Gobekli Tepe is an archaeological site in Southeastern Turkey just a few miles north of the Syria/Turkey border.

When the site was first examined in the 1960’s by the University of Chicago and Istanbul University it was thought to be just a mound that was an abandoned medieval cemetery.  German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt began excavation of the site in 1994 and called it the world’s oldest temple and the first human-built holy place.

Carbon dating indicates the site is about 12,000 years old which would classify it as Early Neolithic since that period began about 10,200B.C.  Schmidt stated that archaeologists could dig for another   fifty years and barely scratch the surface as only 5-10% of the site has been uncovered since 1996.  He claims Gobekli Tepe predates Stonehenge by 6000 years and changes drastically the viewpoint as to when a more advanced civilization, that included the use of agriculture,  began.

Carvings on stone pillars of birds, animals and other figures were done in “high relief”, which meant they were not etched, but raised or sculpted on the stones.  Also, 7-ton rings were buried and placed on top of each other and covered with dirt and this happened over the centuries and created the hill.  The soft limestone in the area made stone sculpting easier even without advanced tools.

In recent centuries before the site was recognized as an archaeological site the hill and surrounding area was used extensively for agriculture, which resulted in some of the megaliths that were close to the surface being scratched by plows.

Perhaps the “temple” was also a burial site where people could find their final resting place up on the hill looking down over the bountiful area below that was beautiful and provided food both from agriculture and hunting.

John Anthony West says Gobeckli Tepe supports his findings that the Sphinx is much older (10,000-5000B.C.) than the standard academic thought of 2500B.C.  His 1993 NBC documentary titled “The Mystery of the Sphinx” contended erosion marks on the Sphinx were created by water, not sand, and water was only in that region 10,000-5000B.C.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/gobeklitepetheworldsfirsttemple83613665/? noist http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe http://andrewcollins.com/page/news/index.htm http://archive.archaeology.org/0811/abstracts/turkey.html http://listverse.com/2013/06/16/10mysteriousprehistoricsitesfromaroundtheworld/