I was watching Joe Rogan's podcast and he had Graham Hancock on with two other guys (one was an established scientist I didn't see the whole thing yet) and were debating Hancocks ancient civilization theory, that there was an "advanced civilization that got wiped out resetting human civilization back to the stone age after some sort of disaster. They were promoting the idea that there was an asteroid strike some 14000 years ago that lead to this downfall.
Part of the justification was Gobekli Tepe and how hunter gatherers weren't smart enough to construct it, they couldn't have built it because it's an isolated case of hunter gather building, they must have gotten help from other more knowledgable people. He then goes on to say right after that monument was built we get towns, cities, religion, civilization and farming.
I don't think we are giving hunter gathers much credit here, I don't think he is fully realising what life for hunter gatherers might have been like, they weren't idiots, recent examples of hunter gathers show that even though they were mobile they had a lot in common with settled communities when it comes to things like textile and tool production. hunter gathers have an intimate knowledge of the natural world, I don't think there was a eureka moment when it came to farming. They likely knew full well that seeds turn into plants and knew it for a long time, I think it's possible they were managing wild fauna for thousands of years, they just had no incentive to settle. I think they had social reasons to roam and didn't want to settle on one food source.
I think there could have been a wide ranging cooperation between hunter gathers. They could have been crossing paths, meeting up, trading, marrying, and quite possibly creating temporary settlements shared between friendly tribes. One tribe could decide to head west and another go east with the intention of meeting up later in the year and trading the excess they accumulated along the way. That gives them access to more resources, and a reason to gather into larger social groups.
The only reason we have Gobekli Tepe is because they buried it, it could have been one of multiple sites, with the rest just eroding away.
I don't think hunter gatherers would have been in any rush to settle if they liked roaming and had social reasons to do it. But if they start creating shared religious sites, and are starting to manage natural food sources like grass plains it starts to make sense to have a few people stay behind to manage their resources. I'm thinking of monks staying at the likes of Gobekli Tepe.
Could hunter gathers around at the time be considered a civilization? Just a wide ranging unsettled one? Is putting hunter gathers into a separate lesser category a form of discrimination against that lifestyle?
Could there have been a few thousand years of peaceful hunter gather collaboration that eventually forced settlements to spring up to manage trade points, religious sites and natural food sources?