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The Neolithic site of Jebel Oraf 2, northern Saudi Arabia: First report of a directly dated site with faunal remains

Guagnin, M; Shipton, C; Martin, L; Petraglia, M; (2017) The Neolithic site of Jebel Oraf 2, northern Saudi Arabia: First report of a directly dated site with faunal remains. Archaeological Research in Asia , 9 pp. 63-67. 10.1016/j.ara.2017.02.001. Green open access

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Abstract

The archaeological record of the Arabian Neolithic remains extremely fragmentary. Archaeological sites containing faunal remains of early domesticates are extremely rare and only a few sites yielding these have been excavated in Yemen and along the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Neolithisation models have therefore had to infer population dynamics and subsistence changes across vast distances. Here we present the first report of a newly discovered Neolithic site in the Jubbah oasis, on the southern edge of the Nefud desert. The site is located on the margin of palaeolake deposits and consists of a large cluster of at least 170 visible hearths. Test excavation of two hearth features yielded radiocarbon ages between 5200 and 5070. BCE. Abundant lithics consisted of both ground and chipped stone artefacts, some of which recall the Pottery Neolithic in the Levant. Some 15 fragments of Bos dentition were also recovered. The age of the site raises the distinct possibility that the faunal remains represent domestic cattle. The nature of the site, with evidence for repeated occupation, may therefore indicate seasonal use by pastoralists. The site of Jebel Oraf 2 promises to fill a major geographic gap in our understanding of the Neolithisation process in Arabia.

Type: Article
Title: The Neolithic site of Jebel Oraf 2, northern Saudi Arabia: First report of a directly dated site with faunal remains
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ara.2017.02.001
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ara.2017.02.001
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
Keywords: Neolithic; Saudi Arabia; Arabian Peninsula; Pastoralism; Faunal remains; Cattle; Ground stone tools
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1546093
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