...An architect’s Exploration of the archaeological site described by National Geographic as the “World’s First Temple”
Göbekli Tepe, near Sanliurfa, in South-central Turkey, is a 12,000 year old monument, which has changed the way historians, archaeologists and architects – have viewed the transformation to civilization from hunter/gatherer. The premise was, “we used to think it was agriculture which gave rise to cities and, later, to writing, art and religion. Now, Göbekli Tepe, the world’s oldest temple** (at 12,000 years) suggests the urge to worship sparked civilization—that, to an urban plan-ner, made the archaeology of Göbekli Tepe an irresistible study.
After graduation the al-Chalabis came to Chicago, where Ms. Chalabi settled into Real Estate Research Corporation and there directed projects on neighborhood preservation for HUD, adaptive reuse projects for DOD and Interior, and downtown development studies/forecasts for the International Down-town Executives Association (IDEA) and the Cities of Cincinnati, Charlotte and South Haven. The al-Chalabi’s were both were invited to join the Mayor’s Office under Mayor Jane M. Byrne.
With Mayor Byrne’s loss, in 1983, they started the al Chalabi Group, Ltd.
(ACG). Their blend of public and pri-vate experience made for a practice together that endured for 32 years. Their most important projects includ-ed: saving and renovating the Chicago Theater; planning for the Third Chica-go Airport; providing forecasts and impacts for major transportation pro-jects; and developing landmark models and methodologies.
In April, 2016, she made a presen-tation of her 2013 exploration of the site to The Cliff Dwellers Club in Chi-cago. That presentation – with some updates – is the subject of the presenta-tion to the Chicago Archaeological Society on April 30, this year.
*The science of human settlement.
** “The World’s First Temple”, National Geographic, June 2011.