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Enclosure C, Göbekli Tepe

Dated to 10th - 9th millennia cal BC, the remarkable Pre-Pottery Neolithic site of Göbekli Tepe (Urfa Region, SE Turkey) is interpreted by many as the world’s oldest temple complex.

Comprising a series of oval (PPNA) and rectangular (PPNB) structures with monumental relief-carved stele, its rich and varied material culture suggests its visitation by peoples from three distinct cultural regions: Upper Mesopotamia, the Zagros and the southern Levant.Much discussion on the archaeology of pilgrimage has focused on the nature of the sites, rather than the archaeological residues of the associated ritual activities.

 At the MAX Lab we are working in collaboration with Dr. F.X. Le Bourdonnec and Dr. G. Poupeau of CNRS (download the report in English and French here: and the excavator of the site, Prof. Klaus Schmidt (of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut) to source the Göbekli Tepe obsidian we aimed to clarify the centre’s supra-regional connections, hypothesizing that a pilgrimage site should have material correlates, namely a broader range of raw materials and artefact types than at nearby contemporary settlements.