrition. For the very first time, humans were able to use utensils and conduct basic trade.  

Taş Tepeler is a crucially important region that proves us the existence of other areas, similar and contemporary to Göbeklitepe. For now, we can say that these places are set on high hills and ideally located for hunting. Covers found at immediate surroundings of these locations support this view. However, what we know is minimal compared to what we will learn. There is still a lot to discover in this wonderous land!