National Geographic : 2011 Jun
Arm Belt Animal-skin loincloth Head Hands Pillars Excavated Unexcavated Area shown in illustration Entry pillars 159 ft BUILDING GÖBEKLI TEPE People must have gathered from far-flung settlements to erect the first known temples. Using flint tools, they carved pillars and shaped blocks for walls mortared with clay. When a new temple was completed, the old one was buried. How the temples were used is unknown. Quarrying a pillar The T-shape was incised directly into a bed of lime- stone. Pressure applied with levers then broke the rock along natural fracture lines, freeing the pillar. Carvings mark the pillars as stylized human figures, but did they represent powerful people or supernatural beings? Sanctuary grounds Geomagnetic surveys of the 22-acre site suggest that at least 20 temples were built, from about 9600 to B.C. The oldest known are shown above. A pillar's shape was refined before being carved and placed.