World Heritages in Turkey Part I

By | September 20, 2021

Göbekli Tepe (World Heritage)

Göbekli Tepe (World Heritage)

The hill of ruins Göbekli Tepe is a prehistoric site in southeastern Anatolia and is located near the Turkish provincial capital Şanlıurfa. The hill, 15 meters high and around 300 meters in diameter, contains significant archaeological remains from the period between 9,600 and 8,200 BC. The various building layers have been excavated and researched by a Turkish-German team of archaeologists since 1995. Fore more information about Turkey and Middle East, please visit cellphoneexplorer.

The construction phase of the more closely examined Layer III ended around 9000 BC. B.C., that of Layer II around 8000 B.C. Huge circular systems were found, which presumably had religious functions. Monolithic, T-shaped stone pillars are connected to walls in a circle. The pillars are decorated with large-format animal reliefs (snakes, bulls, foxes and cranes). Since no signs of settlements could be discovered, the facilities from the early Neolithic period are interpreted as a cult site of a society of hunters and gatherers before they settled down.

In the 8th millennium BC Göbekli Tepe fell into disrepair, probably because religious ideas changed in the course of settling down and new cults and rites arose in other places. The temple complexes fell into oblivion.

Göbekli Tepe: facts

Official title: Gobekli Tepe
Cultural monument: earliest, 11,000 year old, monumental sanctuary of mankind
Continent: Asia
Country: Turkey
Location: Southeast Anatolia near the provincial capital Şanlıurfa
Appointment: 2018
Meaning: oldest stone building in the world in Gobekli Tepe in Eastern Turkey. Built by people of a hunter-gatherer culture from the early Neolithic who lived there 11,000 years ago

Aphrodisias (World Heritage)

Aphrodisias was from the first century BC. An important religious, artistic and scientific center into the seventh century AD. The city, whose origins date back to the third millennium BC. Can be traced back to the third century BC. Named after the goddess Aphrodite, whose cult was practiced in the centrally located Aphrodite temple. The city’s heyday, however, was in Roman times under the Julian emperors (Sulla, Caesar, Antonius and Augustus), who endowed the city with numerous privileges. Aphrodisias became one of the most important cities in Asia Minor through her famous school of sculpture, but also through her school of medicine and philosophy.

Aphrodisias: facts

Official title: Aphrodisias
Cultural monument: the ancient city of Aphrodisias with its large number of important archaeological remains from the Hellenistic-Roman period
Continent: Europe
Country: Turkey
Location: near Geyre, Aydin Province in southwestern Turkey
Appointment: 2017
Meaning: significant evidence of ancient life in the Mediterranean

Wealth of ancient evidence

Numerous archaeological remains still testify to the great importance of the city in ancient times. The ruins of the Temple of Aphrodite, which was built in the first century BC, are particularly impressive. The central sanctuary of the goddess, of which 14 imposing columns still stand, was later converted into a Byzantine basilica. The holy area around the Temple of Aphrodite was entered through a large, richly decorated ceremonial gate, the tetrapylon. With a length of 270 meters and 30,000 seats, Aphrodisias had the largest stadium in ancient times. In addition, there were two theaters, a smaller one, the Odeon, which had space for around 1,000 people, and a large one, which had a seating capacity of 7,000 and which was rebuilt several times in Roman times.

A great peculiarity in Aphrodisias are the chiseled inscriptions that can be discovered everywhere. Hundreds of drawings, catchwords or short texts can be found on the walls of public buildings or on pillars. There are consecration or building inscriptions that indicate the function of a building or its builder or financier. Many inscriptions can also be found on the stadium and the theater. They show, for example, the names of visitors, actors or gladiators, but also represent seat reservations for certain people or professional groups. There are also political slogans, Greek, Christian and Jewish religious symbols and suggestive texts. All of this together forms a unique testimony to everyday life in an ancient city.

Çatalhöyük Neolithic Site (World Heritage)

The two uncovered settlement mounds from the period between 7400 and 5200 BC BC mark the transition from rural to urban settlement in the Neolithic.

Çatalhöyük Neolithic Site: Facts

Official title: Neolithic site Çatal Hüyük
Cultural monument: Discovered in the 1950s, extensive Neolithic settlement in Central Anatolia from the Neolithic Age from 7400 to 6100 BC. BC (East) or 6200 to 5200 BC BC (West, Copper Age); city-like settlement in rectangular mud houses of different heights with flat roofs also used as access; extensive wall paintings and reliefs with images of hunting scenes, bulls’ heads, leopards, parts of wild animals (teeth, beaks etc.) and finds of everyday objects (textiles, wooden vessels); world’s oldest discovered stone age site
Continent: Asia
Country: Turkey
Location: Çatal Hüyük, 40 km southeast of Konya, Central Anatolia
Appointment: 2012
Meaning: Outstanding testimony to the evolution of prehistoric social coexistence and cultural practices in the first phases of sedentary people; impressive testimony to the development of villages into a kind of urban center in the Neolithic; exceptionally well documented settlement and agrarian life of a Neolithic community

Çatalhöyük Neolithic Site (World Heritage)