Late February, 2015, two days of intermittent snowing..Kadikoy 32 cm.…
Why does Turkey not capitalize on its vast collection of archeological discoveries, using their draw to improve its lackluster image. There is a settlement called Gobekli Tepe, in Sanliurfa, Turkey, that is one of the most ancient settlements, 10,000 BC, now known to be far more advanced for that time than previously understood. “Ian Hoddard of Stanford University said, “Göbekli Tepe changes everything”. It shows that the erection of monumental complexes was within the capacities of hunter gatherers, and not only of sedentary farming communities as had been previously assumed. As excavator Klaus Schmidt put it, “First came the temple, then the city.””
What is astounding is that this site was purposefully preserved by backfilling and covering by these ancient people, in order to facilitate its fairly good condition upon discovery. This means they knew that what they created had immense future value. Another interesting thing about this site, is that the pillars are weighty (40 to 60 tons), and would have required a large amount of carefully orchestrated manpower. This completely changes what we thought we knew about the people of this time period. Supposedly, the people of this time were hunter gatherers, only loosely connected. How would these people have been able to come together to erect such a complex series of structures?
Why isn’t there a massive global PR campaign, paid for by Turkey, about the discovery of Gobekli Tepe? This site is the most important archeological discovery the world has ever known.
I was at the Istanbul Museum of Archeology on a Saturday afternoon, during spring break, and the old sections of Istanbul and most of the museums were packed with throngs of tourists, but very light at the archeological museum. Considering Turkey’s clear advantage over many other countries in its spectacular trove of ancient artifacts, I assumed the museum would reflect that, but instead was disappointed by the amateur way in which the objects were placed. It reminded me more of an antique store than a world class museum. I know that this cannot be due to lack of interest, but lack of will on the part of the ministry in charge of archeology and the arts to promote effectively. Perhaps they are dropping the ball because it is not profitable for them to capitalize on Turkey’s prominence in this regard.
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