Ferrell Jenkins has an extended blog on the untimely death of the excavator of Göblekli Tepe, Klaus Schmidt, at the age of 61.
For those interested, I have posted 17 images of Göbekli Tepe (“Potbelly Hill”)—a Neolithic site located about 9 mi. north of Sanliurfa in south–central Turkey before the “protective covering” was constructed over the site. This 22 acre site was functional from roughly 9,600 BC to 8,200 BC was excavated by Klaus Schmidt.
It was a religious center constructed by and used by foragers (not farmers!). The excavated portions consist mainly of rings of well-carved standing limestone pillars—the tallest 18 ft. high.
Images of gazelles, snakes, foxes, scorpions, and boars are carved on them in low bas-relief. In posting my images I was amazed to think about how during the Neolithic Period (ca. 9,000 B.C.) these people, using only flints and stone tools(!!), were able to quarry stones that were 18 ft. high and weighed 16 tons! How did they transported these stones to the site of Göbekli Tepe? How did they carve and smooth the surfaces of these stones and leave images in bas-relief(!) on them??
How these pillars were carved, transported, and erected—in 9,600 BC—is very mysterious!
Schmidt believes that it was a worship center for foragers, for he has not found any walls, houses, hearths, or signs of agriculture.
The finds at the site are beginning to revolutionize the understanding of the transition from Natufian culture to the Neolithic age.
The worship center is actually almost 1,600 earlier than Kathleen Kenyon’s famous Neolithic Tower at Jericho.