Protruding from a low hillside beside an isolated farm, the Stone Age settlement at Karahan Tepe was first documented by an archaeologist in 1997; since then, relatively little research on the site has been done. The initial survey of the site logged some interesting discoveries, including a distinct style of stone-carving used in apparent temple structures and a number of more daily tools – arrowheads, grindstones, hand axes, and a cistern. Some of the tools were made from a type of stone not found at the site – evidence of early short-distance transit or trade between Neolithic populations in the region.

Karahan Tepe, dating to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic Period, would have been inhabited between 8500 and 6000 years ago.  This places it as contemporary with some of the newer parts of the much better-known Gobekli Tepe near Urfa, several days’ walk away. The structure’s T-shaped standing stones carved with images of wildlife and human forms resemble the style of Gobekli Tepe, but few other analytical observations of the site have been made. Archaeologists hope to uncover more artifacts in future excavations at Karahan Tepe that may shed greater light on its historical significance. For the moment, this and a few other sites in the area only begin to provide faint clues to the lives of the people who lived here and even fainter hints at the ceremonial or religious purposes for which they carved these impressive monoliths.

Along the Abraham Path in the:



Sites in the Harran Region:


Deep in the dust of the uninhabited wilderness, a prosperous caravan city rose up, appearing like a mirage to early travelers like Abraham and Sarah. They made their home in Harran, which would become a world-renowned center for religion and learning.


Deep in the barren hills of Anatolia near a remote village, seven temples adorn seven hilltops with rock carvings and writings dedicated to the sun, moon, and planets.

Jethro’s City

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Jethro’s City (Suayib Sehri), a former Roman town, is revered as the dwelling place of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses. It is here that Moses met his wife, Zipporah, and received the staff with which he would part the Red Sea.


Head underground to probe the innards of a set of enormous caves carved out by a quarrying operation centuries ago.

Beehive Houses

Harran’s ingenious conical mud-brick structures, whose form may date from biblical times, provided shelter (and natural climate-control) to Harran’s families for generations.

Great Mosque


The crumbling tower of Harran’s Great Mosque, visible from a distance, stands vigil over the ruins of one of Turkey’s first mosques and once-illustrious university.

Han al-Barur

A ruined medieval waystation reminds walkers that these quiet plains once hosted a busy trade route heading east from Harran.

Harran University

When the classical academies at Athens and Alexandria were closed down under Christian rule, Harran’s world-famous center of learning became a refuge for scholars from across the ancient world with over 8,000 students gathering here.