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Gobekli tepe Receives World Heritage Status

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:58 am
by shawomet
As of 7/1/18, UNESCO has added Gobekli tepe to the World Heritage list. In reading this, I also learned for the first time that the Turkish government, in its effort to develop the site as a tourist destination, damaged the site to some degree. ... ge-status/

Regarding the damage:

https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot ... emple.html

Re: Gobekli tepe Receives World Heritage Status

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:11 pm
by Simon21
No surprise when archaeology comes up against money money (tourist) wins every time.

But there are other issues with turning a site into a tourist attraction. How many sites does one visit where you get the spiel as if every issue was resolved and matters known completely thoroughly?

Guides don't get paid to present uncertainty or say "we don't know".

Re: Gobekli tepe Receives World Heritage Status

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:52 pm
by shawomet
I don't know anything about the guides at Gobekli tepe, but "we don't know" is perfectly acceptable when that is the most honest answer. And sometimes it is the most honest answer. At least where prehistory is concerned, there will always be far more that we don't know then we do know. So "we don't know" doesn't turn anyone off. For some it inspires a lifetime of seeking the answer to those unanswered questions.

Now, if you have a guide who says "I don't know" or "we don't know" to every question asked, yeah, I imagine that will be a problem. I've known guides at several national monuments in Western states at Ancestral Puebloan sites. They could not answer every question asked, it didn't stop tourists from visiting those sites. People accept that there are mysteries and unanswered questions involving prehistory and prehistoric cultures. Most experienced guides can wing it anyway, and direct people to things they do know. At least that's been my experience.

I've given tours of sites here in New England. If I don't know the answer to a question, I admit as much. I actually don't find that the spiel is all things are known and all issues resolved. That's like saying we have nothing new to learn, and I don't think that is the approach taken at historic or prehistoric sites. Again, in my experience.

Re: Gobekli tepe Receives World Heritage Status

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:25 am
by Simon21
I remember visiting Stonehenge over the decades and noting how the narrative changes.

Yes the EH heritage guides did sometimes say we have no idea but there was still a lot of vacuous theorising. On several occasions one heard detailed explanations of how the Stones were raised - show a video of it being done in the 1970s.

Yet the fact is we still don't know how it was done.

In the case cited the local people very understably want to make money from an asset and that is going to take priority over archaeological integrity.

Visiting the noted amphitheatre of El Djem (whose soil is supposed to kill serpents as a bye the bye) one was struck by the qulaity of preservation, until one noted that many of the blocks were in fact modern, cut by machines and about as authentic as a Starwars set.