From the Göbekli Tepe Research Project

On Air: Smithsonian Channel’s “Secrets”

Episode 8 of the current 4th season of Smithsonian Channel‘s [external link] documentary series “Secrets” [external link] will center on the excavations and research at Göbekli Tepe  and its early Neolithic monuments.


(Courtesy of blink films & MA Productions)

The upcoming episode, provocatively titled “Garden of Eden” [external link] (and yes, admittedly we were a bit uncomfortable about that title – for certain reasons) is exploring the question why hunter-gatherers started to engage in large-scale communal projects, and the peculiar role early monument-construction played for emerging Neolithic societies.

“On a hilltop in southeastern Turkey, archaeologists have unearthed a complex of standing stones that pre-dates Stonehenge by more than 6,000 years. This monument has rewritten prehistoric archaeology and fascinated some theologians, who have linked the site to the Garden of Eden. Take an up-close look at Gobekli Tepe and its intricate carvings, which feature a landscape with wildlife, birds, and serpents. Then see how this 11,000-year-old wonder has forced archaeologists to rethink their understanding of the beginnings of human civilization.”

The episode will be on cable TV (Smithsonian Channel) i.a. Monday, June 12 to Saturday, June 17. For more details see Smithsonian Channel‘s schedule [external link].


  1. Robert Kerr

    The Smithsonian Channel also describes GT as a ‘thriving ancient city’.. Are they intent on nothing more than grabbing an audience?

    • Jens

      I don’t think they actually were referring to GT here as city, though. The movie is actually not bad (and I’m not only saying this because I’m in there) – once you get beyond the ‘Garden Eden’ hook (which is absolutely debunked by all of the scientists having a word in there, I’m not the only one uttering “Ridiculous.” in the movie) there’s a nice, solid discussion on the early monumentality of Göbekli Tepe and the process of Neolithisation.

  2. Charles Bailey

    Your blog is a constant reminder of why it is important to publish objective information on Gobekli Tepe. The Smithsonian magazine and its later video counterpart have always been about presenting a high gloss version of history – even as it distorts the years of research done in various fields.

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