Assessing the value of palaeoenvironmental data and geomorphological processes for understanding Late Quaternary population dynamics in Qatar
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.
How to Cite
Archaeopress Publishing, Oxford, UK