In 1963, researchers conducting a survey in southeastern Turkey came across another unusual site. It was called Gobekli Tepe, or “Belly Hill,” and at the top of this hill, researchers found broken slabs of limestone strewn in every direction. Buried below the surface of the hill were a series of megaliths up to 18 feet tall and weighing as much as 50 tons, arranged in circular patterns and covered in detailed carvings of humanoid figures, animals, and abstract symbols. Even more important and more astonishing, the site was carbon dated at between 9600-8200 BCE, making it at least 5,000 years older than Stonehenge. Simply, Gobekli Tepe was home to the world’s oldest known megaliths.
But who had been around that far in the past to create something so unbelievable? Who had moved Gobekli Tepe’s 50-ton blocks, and inscribed them with such detailed carvings? The mystery only deepened as a study on the site continued. In 2014, researchers digging deeper into the site uncovered evidence of a year-round settlement. This implied that the builders of Gobekli Tepe had not simply been nomadic hunter-gatherers who had built a monument in the middle of nowhere, as had been assumed, but an established civilization, one older than any on record. Who was this civilization, scientists wondered, and why had they not appeared in our history books previously?

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Narration: Petra Ortiz –


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