The world’s oldest discovered temple, Göbekli tepe, is also the oldest known sculpture workshop, according to excavation findings at the site, which have been ongoing for 20 years.
The excavations at Göbekli tepe, which is located in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa and is described as the “zero point in history,” are being carried out by the German Archaeology Institute and the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry. German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt, who died a few months ago, had been the head of the excavations.
Works in Göbekli tepe had revealed human sculptures from the Neolithic age, wild boar, fox and bird limestone fossils, as well as many arrow heads made of tinderbox.
These findings revealed that the art of sculpture and stone relief dated back to 12,000 years ago. These are the oldest monumental sculptures in the world.
One had found small sculptures from between 10,000 and 20,000 B.C., called the “Venus sculptures,” but the stone reliefs on T-shaped stelas in Göbekli tepe and in the Nevali desert are “the oldest sculptures in the world.”
A 1.80 meter-high limestone sculpture, known as “Balıklıgöl Man” or “Urfa Man,” which was found during the excavations close to the Balıklıgöl lake in 1995, dated back to 10,000 B.C.
This shows us that Göbekli tepe is the birthplace of plastic arts. It is a temple but at the same time it’s the world’s oldest sculpture workshop.
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