The Palaeolithic record from the Central Region of the Emirate of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates


  • Knut Bretzke


Palaeolithic, south-east Arabia, occupation history, stone tools, settlement dynamics


Researchers often argue that the population density of Pleistocene hunter-gatherers in Arabia is determined by climate change. Favourable living conditions and increasing population densities are thought to have developed during interglacial periods, while glacial periods led to hostile conditions and the abandoning of large parts of the Arabian Peninsula. Testing this simplified model is difficult, given the scarcity of well-dated and deeply stratified Palaeolithic sites in Arabia. A decade of research on the Palaeolithic of the Emirate of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates) has compiled a considerable record, with stone-tool assemblages indicating human presence in the region during the Lower, Middle, and Upper Palaeolithic periods, probably covering the period between 500,000 and 15,000 years ago. This paper provides an overview of Sharjah’s current Palaeolithic record and examines diachronic patterns in typo-technological characteristics.


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How to Cite

Bretzke, K. (2020). The Palaeolithic record from the Central Region of the Emirate of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 50(2), 15–27. Retrieved from

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