The early Neolithic settlement of Göbekli Tepe in southeastern Turkey is notable for its unusual pillared circular structures and the elaborate animal motifs decorating the monoliths found there. What the site remained the subject of some debate: was it a “cult center” as the excavators believe, or is it merely an elaborately decorated residential site? If it was ceremonial, what purpose did it serve, as only a few other sites exist in the region where people may have lived? What do the carvings mean, and why are there so many animal motifs there? How does the construction of Göbekli Tepe relate to the larger “neolithization” process or settling into permanent dwellings and domesticating plants and animals beginning at this time?
In about 4 pages double-spaced MLA style (so, at least 1200 words), write a critical evaluation of some current views on the interpretation of Göbekli Tepe. Which views do you agree and disagree with and why? Or, present your own hypotheses on what the site may have been. Be sure to support all elements of your argument with evidence from the sources.