Schmidt had been working on the excavations at Göbekli Tepe, sometimes called Turkey’s Stonehenge, with the German Archaeology Institute since 1995.
On Göbekli Tepe (“Potbelly Hill”), the German excavations uncovered several massive stone enclosures dating between 10,000 and 8000 B.C.E., the dawn of civilization and the Neolithic age. Many of the stones are carved with highly elaborate depictions of animals and anthropomorphic figures. With no evidence of a contemporaneous village within the vicinity of the Göbekli Tepe ruins, it is believed that the site served exclusively as a ceremonial center. The earliest sanctuary for communal ritual activity known to date, the Göbekli Tepe ruins have led scholars to reconsider the origins of religion and human civilization.
Read “The Göbekli Tepe Ruins and the Origins of Neolithic Religion” in Bible History Daily.