Civilization at its oldest

A pillar at the Gobekli Tepe temple

The Gobekli Tepe temple near Sanliurfa, Turkey, is thought to predate civilization.

The site isn’t just old, it redefines old: the temple was built 11,500 years ago—a staggering 7,000 years before the Great Pyramid, and more than 6,000 years before Stonehenge first took shape. The ruins are so early that they predate villages, pottery, domesticated animals, and even agriculture—the first embers of civilization.