Occupation during the Lower and Middle/Late Palaeolithic period in the Sufrat Valley (Adam region, Sultanate of Oman)
Keywords:Sultanate of Oman, Adam region, Sufrat Valley, Middle/Late Palaeolithic, Lower Palaeolithic
This paper reports the results of surveys undertaken on the Palaeolithic periods in the Adam region (north central Oman) carried out since 2013 by the French Mission of Adam. The aim of these surveys was to provide a basic overview of these sites, in terms of their geographical scope and relative chronological limits. The Adam region (north interior Oman) is already well known for its sites of the Neolithic and protohistoric periods; the discovery of an area very rich in Palaeolithic industries (the Sufrat Valley, located on the western side of the Jabal Salekh), positioned our region of study as a suitable strategic territory for human occupation that has occurred since the prehistoric periods. The favourable environmental frame, including in particular the hydrological network of this region, certainly constitutes the principal factor for human establishments from prehistoric periods until today. Even if the Sufrat Valley's lithic industries lie exclusively on surfaces (hence their lack of chrono-stratigraphical context), the typo-technological traits has allowed most of these artefacts to be assigned to the Middle or Late Palaeolithic and, for some pieces, to the Lower Palaeolithic. These ancient lithic remains bear witness to Palaeolithic occupations on the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula, situated at the crossroads between Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
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Archaeopress Publishing, Oxford, UK