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Turkey illuminates Neolithic Heritage with new project

ISTANBUL, Turkey, October 25, 2021

Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Turkey Tourism Promotion and Development Agency presented Tas Tepeler, a project to reveal the land where the change in human history took place and a transformation from hunter-gatherer way of living to agriculture, with visits, meetings and events last month.
 
Academicians and researchers from Turkey and around the world met on a hybrid symposium on 'Reflections of the Neolithic in the World' in Şanlıurfa. 
 
The project involves archaeological excavations and research carried out in seven areas: Göbeklitepe, Karahantepe, Gürcütepe, Sayburç, Çakmaktepe, Sefertepe and the Yeni Mahalle mound. The excavation in Karahantepe, which was temporarily opened, was also visited. 
 
The excavations are carried out by scientific committees and the Şanlıurfa Museum Directorate. During the visit to Karahantepe, Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy noted that the sites and their excavations reveal the contribution of Anatolia to human history.  
 
He said: “In the coming days, excavations will begin in the mounds of Ayanlar, Yoğunburç, Harbetsuvan, Kurttepesi and Taşlıtepe settlements, as part of the first phase of the Şanlıurfa Neolithic Research Project which will take place between 2021-2024. 
 
"Geomagnetic measurements and ground-penetrating radar measurements have already been carried out in some of these areas. These measurements will continue in parallel with the excavations."
 
Tas Tepeler Project is considered to be the beginning of the transformation of shelters into houses 12,000 years ago, and in which villages emerged, stratified society formed, and the ability to carry out basic trade developed. It is thought that the monumental megalithic structures in the area were believed to be communal spaces where people gathered.
  
The International World Neolithic Congress, which will be held in 2023 as part of the Neolithic Age Research Project, will include scientific sessions, and will showcase the cultural treasures of Şanliurfa from Neolithic Age. 
 
Minister Ersoy added: "Co-operation was planned with 12 institutions and organisations, including eight universities in Turkey. Within this framework, co-operation protocols were signed between İstanbul University, Harran University and Ankara Bilim University. 
 
"We also involved eight universities in five countries, and four international academies, institutes and museums in the Şanlıurfa Neolithic Age Research Project, establishing a wide international outreach with Japan, Russia, Germany, United Kingdom and France.”  
 
The Şanlıurfa region is home to the first examples of organised labour and specialisation in the history of civilisation. Between 2021 and 2024, excavations will be carried out in a total of 12 locations, including Karahantepe, a site with more than 250 T-shaped megalith blocks similar to those found in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Göbeklitepe.-TradeArabia News Service



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