Do these mysterious stones mark the site of the Garden of Eden?
By TOM KNOX
For the old Kurdish shepherd, it was just another burning hot day in the rolling plains of eastern Turkey. Following his flock over the arid hillsides, he passed the single mulberry tree, which the locals regarded as 'sacred'. The bells on his sheep tinkled in the stillness. Then he spotted something. Crouching down, he brushed away the dust, and exposed a strange, large, oblong stone.
The man looked left and right: there were similar stone rectangles, peeping from the sands. Calling his dog to heel, the shepherd resolved to inform someone of his finds when he got back to the village. Maybe the stones were important.
They certainly were important. The solitary Kurdish man, on that summer's day in 1994, had made the greatest archaeological discovery in 50 years. Others would say he'd made the greatest archaeological discovery ever: a site that has revolutionised the way we look at human history, the origin of religion - and perhaps even the truth behind the Garden of Eden.
The site has been described as 'extraordinary' and 'the most important' site in the world
The Garden of Eden come to life: Is Gobekli Tepe where the story began?
To date, archaeologists have dug 45 stones out of the ruins at Gobekli
Archaeologist Klaus Schmidt poses next to some of the carvings at Gebekli
Many of Gobekli's standing stones are inscribed with 'bizarre and delicate' images, like this reptile
The stones of Gobekli Tepe are trying to speak to us from across the centuries - a warning we should heed