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A Nubian complex site from central Arabia: implications for Levallois taxonomy and human dispersals during the upper Pleistocene.

Crassard R, Hilbert YH - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: Here we demonstrate how a rigorous use of technological and taxonomic analysis may enable intra-regional comparisons across the Arabian Peninsula.The discovery of Al-Kharj 22 increases the complexity of the Arabian Middle Paleolithic archaeological record and suggests new dynamics of population movements between the southern and central regions of the Peninsula.This study also addresses the dichotomy within Nubian core typology (Types 1 and 2), which was originally defined for African assemblages.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS, Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée, UMR 5133 'Archéorient', Lyon, France. remy.crassard@mom.fr

ABSTRACT
Archaeological survey undertaken in central Saudi Arabia has revealed 29 surface sites attributed to the Arabian Middle Paleolithic based on the presence of Levallois blank production methods. Technological analyses on cores retrieved from Al-Kharj 22 have revealed specific reduction modalities used to produce flakes with predetermined shapes. The identified modalities, which are anchored within the greater Levallois concept of core convexity preparation and exploitation, correspond with those utilized during the Middle Stone Age Nubian Complex of northeast Africa and southern Arabia. The discovery of Nubian technology at the Al-Kharj 22 site represents the first appearance of this blank production method in central Arabia. Here we demonstrate how a rigorous use of technological and taxonomic analysis may enable intra-regional comparisons across the Arabian Peninsula. The discovery of Al-Kharj 22 increases the complexity of the Arabian Middle Paleolithic archaeological record and suggests new dynamics of population movements between the southern and central regions of the Peninsula. This study also addresses the dichotomy within Nubian core typology (Types 1 and 2), which was originally defined for African assemblages.

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Topographic map of the Al-Kharj region in central Saudi Arabia.Spots are showing archaeological sites discovered during the 2011 survey activities. Map by J. Schiettecatte, CNRS.
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pone-0069221-g001: Topographic map of the Al-Kharj region in central Saudi Arabia.Spots are showing archaeological sites discovered during the 2011 survey activities. Map by J. Schiettecatte, CNRS.

Mentions: To expand and enhance the growing data set of Arabian Paleolithic sites, a Saudi-French archaeological project was initiated in 2011, under the direction of Dr. Jérémie Schiettecatte (CNRS, Ivry-sur-Seine, France) and Prof. Abdulaziz al-Ghazzi (King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia). A detailed field survey was undertaken in the proximity of the modern town of Al-Kharj, central Saudi Arabia (Figure 1) which revealed a total of 29 Middle Paleolithic surface scatters (Figure 2). Here we present the results from the archaeological investigation at Al-Kharj, focusing on lithic technology and the interpretation of the Levallois methods. In particular, the Nubian Levallois Method will be discussed more explicitly, given its distribution across both North Africa and Southern Arabia.


A Nubian complex site from central Arabia: implications for Levallois taxonomy and human dispersals during the upper Pleistocene.

Crassard R, Hilbert YH - PLoS ONE (2013)

Topographic map of the Al-Kharj region in central Saudi Arabia.Spots are showing archaeological sites discovered during the 2011 survey activities. Map by J. Schiettecatte, CNRS.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3722236&req=5

pone-0069221-g001: Topographic map of the Al-Kharj region in central Saudi Arabia.Spots are showing archaeological sites discovered during the 2011 survey activities. Map by J. Schiettecatte, CNRS.
Mentions: To expand and enhance the growing data set of Arabian Paleolithic sites, a Saudi-French archaeological project was initiated in 2011, under the direction of Dr. Jérémie Schiettecatte (CNRS, Ivry-sur-Seine, France) and Prof. Abdulaziz al-Ghazzi (King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia). A detailed field survey was undertaken in the proximity of the modern town of Al-Kharj, central Saudi Arabia (Figure 1) which revealed a total of 29 Middle Paleolithic surface scatters (Figure 2). Here we present the results from the archaeological investigation at Al-Kharj, focusing on lithic technology and the interpretation of the Levallois methods. In particular, the Nubian Levallois Method will be discussed more explicitly, given its distribution across both North Africa and Southern Arabia.

Bottom Line: Here we demonstrate how a rigorous use of technological and taxonomic analysis may enable intra-regional comparisons across the Arabian Peninsula.The discovery of Al-Kharj 22 increases the complexity of the Arabian Middle Paleolithic archaeological record and suggests new dynamics of population movements between the southern and central regions of the Peninsula.This study also addresses the dichotomy within Nubian core typology (Types 1 and 2), which was originally defined for African assemblages.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS, Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée, UMR 5133 'Archéorient', Lyon, France. remy.crassard@mom.fr

ABSTRACT
Archaeological survey undertaken in central Saudi Arabia has revealed 29 surface sites attributed to the Arabian Middle Paleolithic based on the presence of Levallois blank production methods. Technological analyses on cores retrieved from Al-Kharj 22 have revealed specific reduction modalities used to produce flakes with predetermined shapes. The identified modalities, which are anchored within the greater Levallois concept of core convexity preparation and exploitation, correspond with those utilized during the Middle Stone Age Nubian Complex of northeast Africa and southern Arabia. The discovery of Nubian technology at the Al-Kharj 22 site represents the first appearance of this blank production method in central Arabia. Here we demonstrate how a rigorous use of technological and taxonomic analysis may enable intra-regional comparisons across the Arabian Peninsula. The discovery of Al-Kharj 22 increases the complexity of the Arabian Middle Paleolithic archaeological record and suggests new dynamics of population movements between the southern and central regions of the Peninsula. This study also addresses the dichotomy within Nubian core typology (Types 1 and 2), which was originally defined for African assemblages.

Show MeSH