New clues to the development of the oasis of Dadan. Results from a test excavation at Tall al-Sālimīyyah (al-ʿUlā, Saudi Arabia)
This article presents the results of a test excavation conducted by the team of the Dadan Archaeological Project (CNRS/RCU/AFALULA) in October/November 2019 at a peripheral site of ancient Dadan, in the al-ʿUlā valley (north-west Arabia). The excavation data were processed jointly with the ECOSeed archaeobotanical project and the ArcAgr-AU geo-archaeological project. This multidisciplinary approach provides critical new insights into the development of one of the major ancient north-west Arabian oases. The excavations revealed the earliest safely dated archaeological remains in the oasis, associated to the earliest evidence of local date palm cultivation, in the 12th-11th centuries BCE. The results also allow for a reassessment of the earlier archaeological evidence, suggesting a peak in the development of the oasis in the 8th-5th centuries BCE, at the time of the first North-Arabian kingdoms and the rise of long-distance aromatics trade.
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Archaeopress Publishing, Oxford, UK