Whilst Stonehenge is a genuine ancient monument at around 5000 years of age, compared with the 12,000-year-old temple of Göbekli Tepe in Turkey, it is positively new. Göbekli Tepe, which translates as Pot Belly Hill, is an extraordinary structure which contains many 16-ton pillars that were crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools.

The archaeological site is located in the south-eastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, approximately 12km north-east of the city of Şanlıurfa. The tell (mound) has a height of 15m, is about 300m in diameter, and is approximately 760m above sea level. The details of the structure’s function remain a mystery; it was excavated by a German archaeological team under the direction of Klaus Schmidt from 1996 until his death in 2014.

Schmidt believed that the site was a sanctuary where people from a wide region periodically congregated, not a settlement.

The site is visited on a number of Travel The Unknown’s small group trips, (max. 12 people), including the 11-day Archaeology of Eastern Turkey trip which departs on 7 April and 14 September. Other highlights include the statue-heads at Nemrut Daği (Mount Nemrut), a chance to wander the ingenious roof-top streets of Çatalhöyük (the world’s first city), the abandoned underground cities of Cappadocia and a journey to Harran, the birthplace of the Prophet Abraham.

The trip costs from £3095 pp (two sharing) – a reduction of £200 off the usual price – which includes flights, all transportation, activities as per itinerary, 10 nights’ B&B (plus two dinners) and drivers/guides. The holiday can also be booked ‘land only’ for those who prefer to make their own way to join the group.


For more information, call 020 7183 6371 or visit: www.traveltheunknown.com.

 

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