INTRODUCTION TO THE MIDDLE EAST ROCK ART ARCHIVE

THE HUMAN COLONISATION OF THE MIDDLE EAST

 
 
 
The rock art of the Middle East, occupying a vast area lying at the juncture of Eurasia and Africa and of the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean, is both varied and numerous. Yet the scientific documentation of rock art sites in this enormous and diverse region is only in its infancy, despite the pioneering efforts of several notable researchers.
 
Middle East Rock Art
Saudi Arabia Rock Art
Middle East Rock Art
Saudi Arabia Rock Art
 
Journey of Mankind Genetic Map Stephen Oppenheimer
Professor Stephen Oppenheimer
The Journey of Mankind Genetic Map shows the dispersal of anatomically modern humans (AMH) out of Africa, and the subsequent colonisation of the world. But the timing of the occupation of parts of the Middle East is still under debate, as current research shows: new evidence from Jebel Faya, United Arab Emirates, demonstrates human presence in eastern Arabia during the last interglacial. The tool kit found here has affinities to the late Middle Stone Age in northeast Africa, indicating that technological innovation was not necessary to facilitate migration into Arabia. Using singlegrain optically stimulated luminescence, which measures how much time has passed since materials were last exposed to light, researchers have dated the oldest set of artifacts, including stone hand axes, blades, and scrapers, to about 125,000 years ago. This may mean that AMH may have been present in South Asia before the Toba eruption.
 
While the debate continues, and the genetic evidence is sought to support the lithic evidence, the implications for the rock art of the Middle East are clear.
 
Middle East Rock Art Archive
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