Vultures also feature in the iconography of the Neolithic sites of Çatalhöyük and Jericho; it is believed that in the early Neolithic culture of Kurdistan and the Near East the deceased were deliberately exposed in order to be excarnated by vultures and other birds of prey.
(The head of the deceased was sometimes removed and preserved—possibly a sign of ancestor worship.) There are freestanding sculptures as well that may represent wild boars or foxes. As they are heavily encrusted with lime, it is sometimes difficult to tell. Comparable statues have been discovered at Nevalı Çori and Nahal Hemar.The quarries for the statues are located on the plateau itself; some unfinished pillars have been found there in situ.
The biggest unfinished pillar is still 6.9 m long; a length of 9m has been reconstructed. This is much larger than any of the finished pillars found so far. The stone was quarried with stone picks. Bowl-like depressions in the limestone rocks may already have served as mortars or fire-starting bowls in the epipalaeolithic.
While the structures are primarily temples, more recently smaller domestic buildings have been uncovered. Despite this, it is clear that the primary use of the site was cultic and not domestic. Schmidt believes this "cathedral on a hill" was a pilgrimage destination attracting worshipers up to a hundred miles distant.
Butchered bones found in large numbers from local game such as deer, gazelle, pigs, and geese suggest that ritual feasting (and perhaps sacrifice) were regularly practiced here.Göbekli Tepe is regarded as an archaeological discovery of the greatest importance, since it profoundly changes our understanding of a crucial stage in the development of human societies. Apparently, the erection of monumental complexes was within the capacities of hunter-gatherers and not only of sedentary farming communities as had been previously assumed. In other words, as excavator Klaus Schmidt put it: "First came the temple, then the city." This revolutionary hypothesis will have to be supported or modified by future research.
More rare archaeology related information is here.[archaeology excavations]