A.P. Derevianko. The Middle Paleolithic of Arabia
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Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology
of Eurasia

44 (4) 2016


DOI: 10.17746/1563-0110.2016.44.4.003-025


The Middle Paleolithic of Arabia

A.P. Derevianko

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia

The study focuses on the origin and evolution of the Middle Paleolithic in the Arabian Peninsula, a major crossroads of human and animal migrations connecting Africa with Eurasia in the Late Middle and Early Late Pleistocene. Middle Paleolithic human dispersal in Arabia was caused by intermittent environmental changes and related fl uctuations of the Bab-el-Mandeb level. A key role in the African Middle Paleolithic was played by Afro-Arabian Nubian lithic industries showing characteristic Levallois features and associated with anatomically modern humans who had migrated from Africa. Arabian fi nds are discussed with reference to the Out-of-Africa and Multiregional models of human evolution. Based on the totality of cranial, archaeological, and paleogenetic data, it is proposed that modern humankind emerged from an admixture of at least four related taxa, which had evolved in Africa and Eurasia. A hypothesis about the migration of Homo sapiens from Africa across Arabia to Southeast Asia and Sahul 70–50 ka BP is discussed.

Keywords: Aridization, pluvials, Pleistocene, Levallois reduction method, bifaces, Afro-Arabian Nubian industry


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