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Middle Palaeolithic and Neolithic Occupations around Mundafan Palaeolake, Saudi Arabia: Implications for Climate Change and Human Dispersals

Crassard, Remy and Petraglia, Michael D. and Drake, Nick A. and Breeze, Paul and Gratuze, Bernard and Alsharekh, Abdullah and Arbach, Mounir and Groucutt, Huw S. and Khalidi, Lamya and Michelsen, Nils and Robin, Christian J. and Schiettecatte, Jérémie
Middle Palaeolithic and Neolithic Occupations around Mundafan Palaeolake, Saudi Arabia: Implications for Climate Change and Human Dispersals.
In: PLOS ONE, PLOS, pp. e69665, 8, (7), ISSN 1932-6203, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069665, [Online-Edition: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0069665],
[Article]

Abstract

The Arabian Peninsula is a key region for understanding climate change and human occupation history in a marginal environment. The Mundafan palaeolake is situated in southern Saudi Arabia, in the Rub' al-Khali (the 'Empty Quarter'), the world's largest sand desert. Here we report the first discoveries of Middle Palaeolithic and Neolithic archaeological sites in association with the palaeolake. We associate the human occupations with new geochronological data, and suggest the archaeological sites date to the wet periods of Marine Isotope Stage 5 and the Early Holocene. The archaeological sites indicate that humans repeatedly penetrated the ameliorated environments of the Rub' al-Khali. The sites probably represent short-term occupations, with the Neolithic sites focused on hunting, as indicated by points and weaponry. Middle Palaeolithic assemblages at Mundafan support a lacustrine adaptive focus in Arabia. Provenancing of obsidian artifacts indicates that Neolithic groups at Mundafan had a wide wandering range, with transport of artifacts from distant sources.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2013
Editors: Pereira, Lu\'sa Maria Sousa Mesquita
Creators: Crassard, Remy and Petraglia, Michael D. and Drake, Nick A. and Breeze, Paul and Gratuze, Bernard and Alsharekh, Abdullah and Arbach, Mounir and Groucutt, Huw S. and Khalidi, Lamya and Michelsen, Nils and Robin, Christian J. and Schiettecatte, Jérémie
Title: Middle Palaeolithic and Neolithic Occupations around Mundafan Palaeolake, Saudi Arabia: Implications for Climate Change and Human Dispersals
Language: English
Abstract:

The Arabian Peninsula is a key region for understanding climate change and human occupation history in a marginal environment. The Mundafan palaeolake is situated in southern Saudi Arabia, in the Rub' al-Khali (the 'Empty Quarter'), the world's largest sand desert. Here we report the first discoveries of Middle Palaeolithic and Neolithic archaeological sites in association with the palaeolake. We associate the human occupations with new geochronological data, and suggest the archaeological sites date to the wet periods of Marine Isotope Stage 5 and the Early Holocene. The archaeological sites indicate that humans repeatedly penetrated the ameliorated environments of the Rub' al-Khali. The sites probably represent short-term occupations, with the Neolithic sites focused on hunting, as indicated by points and weaponry. Middle Palaeolithic assemblages at Mundafan support a lacustrine adaptive focus in Arabia. Provenancing of obsidian artifacts indicates that Neolithic groups at Mundafan had a wide wandering range, with transport of artifacts from distant sources.

Journal or Publication Title: PLOS ONE
Volume: 8
Number: 7
Publisher: PLOS
ISBN: 1932-6203
Divisions: 11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences > Earth Science
11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences > Earth Science > Hydrogeology
11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2018 11:53
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069665
Official URL: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0069665
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