Early Neolithic imagery in flux

A case study on the reliefs of Building F at Göbekli Tepe, southeastern Turkey

Authors

  • Oliver Dietrich Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt, Halle (Saale), Germany
  • Julia Wagner

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.50.11

Keywords:

Pre-Pottery Neolithic, Göbekli Tepe, pillars, reliefs

Abstract

Stone is often regarded as the ideal medium for the long-term preservation of knowledge, as it is resistant to change. Early to middle Pre-Pottery Neolithic Göbekli Tepe in southeastern Turkey has repeatedly been treated as a prime example for such external memorial storage in durable stone. The present paper challenges this view. A close examination of pillars and their reliefs in Building F reveals the fluid character of imagery with repeated and frequent phases of erasure and re-making. It is argued that it is not the durability of stone that made it suitable for the preservation of ‘cultural memory’, but the possibility to re-shape the image carriers continuously over a long period of time, which resulted in processes of transmission, learning and memorization.

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Published

25. 07. 2023 — Updated on 28. 12. 2023

Issue

Section

Articles

How to Cite

Dietrich, O., & Wagner, J. (2023). Early Neolithic imagery in flux: A case study on the reliefs of Building F at Göbekli Tepe, southeastern Turkey. Documenta Praehistorica, 50, 222-236. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.50.11