(Turkish: [ɡøbe̞kli te̞pɛ] “Potbelly Hill”) is an archaeological site at the top of a mountain ridge in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, approximately 6 km northwest of the town of Şanlıurfa. The tell has a height of 15 m (49 ft) and is about 300 m (984 ft) in diameter.It is approximately 760 m (2,493 ft) above sea level. It has been excavated by a German archaeological team that has been under the direction of Klaus Schmidt since 1996.
The tell includes two phases of ritual use dating back to the 10th-8th millennium BC. During the first phase (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA)), circles of massive T-shaped stone pillars were erected. More than 200 pillars in about 20 circles are currently known through geophysical surveys. Each pillar has a height of up to 6 m (20 ft) and a weight of up to 20 tons. They are fitted into sockets that were hewn out of the bedrock. In the second phase (Pre-pottery Neolithic B (PPNB)), the erected pillars are smaller and stood in rectangular rooms with floors of polished lime. The site was abandoned after the PPNB-period. Younger structures date to classical times.
The function of the structures is not yet clear. The most common opinion, shared by excavator Klaus Schmidt, is that they are early neolithic sanctuaries.