Göbekli Tepe is a name that will be familiar to anyone interested in the ancient mysteries subject. Billed as the oldest stone temple in the world, it is composed of a series of megalithic structures containing rings of beautifully carved T-shaped pillars. It sits on a mountain ridge at the western termination of the Ante-Taurus range in southeast Anatolia (today part of the Republic of Turkey), just eight miles (thirteen kilometres) from the ancient city of Urfa, Abraham’s traditional birthplace. Here its secrets have remained hidden beneath an artificial, belly-shaped mound for the last ten thousand years. Agriculture and animal husbandry were barely known when Göbekli Tepe was built, and roaming the fertile landscape of southwest Asia were, we are told, primitive hunter- gatherers, whose sole existence revolved around survival on a day-to-day basis.
So what is Göbekli Tepe? Who created it, and why? More pressingly, why did its builders bury their creation at the end of its useful life?