By Esber Ayaydin
SANLIURFA, Türkiye (AA) – Türkiye’s Karahantepe, considered one of the most important settlements of the Neolithic period, has been awarded the status of an archaeological site.
The status was conferred by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry last week.
Located in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa, Karahantepe and its rich history first came to light in 1997.
Research efforts have since gathered pace, including the launch of the Gobeklitepe Culture and Karahantepe Excavations project in 2017.
Excavations at the site have led to the discovery of more than 250 T-shaped obelisks similar to those at Gobeklitepe, an official UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the world’s oldest temple and dubbed the “zero point of history.”
Necmi Karul, head of the Karahantepe Excavations team, said the site has gained national and global prominence over the years.
He hailed the Culture and Tourism Ministry’s decision as “appropriate and timely.”
“The new designation as an archaeological site will attract a lot more visitors to Karahantepe, and help further boost its importance,” he told Anadolu Agency.
* Writing by Zehra Nur Duz