Göbekli Tepe "Potbelly Hill" is an archaeological site atop a mountain ridge in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of modern-day Turkey. The site falls on the 37th parallel north (the UFO highway) at 37°13′23″N 38°55′21″E. Its monolithic structures show evidence of ritual use, by the more than 200 T-shaped limestone pillars in about 20 circles, dated to the 10th millennium BCE. However, there are further levels down that may indicate an even earlier dating. Before the modern age, it appears that someone had gone to great lengths to backfill the temple so that it was completely enveloped into a mound. The mound's unnatural look may have given its present day moniker "Potbelly Hill".
The dating of the Level III monoliths can be placed during the period of the destruction of Plato's Atlantis. Both sites may have experienced the same fate of a global catastrophe that, according to Plato, would have occurred at the abrupt end of the Last glacial period in 9700 BCE (roughly 11,700 years ago).
The monoliths of the Göbekli Tepe, depicting chimeras, constitute a place of sanctuary and temple rituals. According to Klaus Schmidt of the German Archaeological Institute, this temple was "not a settlement for domestic life." Many of the pillars are decorated with abstract, enigmatic pictograms and carved animal reliefs. The reliefs depict mammals such as lions, bulls, boars, foxes, gazelles and donkeys; snakes and other reptiles, arthropods such as insects and arachnids; and birds, particularly vultures. The T-shaped pillars have human arms carved on their lower half, suggesting that they are intended to represent the bodies of stylized humans (or perhaps gods). The pillars as a whole therefore have an anthropomorphic identity.
- ↑ Göbekli Tepe: the world’s oldest temple (2009), by Philip Coppens
- ↑ Emblematic signs? On the iconography of animals at Göbekli Tepe (08/16/2016)
- ↑ K. Schmidt, "Göbekli Tepe—the Stone Age Sanctuaries: New results of ongoing excavations with a special focus on sculptures and high reliefs," Documenta Praehistorica XXXVII (2010), 239–256