The Nubian complex of Dhofar, Oman: An African Middle Stone Age industry in Southern Arabia

Jeffrey I. Rose, Vitaly I. Usik, Anthony E. Marks, Yamandu H. Hilbert, Christopher S. Galletti, Ash Parton, Jean Marie Geiling, Viktor Černý, Mike W. Morley, Richard G. Roberts

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Abstract

Despite the numerous studies proposing early human population expansions from Africa into Arabia during the Late Pleistocene, no archaeological sites have yet been discovered in Arabia that resemble a specific African industry, which would indicate demographic exchange across the Red Sea. Here we report the discovery of a buried site and more than 100 new surface scatters in the Dhofar region of Oman belonging to a regionally-specific African lithic industry - the late Nubian Complex - known previously only from the northeast and Horn of Africa during Marine Isotope Stage 5, ~128,000 to 74,000 years ago. Two optically stimulated luminescence age estimates from the open-air site of Aybut Al Auwal in Oman place the Arabian Nubian Complex at ~106,000 years ago, providing archaeological evidence for the presence of a distinct northeast African Middle Stone Age technocomplex in southern Arabia sometime in the first half of Marine Isotope Stage 5.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere28239
JournalPLoS One
Volume6
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes

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    Rose, J. I., Usik, V. I., Marks, A. E., Hilbert, Y. H., Galletti, C. S., Parton, A., Geiling, J. M., Černý, V., Morley, M. W., & Roberts, R. G. (2011). The Nubian complex of Dhofar, Oman: An African Middle Stone Age industry in Southern Arabia. PLoS One, 6(11), [e28239]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0028239