European Route of Megalithic Culture
European Route of Megalithic Culture is one of the Council of Europe cultural roads, where prehistoric stonework complexes – monuments, burial places, sanctuaries- built by ancient communities are promoted to be rediscovered on a route that unifies unique landscapes with unique places, moving beyond and subverting country demarcations by integrating them with extraordinary footprints of the prehistoric past.
Göbeklitepe in Türkiye is a recent participant of this culture road network. Discovered in the 1990s and since when excavations have been attended incessantly, it has been one of the most important and speculated archaeological sites in the world, as Göbeklitepe is a Neolithic site that pre-dates pottery, metallurgy, writing, the wheel, and agriculture and both illuminates and creates fascination on our understanding of megalithic cultures.
Located 20 km north-east of Şanlıurfa city centre, there is no settlement in or near the site, the fact of which questions the existing theories and literature on settled life, for Göbeklitepe was a temple, a sacred architecture with various rooms where colossal anthropomorphic statues, T-shaped pillars, reliefs, totems and many other stone carvings built by hunter-gatherers some 12,000 years ago once stood.
In light of the recent surveys, it is inferred that similar sites occupied the region from the same period, enriching the already inestimable value of this peerless world’s cultural heritage.