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Tourists Visit Site Of The World's Oldest Structures At Gobekli Tepe

SANLIURFA, TURKEY - SEPTEMBER 19: Archaeologist Dr. Ing Moritz Kinzel works at the Gobekli Tepe archaeology site on September 19, 2018 in Sanliurfa, Turkey. Since it's discovery The 'Gobekli Tepe' site in southeast Turkey has changed the way archaeologists think about the origins of civilization and make it one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever made. The discovery of circular and rectangular structures older than the invention of agriculture and pottery, erected by hunter gatherers between 9,600 and 8,200 BC give archaeologists an insight into life more than 11,000 years ago. The Neolithic ruins were first found in the 1960's but their significance was not recognized at the time. It wasn't until it was 'rediscovered' in 1994 by German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt, that the sites importance was realized. The site shows four large circular structures, in the center two large T-shaped pillars, some as tall as sixteen feet are encircled by smaller pillars, many of the pillars are covered with carved animals such as foxes, boar, vultures and scorpions. It is believed that the structures were used as a regional gathering place for people to meet, feast and perhaps take part in rituals. As the site has gained international prominence it has become more and more popular with tourists. Restoration work, walkways and protective canopies have been built for the structures to help lessen tourism's impact. Turkey hopes to continue to attract tourists to the site and to Sanliurfa. The historical town is only a few miles from the Syrian border and has suffered from a massive decline in tourist numbers due to the ongoing Syrian war. However, with the recent opening of the Sanliurfa Archaeology Museum, which houses many of the sites artifacts, travel agencies promoting Gobekli Tepe tours, a visitor center, and the site being added to the UNESCO World Heritage list this year, 2018 has seen a steady increase in tourist numbers.
Tourists Visit Site Of The World's Oldest Structures At Gobekli Tepe : News Photo
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Getty Images News
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September 19, 2018
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