Assessing the value of palaeoenvironmental data and geomorphological processes for understanding Late Quaternary population dynamics in Qatar

Authors

  • Richard Cuttler
  • Emma Tetlow
  • Faisal al-Naimi

Abstract

The results of two seasons of extensive survey by the Qatar Museums Authority and the University of Birmingham around Wadi Debayan (Wādī al-Dabayʿān), south-east of the Ra's ʿUshayriq peninsula in northern Qatar have revealed substantial differences in the density and distribution of monuments from the Late Stone Age onwards, particularly a high density of pre-Islamic burial cairns. Such a high density must reflect either a sustained population over a long period or significant rise in population over a short period. Given that very minor climate fluctuation can significantly affect resources in a hyper-arid landscape, the analysis of proxy data from regionally relevant environmental sediment traps appear to be a prerequisite for further meaningful research into pre-Islamic population dynamics. However, the identification of sediment traps remains a major problem within a deflated, hyper-arid landscape. Coring within the wadi revealed evidence of marine sediments during the first half of the seventh millennium BP, followed by sea-level stabilization and encroaching intertidal vegetation during the second half of the seventh millennium BP. These results emphasize the potential for the presence of organic-rich deposits within the wadi sequences, particularly in intertidal zones.

References

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Published

01/09/2011

How to Cite

Cuttler, R., Tetlow , E., & al-Naimi, F. (2011). Assessing the value of palaeoenvironmental data and geomorphological processes for understanding Late Quaternary population dynamics in Qatar. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 41, 47–61. Retrieved from http://archaeopresspublishing.com/ojs/index.php/PSAS/article/view/1675

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