Gobekli tepe dates back to 10,000 BC. Thats right, I said 10,000 BC !!!! This was put here by humans over 12,000 years ago! It is crazy to think about is it not? I had never heard of Gobekli tepe before today and still can’t pronounce it properly. But then again, I can’t pronounce anything in Turkey properly so this comes as no surprise.

I started this day out much like yesterday. I was sitting in the lobby of my guesthouse with no real plans when the option of heading on a day trip to Gobekli tepe came up. Once again, in true FTF style I jumped at the idea and it was only minutes before we were off.

Gobekli tepe

Learning of the existence of Gobekli tepe

As I said, I had never heard of Gobekli tepe and had no idea about its existence. Eastern Turkey is just full of a crazy amount of history and is amazing me on a daily basis. While in the lobby this morning typing away on my computer as I seem to do a lot of lately, I struck up a conversation with a lovely English woman who has traveled through Turkey for the last couple years. She said that herself, along with another couple staying at my guesthouse were heading out to a place called Gobekli tepe. As usual I had no plans for the day so it was another what the hell situation and I decided to tag along.

Gobekli tepe

Getting to Gobekli tepe

We got a lift with the owner of my guesthouse, who chose to get us to Gobekli tepe as fast as he possibly could. Gobekli tepe sits only 12km away from Sanliurfa, but no public transit will take you there so it was either an expensive cab ride or a ride in Mustafa’s rocket ship. He pushed his little VW minivan to its limits as we basically flew to the old archaeological site.

Gobekli tepe

Breaking the boundaries of Gobekli tepe

When we reached Gobekli tepe I was initially underwhelmed. As we walked along the path of old railway ties I noticed that the carved rocks that I was prepared to inspect were all covered with wooden boxes. I thought to myself “what was I doing here in this blazing heat?”. Up ahead of us was a giant green platform and underneath was meant to be the main site of Gobekli tepe. We walked around and into the covered area. Inside was the actual excavated site that had a viewing platform running through and ropes to keep you on track. Well, I have never been one to let the boundaries of a simple rope confine me so it was only a matter of seconds before I was through the ropes and into the site for a closer look.

Gobekli tepe

Getting busted breaking the boundaries of

Gobekli tepe

Soon after I was down in the dirt for a few minutes, 2 of my fellow day trippers joined for an up close look at the ruins of Gobekli tepe. We climbed through taking pictures, and rubbing our fingers on stones with carvings so old it’s almost unimaginable. We were right in Gobekli tepe and it was pretty amazing. After a good 10 or 15 minutes more tourists started to show up. Soon after that a man, who I think was supposed to be guarding the place from the very thing we were doing, showed up. He looked at us, gave us a shrug with his palms to the air and said something in Turkish. He sounded more shocked than angry. I think it was along the lines of “Are you effin’ serious? Like, get the heck outta there you silly foreigners.. Geeze Louise!”. Or something like that.

Gobekli tepe

Thinking about the history of Gobekli tepe

We climbed out with smirks on our faces and continued back into the confinement of the roped in bridge. We stopped to talk about how this place may have come to be, and other things of that nature. Besides the actual site under the covered ares, Gobekli tepe doesn’t hold much else. We walked around the rest of the railway tie walkway and saw the spot where they were digging a new area. Gobekli tepe could be huge for all we know, and could go for miles buried beneath the layers of rock that have accumulated over time. The history of this place is fantastic and you can check out the epic Gobekli tepe site here, or the Gobekli tepe wiki version here.

Gobekli tepe Gobekli tepe


This was quick trip and well worth it. Had we not been able to get up close and personal with the stone carvings I’m not sure it would have had the same impact. That said, Gobekli tepe is one of these places I will remember for ever.

P.S. If you are enjoying these little adventures of mine might I suggest signing up for the email alerts? Every time I post a new little story you will be notified so you never miss a beat!

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9 Responses

    • Alex

      yea getting up and touching it with my fingers was unreal. to think some dude carved it 12,000 years ago

  1. Natalie

    I was going to ask how you got so close to the stones!! The man must have been livid. I could not get that close so like you say, felt my visit was sub-standard. Maybe just seen too many archaeological sites to appreciate it but I think the importance is not so much its appearance but its age and suspected status as a temple.
    Natalie recently posted…The Ottoman Stone Bridges of Firtina RiverMy Profile

    • Alex

      Yes if I wasnt able to get right up to them I would feel the same way. Its not overly impressive by any means but the history is for sure!

    • Alex

      If your into history then it’s definitely worth a visit! But don’t expect to be amazed by any means!

  2. MW

    So when in a few years its impossible to get anywhere near the stones, we’ll know to blame people like you who can’t respect boundaries put in place for obvious reasons (namely stones carved by “some dude” c. 9600 BCE aren’t to be sat on and have their carvings touched by hand!) Amazing how you can travel so much and yet remain an idiot.

    • kerem

      Maybe, just maybe there is a reason the ropes are hanged there, like maybe to protect the site? I know you you are a super off limits guy and very brave, but is it ever possible that maybe you are just a plain arrogant tourist, and harming the diggings?