Cathedral on a Hill: Ancient Structure in Turkey
Might be the Oldest on Planet Earth
by Jules Da Costa, age 13
Have you ever wondered what the world’s oldest structure is? Well, archaeologists have found an answer: Gobekli Tepe.
The Gobekli Tepe, informally known as “Cathedral on a Hill,” is located east of the Mediterranean Sea in the country of Turkey. It was discovered atop a limestone plateau close to Urfa. It currently stands as humanity's oldest known structure, built over 11,000 years ago.
In 1996, German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt led an expedition on the mountaintop. After over a decade of excavations, Schmidt concluded that the monument gives further insight on when early humans switched from a nomadic lifestyle to an agricultural lifestyle. He and his team found stone tools and other promising evidence that hunter-gatherers based at the Gobekli Tepe site carved tools and built structures.
Archaeologists have many theories about how significant these sites were to the ancient nomadic tribes in the region. Some scientists speculate that these were places of ritual, worship, or burial. Others believe that these were places for the tribes to gather and feast. Research to find more answers continues.
[Sources: bbc.com; nationalgeographic.com]