What it suggests, at least to the archaeologists working there, is that the human sense of the sacred—and the human love of a good spectacle—may have given rise to civilization itself.
Klaus Schmidt knew almost instantly that he was going to be spending a lot of time at Göbekli Tepe.
The biggest city in the area is Şanlıurfa (pronounced shan--fa).
And it may have been driven not by the environment but by something else entirely.
After a moment of stunned quiet, tourists at the site busily snap pictures with cameras and cell phones.
Disturbance was evident at the top of the hill, but they attributed it to the activities of a Byzantine-era military outpost.
Here and there were broken pieces of limestone they thought were gravestones.
Construction of the site would have required more people coming together in one place than had likely occurred before.