IO – The Republic of Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Turkey Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) have recently unveiled Tas Tepeler, a new archaeological discovery from the Neolithic
period. Turkey’s vital excavation project involves researchers and academies from eight universities and institutes, originating in five different countries. The Sanliurfa region is the main location for archaeologists to work fully, until 2024.
The excavation project is being carried out by the scientifc committee and the Sanliurfa Museum Directorate under the Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of the Ministry of Culture and Turkish Tourism. The project covers seven areas throughout Turkey: Gobeklitepe, Karahantepe, Gurcutepe, Sayburc, Akmaktepe, Sefertepe and Yeni Mahalle hills.
Announced publicly at a symposium, “Refections of the Neolithic in the World” in Sanliurfa on twenty-third September 2021, the excavation and discovery of Tas Tepeler is considered a valuable contribution to science, mainly about humanity and prehistoric civilization. This discovery reveals new facts for humankind, at time when human history was profoundly transformed, evolving from a hunting and gathering era to agricultural settlement, also known as the Green Revolution.
Researchers and archaeologists consider Tas Tepeler a place where
shelters became permanent dwellings, beginning some 12,000 years ago. Fiefdoms and political territories were emerging; stratifed society was
formed and simplifed trade began.. The monumental megalithic structures in the area are concluded to be communal spaces where people gathered.
Tourists and travelers coming to Turkey can now visit Tas Tepeler, especially the Karahantepe excavation site. The fnds are displayed at the
Archaeological Museum of Sanliurfa in several exhibitions, “Karahantepe
and Neolithic Human Exhibition.” Karahantepe will be the center of
the excavation, with more than 250 visually stunning T-shaped megalith blocks. As Karahantepe, Turkey previously registered Gobeklitepe in the UNESCO list of protected world heritage.
Turkey’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, who attended the Karahantepe excavation site, noted that the excavations
reveal the signifcant contribution of Anatolia to the history of humankind.
He also said, “Besides Karahantepe, excavation will also begin in residential mounds of Ayanlar, Yogunbur, Harbetsuvan, Kurttepesi, and Taslitepe, as a part of the frst phase of the Sanliurfa Neolithic Research Project, which will last from 2021 to 2024,” as quoted by various local media.
The Tas Tepeler excavation is temporarily open for visitors and researchers, with strict safety protocols enforced. There is no quarantine upon arrival needed in Turkey. However, to visit Turkey, completing a Travel Entry Form before departure and bringing a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours are compulsory. (Freddy Wally)