Archaeologists have unearthed a Neolithic-era temple with three almost-intact stelae similar in form to the famous and controversial Göbekli Tepe. The ancient temple was unearthed in the Ilısu neighborhood of Dargeçit in southeastern Turkey’s Mardin province and archaeologists estimate that it was built 11,300 years-old.
Dr. Ergül Kodaş of Mardin Artuklu University’s Archaeology Department is the scientific counselor to the excavations at the Boncuklu Tarla (Beaded Field) site, which is the earliest known human settlement in the city. He told press that this ancient spiritual center was active in the same era as the famous Göbekli Tepe which is considered the birthplace of early civilization and the oldest temple on earth.
This 861 square foot (80 square meter) temple shares certain features with Göbekli Tepe and a Hürriyet report says “intense work” has been carried out in a large area which also includes the site known as Boncuklu Tarla (Beaded Field), the earliest known human settlement in Mardin which was discovered in 2008 during a field survey.
A 2017 Daily Sabah article says archaeological excavations conducted by Mardin Museum Director Nihat Erdoğan and his team in the Boncuklu Tarla settlement uncovered the buildings, cultures, social lives, and burial traditions of the people who lived in northern Mesopotamia during the Aceramic Neolithic period between 10,000 BC to 7,000 BC. And just like this new discovery, their buildings had “rubble stone walls with foundations hardened by clay”.
A study is throwing new light on the population and history of Neolithic Britain. It provides evidence that Stonehenge’s builders were the descendants of farmers who had temporarily settled in modern-day Iberia but originated in what is now Turkey. The research involving the examination of DNA samples indicates that migrant farmers almost completely displaced the native hunter-gatherers, who had roamed the island for thousands of years.
A team of researchers from the Natural History Museum of London carried out the study that examined the DNA of 53 individuals who lived in Britain between 4500 and 12,000 years ago. According to the Independent, the experts examined “47 Neolithic farmer skeletons dating from 6,000 to 4,500 years ago and six Mesolithic hunter-gatherer skeletons.”
The results of the DNA analysis allowed the team to compare the genetic makeup of populations from two very different epochs. Then the DNA from the sample of Neolithic farmers was compared to other populations who lived in the same era in continental Europe.
The researchers were taken aback by what they found after studying all the data. Based on the evidence, the Neolithic people who were responsible for Stonehenge originated in the region of modern-day Turkey. The BBC reports that they were probably part of a “massive expansion of people out of Anatolia in 6,000 BC that introduced farming to Europe.” They were probably looking for more arable land to feed their growing population.