The Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Turkish Tourism Development and Promotion Agency (TGA) introduced Taş Tepeler, which hosts the first examples of settled life and social communities in the world.
The event, which was held at the Şanlıurfa Museum with the participation of the Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, started with the Opening Ceremony of the Karahantepe and Neolithic Man Exhibition.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ersoy said that the number of Turkish excavations increased from 57 to 147, and the total amount of funds allocated to excavations and researches reached 1,9 million liras from 58 million liras.
Ersoy stated that Göbeklitepe, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2018, updated the information in archeology and all related branches and said, “We called it the 'Zero Point of History'. We will now pull that point deeper and possibly much further back. Because Göbeklitepe is not one and only.” said.
Minister Ersoy, with the 12 excavations to be carried out within the scope of the project, sözcüHe continued as follows:
“Within the framework of this project, new settlements were identified through surveys carried out in two regions. We are still continuing archaeological excavations in 7 areas, namely Göbeklitepe, Karahantepe, Gürcütepe, Sayburç, Çakmaktepe, Sefertepe and Yeni Mahalle Mound. In the coming days, as part of the first phase of the project, which covers the years 2021-2024, excavations will also begin in Ayanlar, Yogunburç, Harbetsuvan, Kurt Tepesi and Taşlıtepe settlements. Geomagnetic and geo-radar measurements were carried out in some of these areas. Measurement works will continue in parallel with the excavations.
Emphasizing that they are planning cooperation with 8 institutions and organizations, including 12 different universities, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said, “In this direction, direct cooperation protocols were signed between Istanbul University, Harran University and Ankara Bilim University. In addition, we included 5 universities, 8 international academies, institutes and museums from 4 different countries in the Şanlıurfa Neolithic Studies Project. We created a wide international spectrum with Japan, Russia, Germany, England and France.” made its assessment.
Expressing that the Şanlıurfa Neolithic Age Research Project is the largest and most comprehensive archeology project ever made in Turkey, Ersoy said, “Moreover, this process will not only consist of research and excavation works. In addition to many international scientific meetings and events, especially the International World Neolithic Congress, we will also implement a series of applications such as visitor welcome and promotion centers, exhibition and landscaping projects, transportation and infrastructure arrangements. For all these, a public investment of 127 million TL is envisaged, excluding current and personnel expenses. said.
Emphasizing that a website has been designed where the project process and outputs will be shared up-to-date, Ersoy said, "We will also ensure that the results of the Şanlıurfa Neolithic Age Research Project meet the scientific community and society through scientific and popular publications, museum displays and symposiums." he said.
Istanbul University Archeology Department Head of Prehistoric Archeology Department and Karahantepe Excavation Head Prof. Dr. Necmi Karul made a detailed presentation on the Neolithic excavations in Turkey.
Istanbul University Archeology Department Lecturer, who has signed and consulted many excavations in Turkey. Dr. Mehmet Celal Özdoğan also said that they are planning a large-scale Neolithic Period Congress in Şanlıurfa in 2023 with worldwide participation.
On behalf of the international participants in the program, President of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences – Siberia Department Prof. Dr. Andrei V. Tabarev made a welcome speech.
Şanlıurfa Governor Abdullah Erin, on the other hand, stated that important studies have been carried out for the discovery of the city's history and that he is trying to carry the historical accumulation of the city to future generations.
Şanlıurfa Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Zeynel Abidin Beyazgül emphasized that the city has a history of 12 thousand years and expressed that the city has depth and meaning.
The program, in which pianist Iraz Yıldız gave a short performance, ended with Ersoy's visit to the Neolithic Man Exhibition.
The finds unearthed from the excavations in Karahantepe will be exhibited at the Şanlıurfa Archeology Museum.
In Stone Hills, which is thought to be the beginning of the process where the shelter turned into a dwelling and real villages emerged 12 years ago, there are finds on humanity's first use of pottery and the ability to carry out basic trade initiatives. The monumental structures in the region are believed to be communal places where people come together.
It is planned to hold many scientific meetings and share the unique cultural treasures of Şanlıurfa from the Neolithic Age at the International World Neolithic Congress to be held within the scope of the Neolithic Age Studies project.