Göbekli Tepe: A Neolithic Site in Southeastern Anatolia

Klaus Schmidt

in The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Anatolia

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195376142
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Göbekli Tepe: A Neolithic Site in Southeastern Anatolia

Show Summary Details


This article discusses findings from excavations at Göbekli Tepe. Though only partially excavated, it has become increasingly obvious that these findings may contribute significantly to our understanding of the transition from a subsistence pattern based exclusively on hunting and foraging at the end of the Pleistocene to the appearance of agriculture and animal husbandry in the course of the early Holocene. Göbekli Tepe is unique not only in its location on top of a hill and in its monumental architecture, but also its diverse set of objects of art, ranging from small stone figurines, through sculptures and statues of animals, to decorated megaliths, all of which set it apart. The most characteristic feature of the monuments of Göbekli Tepe are the monumental T-shaped pillars. These are arranged in round or oval enclosures, always with a pair of free-standing pillars in the center. It is highly probable that the T-shaped pillars are meant to represent anthropomorphic beings.

Keywords: excavations; archaeological sites; monuments; T-shaped pillars

Article.  6589 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of the Near East

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.