Numerous palaeoenvironmental and archaeological studies from southern Arabia (Yemen and Oman) have revealed strong relations between phases of human settlements and climate change linked to the Indian monsoon system. Analyses onspeleothems, cavefills, lacustrinedepositsandpalaeo-mangroveshave shown that during the Early toMid-Holocene, ahumidOptimumculminated around9000e8000 cal BP.Newresults on inland speleothems and cave sediments fromthe Jebel Qara (southern Oman) are crucial in our depiction of Early and Mid-Holocene climatic evolution and cultural dynamics of the region. These aspects are discussed here, based on newarchaeological surveys, excavations, geoarchaeological and micromorphological studies, aiming to better understand connections with Terminal Pleistocene and Early Holocene autochthonous cultures of southern Arabia. Our results suggest that the final Pleistocene was marked by strong aridity, which promoted a widespread thermoclastismwithin rock shelter and deposition of aeolian sand; in contrast, the transition towards the Holocene is marked (since c.12,000 cal BP) by a progressive increasing in environmental humidity, which permitted the formation of thick strata of peridesert loess. After this phase, the environmental humidity of the Jebel increased and permitted the existence of a large community of land snails; the latterwere exploited by Early Holocene hunteregatherers who lived in the rock shelters between c. 10,500e9500 cal BP and left consistent accumulations of land shells (escargotieres). The maximum of Holocene humidity was reached between 9000 and 8000 cal BP; regional aquifer were recharged and the deposition of calcareous tufa at the entrance of caves started, lasting up to c. 4500 cal BP. C and O stable isotopes fromcalcareous tufa highlights, in accordance with several regional records, the progressive decline of the intensity of the Indian Ocean monsoon and the transition towards arid conditions. In this phase, the area was abandoned and archaeological communities possibly relocated along the coast of central and southern Oman, where they exploited the mangrove environment.
|Titolo:||Early-Middle Holocene environmental changes and pre-Neolithic human occupations as recorded in the cavities of Jebel Qara (Dhofar, southern Sultanate of Oman)|
|Parole Chiave:||Holocene; Oman; Palaeoenvironment; Speleothems; Cave sites; Land shell accumulations|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore GEO/04 - Geografia Fisica e Geomorfologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.quaint.2014.12.058|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|