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NEW: Qatar: Evidence of the Palaeolithic Earliest People Revealed by Julie Scott-Jackson. Paperback; 240x270mm; 258 pages; 94 figures (colour throughout). Full text in English and Arabic. 766 2021. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781803270500. £45.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781803270517. Book contents pageDownload Full PDF   Buy Now

Qatar: Evidence of the Palaeolithic Earliest People Revealed, with full text in both English and Arabic, tells the story of the long and difficult search to discover the identity of the first people to inhabit the sovereign State of Qatar, which is situated on a peninsula, that extends into the Arabian Gulf. The book synthesises the results of extensive fieldwork by the PADMAC Unit with the many diverse historical records and reports of investigations, beginning with Holgar Kapel’s, in the early 1950s.

The archaeology of the State of Qatar is an important part of the cultural heritage of the world. The loss of archaeological sites to urban and industrial development since the 1950s has been inevitable but the loss of over 30 years of Palaeolithic research in Qatar, an area of prehistoric significance, as a result of academic dissension, is certainly regrettable. The work of the PADMAC Unit in Qatar now marks the end of this Palaeolithic research hiatus.

About the Author
Julie Scott-Jackson is the Director of the PADMAC Unit, based at Kellogg College, University of Oxford, where she also completed her doctorate In Palaeolithic Geoarchaeology. She has been studying Palaeolithic sites on high levels In the Middle East and Southern England since the 1990s.
NEW: Die Entstehung komplexer Siedlungen im Zentraloman: Archäologische Untersuchungen zur Siedlungsgeschichte von Al-Khashbah by Conrad Schmidt, Stephanie Döpper, Jonas Kluge, Samantha Petrella, Ullrich Ochs, Nick Kirchhoff, Susanne Maier und Mona Walter. Hardback; 210x297; 590 pages; 358 figures, 68 plates (colour throughout). German text.. 803 2021 Arabia Orientalis: Studien zur Archäologie Ostarabiens 5. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781803271002. £96.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781803271019. Book contents pageDownload Full PDF   Buy Now

Die Entstehung komplexer Siedlungen im Zentraloman: Archäologische Untersuchungen zur Siedlungsgeschichte von Al-Khashbah presents the results of a survey conducted in 2015 and beyond by the Institut für die Kulturen des Alten Orients of the Universität Tübingen in Al-Khashbah, one of the largest Early Bronze Age sites on the Omani Peninsula. Ten monumental buildings, 273 tombs and other structures from the Hafit (3100-2700 BC) and Umm an-Nar periods (2700-2000 BC) were documented here. This makes Al-Khashbah ideally suited for the investigation of the beginnings of complex settlements and social structures in northern Inner Oman at the transition from the 4th to the 3rd millennium BC, because many of the achievements previously attributed to the Umm an-Nar period, such as monumental architecture and the smelting of copper, can already be proven here in the preceding Hafit period. In the Umm an-Nar period, the development of Al-Khashbah continues steadily, giving the site additional importance. According to the results of the survey, however, copper production at the site no longer seems to play a role in this period.

Aus den auf die frühe Bronzezeit folgenden Epochen des 2. und 1. Jahrtausends v. Chr. sowie des 1. und 2. Jahrtausends n. Chr. gibt es in Al-Khashbah nur äußerst wenige Befunde. Erst im 18.–20. Jahrhundert n. Chr. erfährt der Ort eine intensive Wiederbelebung, wovon insbesondere die alte Lehmziegelsiedlung im Norden der Palmenoase, eine kleine Siedlung im Osten des Untersuchungsgebiets, eine Reihe von Bewässerungsanlagen, mehrere Friedhöfe, Petroglyphen sowie zahlreiche an der Oberfläche gefundene spätislamische Keramikscherben zeugen.
Taymāʾ II: Catalogue of the Inscriptions Discovered in the Saudi-German Excavations at Taymāʾ 2004–2015 by Michael C. A. Macdonald. Hardback; 210x297mm; 264 pages; colour illustrations throughout. 717 2020 Taymāʾ: Multidisciplinary Series on the Results of the Saudi-German Archaeological Project 2. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781789698763. £65.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781789698770. Book contents pageDownload Full PDF   Buy Now

Taymāʾ II is a Catalogue which contains all the inscriptions discovered during the 24 seasons of the Saudi- German excavations at Taymāʾ from 2004–15 which were funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The 113 objects carry inscriptions in different languages and scripts, illustrating the linguistic diversity of the oasis through time. Although the majority are fragmentary, they provide an important source for the history of the oasis in ancient and mediaeval times.

The Babylonian cuneiform inscriptions in this volume confirm for the first time the ten-year sojourn at Taymāʾ of the last Babylonian king Nabû-na’id (556–539 BC). In addition, Imperial Aramaic inscriptions dated by the reigns of Lihyanite kings, based at Dadan (modern al-ʿUlā), reveal for the first time that they ruled Taymāʾ at a period in the second half of the first millennium BC.

As well as editing the volume, Michael C. A. Macdonald edited the Imperial Aramaic inscriptions found from 2010–15, plus those in the form of the Aramaic script which developed in Taymāʾ, and the Nabataean, Dadanitic, and Taymanitic texts. In addition, Hanspeter Schaudig edited the cuneiform inscriptions; Peter Stein, the Imperial Aramaic texts found from 2004–09; and Frédéric Imbert, the Arabic inscriptions. Arnulf Hausleiter and Francelin Tourtet provided archaeological contributions, while Martina Trognitz curated the virtual edition of many of the texts recorded by RTI. The indexes contain the words and names from all known texts from the oasis, including those in the Taymāʾ Museum and other collections which will be published as Taymāʾ III.

About the Author
Michael C. A. Macdonald is an Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, and Fellow of the British Academy. He works on the languages, scripts and ancient history of Arabia and directs the Online Corpus of the Inscriptions of Ancient North Arabia (http://krc.orient.ox.ac.uk/ociana/). He has been working at Taymāʾ since 2010. ;

With contributions by:
Arnulf Hausleiter is researcher at the DAI’s Orient Department for the Archaeology of the Arabian Peninsula. He has been co-directing the excavations at Taymāʾ since 2004 with Ricardo Eichmann. ;

Frédéric Imbert is Professor at the Institut de recherches et d’études sur les mondes arabes et musulmans, Aix-Marseille University. ;

Hanspeter Schaudig is Associate Professor of Assyriology at the Seminar für Sprachen und Kulturen des Alten Orients at the University of Heidelberg. ;

Peter Stein is Associate Professor for Semitic studies at the Faculty of Theology / Ancient Languages Division at the University of Jena. ;

Francelin Tourtet is a PhD candidate at the Freie Universität Berlin working on his dissertation on Bronze and Iron Age pottery from Taymāʾ. ;

Martina Trognitz is member of the Austrian Centre of Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage at the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Die Gräber von Bat und Al-Ayn und das Gebäude II in Bat by Stephanie Döpper. DOI: 10.32028/9781789699494. Hardback; 210x297mm; 394pp; 357 figures, 256 tables, 21 plates (colour throughout). Print RRP: £80.00. 741 2021 Arabia Orientalis: Studien zur Archäologie Ostarabiens 2. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781789699494. £80.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781789699500. Book contents pageDownload Full PDF   Buy Now

The Early Bronze Age in third-millennium-BC Eastern Arabia was a period of fundamental change, which is apparent in the development of social complexity, the exploitation of new resources and the emergence of new modes of life. Hallmarks of this period include monumental structures, so-called towers, and stone-built circular tombs.

The second volume of the series Arabia Orientalis is dedicated to the archaeological investigation of the Early Bronze Age necropolises of the UNESCO world heritage sites Bat and Al-Ayn in the Sultanate of Oman, as well as the monumental tower structure Building II at Bat. It encompasses detailed reports on the architecture and stratigraphy, as well as the find assemblages from the excavated buildings, including pottery and small finds, along with anthropological as well as anthracological studies. The publication presents insights into changing burial customs, as well as the function of the monumental tower structures. Three out of the four excavated Hafit- and Umm an-Nar-period tombs in the necropolises featured evidence for reuse at later times, especially during the Samad period, where new inhumations were placed into the Bronze Age tombs. The early Umm an-Nar tower Building II is surrounded by a large ditch system that might have served as protection against flooding from the nearby wadi.

About the Author
Stephanie Döpper is a postdoctoral researcher at Goethe University Frankfurt with an interest in mobile and sedentary communities of the Bronze Age in Eastern Arabia, as well as the reuse of prehistoric tombs and early modern mud-brick villages in the region. To facilitate public engagement with archaeological sites, she co-developed the ArchaeoTrail app for self-guided smartphone tours at archaeological sites.

German Description
Die frühe Bronzezeit im dritten Jahrtausend v. Chr. in Südostarabien ist eine Zeit grundlegender Veränderungen, die sich in der Entwicklung sozialer Komplexität, der Ausbeutung neuer Ressourcen und dem Aufkommen neuer Lebensformen zeigt. Kennzeichen dieser Epoche sind monumentale Bauwerke, sogenannte Türme, und aus Stein gebaute runde Gräber.

Der zweite Band der Reihe Arabia Orientalis widmet sich der archäologischen Untersuchung der frühbronzezeitlichen Nekropolen der UNESCO-Welterbestätten Bat und Al-Ayn im Sultanat Oman sowie dem monumentalen Turm Gebäude II in Bat. Er umfasst ausführliche Abhandlungen zur Architektur und Stratigraphie sowie zu den Fundeassemblagen aus den ausgegrabenen Bauwerken, darunter Keramik-, Kleinfunde-, anthropologische sowie anthrakologische Untersuchungen. Die Publikation präsentiert Einblicke in sich verändernde Bestattungssitten und die Funktion des monumentalen Turms. Drei der vier ausgegrabenen Hafit- und Umm an-Nar-zeitlichen Gräber in den Nekropolen belegen spätere Nachnutzungen, vor allem in der Samad-Zeit, in der neue Bestattungen in die bronzezeitlichen Gräber eingebracht wurden. Das Gebäude II aus der frühen Umm an-Nar-Zeit ist von einer großen Grabenanlage umgeben, die möglicherweise als Schutz vor Überschwemmungen des nahen Wadis diente.

Stephanie Döpper ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin an der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt und beschäftigt sich mit mobilen und sesshaften Gesellschaften der Bronzezeit in Südostarabien sowie der Nachnutzung prähistorischer Gräber und frühneuzeitlicher Lehmziegeldörfer in dieser Region. Um der Öffentlichkeit den Zugang zu archäologischen Stätten zu erleichtern, hat sie die ArchaeoTrail-App für selbstgeführte Smartphone-Touren an archäologischen Stätten mitentwickelt.
Barāqish/Yathill (Yemen) 1986-2007 Excavations of Temple B and related research and restoration / Extramural excavations in Area C and overview studies edited by Sabina Antonini and Francesco G. Fedele. DOI: 10.32028/9781789694703. Paperback; 205x290mm; 2 volumes: 398pp & 546pp; 700 figures, tables and plates. Contributions in English, Italian, and French. Chapter abstracts in English and Arabic. 732 2021. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781789694703. £98.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781789694710. Book contents pageDownload Full PDF   Buy Now

The walled town of Barāqish in interior Yemen – ancient Yathill of the Sabaeans and Minaeans – was for Alessandro de Maigret (1943-2011) ‘one of the archaeological marvels not just of Yemen, but of the entire Near East’. Established as an oasis settlement in the semi-desert depression of the Jawf, it became in the 1st millennium BCE a thriving caravan station on the ‘incense’ route and a famed place of worship, controlled by rich rulers and merchants. Topography and trade made it a crucible of South Arabian and foreign traditions, and on several occasions, it was a border town disputed between rival powers. A sustained archaeological effort to investigate the site and area began in 1986 by the Italian Archaeological Mission, led by de Maigret, and developed in two phases. In 1989-1992 the temple of the patron god was excavated, while between 2003-2007 a range of new excavations were undertaken, including a second temple, a sounding, a dissection of the tell's edge outside the Minaean wall, and a cemetery.

Presented across two volumes, Volume 1: Excavations of Temple B and related research and restoration is particularly devoted to the temple of god ʿAthtar dhu-Qabḍ (Temple B), dated to the second half of the 1st millennium BCE. Six chapters fully illustrate its excavation, architecture, restoration, findings, inscriptions, and dating. The contribution of this work and monument to regional history transcends its local significance. The report is framed by ten chapters detailing the historiography of research on Barāqish, the initial surveys carried out in 1986-1987, the architecture and restoration of Temple A together with the extramural excavation at the adjacent curtain wall, the cultic equipment, and radiocarbon datings. The nine contributors are leading scholars in the above fields and include recognized experts in South Arabian archaeology.

The core of Volume 2: Extramural excavations in Area C and overview studies is a final report on Area C, an exploratory dissection through the western edge of the Barāqish mound outside the curtain wall, and a unique operation for Yemen until now. Eight chapters detail the excavation, stratigraphy, and geoarchaeology (from about 800 BCE to the present), in addition to radiocarbon chronology, cultural finds, animal and plant remains, economy, major historical events, and unique evidence for trade. Four further chapters offer a glimpse of settlement archaeology for Sabaean Yathill and the survey of a religious centre to the west, together with a first typology of Minaean pottery and an epigraphic and political-historical overview for Barāqish and the Jawf. The contributors are recognized experts in South Arabian archaeology.

About the Editors
Sabina Antonini heads the Italian Archaeological Mission to Yemen c/o Monumenta Orientalia (Rome). Since 1984 she has taken part in archaeological surveys and excavations of prehistoric sites in Khawlān al-Ṭiyāl and Ramlat al-Sabʿatayn and of South Arabian sites, including Yalā, Tamnaʿ, Ḥayd ibn ʿAqīl, and Barāqish. She is a specialist in South Arabian archaeology and history of art. Her contribution, ‘The Italian Archaeological Mission at Šibām al-Ġirās, Yemen’, has appeared in Festschrift in honour of Professor Mikhail Piotrovsky (2019). ;

Francesco G. Fedele has been Professor of Anthropology and Prehistoric ecology at the Università di Napoli ‘Federico II’, Naples, until retirement in 2011. As a member of the Italian Archaeological Mission to Yemen since 1984 he has conducted excavations in Khawlān al- Ṭiyāl and at Barāqish, with a particular focus on site geoarchaeology and archaeofaunas. His recent publications include ‘New data on domestic and wild camels in Sabaean and Minaean Yemen’ in Archaeozoology of the Near East 9 (2017).
Nothing but tombs and towers? Results of the Al-Mudhaybi Regional Survey 2019 by Stephanie Döpper & Conrad Schmidt. Pages 157-169 from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies Volume 50 2020 edited by Daniel Eddisford. PSAS. Download Full PDF  

Sites with towers in eastern Arabia have been interpreted as regional centres of the Early Bronze Age. One of those sites is Al-Khashbah in central Oman. Until now, however, nothing was known about its hinterland that would support the idea of a regional centre. The Al-Mudhaybi Regional Survey was therefore initiated in order, for the first time, to provide comprehensive and detailed knowledge of this third-millennium BC landscape. This paper presents the results of the remote sensing and ground truthing of potential features in the 2019 field season. Nearly 4000 archaeological structures ranging from the Neolithic to the modern era have been positively identified. Interestingly, some periods such as the Hafit and Wadi Suq were abundantly present, while the Umm an-Nar and Late Bronze Age were almost totally missing. It is also important to note that, except for the possible Hafit-period tower at Al-Fath, no Bronze Age settlement sites were found. The reasons behind this pattern remain to be discovered.
Bronze Age microliths at Saruq al-Hadid, Dubai by Mark W. Moore, Lloyd Weeks, Charlotte M. Cable, Yaaqoub Youssef Al-Ali, Mansour Boraik & Hassan Zein. Pages 149-166 from Stone Tools of Prehistoric Arabia: Papers from the Special Session of the Seminar for Arabian Studies held on 21 July 2019 edited by K. Bretzke, R. Crassard and Y.H. Hilbert. PSAS. Download Full PDF  

Excavations at Saruq al-Hadid, Dubai, have recovered a large assemblage of stone artefacts, including backed microliths, from a dense midden of animal bone deposited during the mid-second millennium BC. Stoneworkers at Saruq al-Hadid combined simple core reduction methods with sophisticated backing techniques to produce the microliths. Unstandardized flake blanks were backed directly, or were truncated into segments which were subsequently backed. The final stage of backing was carefully controlled and was probably accomplished using a pressure technique; the backed surface on many microliths is distinctively domed in profile. Most microliths are asymmetrical in shape and many display a distinctive scalene triangle morphology. The microliths probably functioned as armatures for arrows, although other functions are possible. Here we contextualize microlith production at Saruq al-Hadid through a review of late prehistoric microlith traditions in south-eastern Arabia and neighbouring regions of Asia and Africa. This raises intriguing but unresolved issues related to preceding technological traditions, cultural connections, and group identity.
Die Bestattungsgruben in Bat by Conrad Schmidt, with contributions by Stefan Giese und Christian Hübner and Steve Zäuner. Hardback; 210x297mm; 374pp; 250 figures; 187 tables (97 pages of colour). German text. 680 2020 Arabia Orientalis: Studien zur Archäologie Ostarabiens 1. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781789697391. £75.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781789697858. Book contents pageDownload Full PDF   Buy Now

Volume 1 of the series Arabia Orientalis presents the first comprehensive study of two Umm an-Nar (2700—2000 BC) burial pits from the UNESCO World Heritage site Bat in the Sultanate of Oman. They were excavated between 2010 and 2012 by the University of Tübingen. Each burial pit represents one of the largest closed finds of the Early Bronze Age in the region. Finds largely include beads and other items of personal adornment, as well as pottery and human bones. Detailed typologies of all objects are the basis for in-depth statistical analyses of the different categories of finds and the reconstruction of burial customs at Bat. Furthermore, imports and imitations from other regions including the Indus Valley, Iran, and Mesopotamia illuminate Bat’s foreign relations and integration into the interregional exchange and communication system. The interpretation of the unearthed human remains conducted by Steve Zauner offer, not only the number of individuals, sex, and age of the deceased, but also insights into lifestyle, diseases, and stress of the people in the past.

German description
Die Umm an-Nar-Zeit (2700–2000 v. Chr.) auf der östlichen Arabischen Halbinsel gilt als Periode tiefgreifender Veränderungen in der ökonomischen und sozialen Organisation der Gesellschaft sowie der Ausbeutung von Ressourcen. Einer der größten und bedeutendsten Fundplätze dieser Zeit im Sultanat Oman ist der seit 1988 auf der Welterbeliste der UNESCO stehende Fundort Bat in der Provinz Al-Dhahirah. Von 2010 bis 2015 führte die Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen ein Projekt zur Erforschung der Entwicklung der beiden Nekropolen von Bat und Al-Ayn sowie der Siedlung von Al-Zebah durch. Im Mittelpunkt der Untersuchungen stand die Frage nach den Gründen und Ursachen des sozioökonomischen Umbruchs im 3. Jahrtausend v. Chr. und wie sich dieser in den Lebensverhältnissen der damaligen Bevölkerung widerspiegelt.

Die vorliegende Publikation stellt den ersten Band der Endberichte des Forschungsprojekts des Instituts für die Kulturen des Alten Orients der Universität Tübingen in Bat, Al-Zebah und Al- Ayn dar. Das Werk beinhaltet die vollständige Auswertung der beiden Umm an-Nar-zeitlichen Bestattungsgruben A-Inst. 0006 und A-Inst. 0025 in Bat einschließlich anthropologischer Analysen und einer geophysikalischen Prospektion in der Nekropole von Bat. Beide Gruben zählen zu den größten jemals im Oman untersuchten geschlossenen Fundkontexten der frühen Bronzezeit. Zur Publikation gehört ein online unter https://tinyurl. com/9781789697391-der-fundekatalog publizierter Katalog, der sämtliche Einzelnachweise zu den Funden aus den beiden Bestattungsgruben enthält.
The Hafit period at Al-Khashbah, Sultanate of Oman: results of four years of excavations and material studies by Conrad Schmidt & Stephanie Döpper. Pages 265-274 from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies Volume 49 2019 edited by Daniel Eddisford. PSAS49 2019. Download Full PDF  

Al-Khashbah, located approximately 17 km north of the modern city of Sināw, is one of the largest Early Bronze Age sites in the Sultanate of Oman. The University of Tübingen has carried out excavations at the site during the last four years (2015–2018), revealing a significant amount of Hafit-period architecture and finds, including a mud-brick complex (Building I) and a stone tower (Building V). Building I dates to around 2800 cal. BC and has provided evidence of bead and chipped stone workshops. Its layout is comparable to the contemporaneous tower at Hili 8, Phase I. Building V yielded the oldest substantial evidence of copper processing in Oman, dating to the end of the fourth millennium, around 3200 cal. BC. Thus, the archaeological record in Oman can now corroborate archaic texts from Uruk in southern Mesopotamia that mention copper objects from the Gulf. This paper presents the preliminary results of the study of the architecture, metallurgy, lithics, ground-stone tools, and anthracological material from Al-Khashbah. These diverse strands of evidence offer valuable insights into the Hafit-period economy, environment, and lifestyle at Al-Khashbah.
Arab Settlements: Tribal structures and spatial organizations in the Middle East between Hellenistic and Early Islamic periods by Nicolò Pini. Paperback; xii+252 pages; 88 figures, 13 plates. 97 2019. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781789693614. £50.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781789693621. Book contents pageDownload Full PDF   Buy Now

How can the built environment help in the understanding of social and economic changes involving ancient local communities? Arab Settlements aims to shed light on the degree to which economic and political changes affected social and identity patterns in the regional context from the Nabatean through to the Umayyad and Abbasid periods. Settlement analysis is understood to be a crucial tool for accessing the local material culture and characterising the specific identities of the concerned societies. For this purpose, the author compares eight case studies across the Middle East, considering their spatial organisation over a long period (2nd – 9th centuries AD). For the interpretation of the remains, the anthropological concepts of ‘segmented societies’ and ‘pastoralism’ are fundamental, providing possible explanations of some spatial patterns attested in the case-studies. The idea of ‘Oriental’ settlements underscores the marked continuity in the organisation of the buildings and the use of space revealed on different levels between the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods. Furthermore, the label of ‘Arab settlements’ is proposed in this context, highlighting the direct connection between social identities and built environment, with a direct reference to the development of an ‘Arab’ identity.

About the Author
Nicolò Pini PhD (Cologne, 2017) is external Research associate with the Islamic Archaeology Unit at the University of Bonn and collaborates on several projects in the Near East (among which Tall Hisban in Jordan and Khirbet beit Mazmil near Jerusalem).
An overview of the latest prehistoric research in Qumayrah Valley, Sultanate of Oman (poster) by Marcin Białowarczuk & Agnieszka Szymczak. Pages 25-31 from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies Volume 49 2019 edited by Daniel Eddisford. PSAS. Download Full PDF  

This paper concerns the prehistoric part of a project run by the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology and the Ministry of Heritage and Culture of Oman, in the micro-region of Qumayrah. The project, instigated in 2016, includes a survey, testing, and excavations of selected sites. During two seasons of investigations, archaeological sites of varied chronology were recorded, three of which were attested to late Stone Age occupation. The largest site (QA 2), although deflated, yielded a rich collection of lithics found in the context of a stone hearth, a platform, and the remains of a shelter. The lithics included simple tools produced by direct-scaled retouch, rare tanged projectile points made on flakes, and bifacial foliated pieces. Tubular beads of stone and shell (including Akab-type beads), and worked seashells, attest to connections with coastal regions. The two other sites (QA 6 and QA 12) are less well preserved, but surface collection and limited testing yielded lithic collections, including tanged spear points. At this stage, techno-typological analysis of materials is the only means of establishing a chronology of these sites. However, new information from this region of Oman is significant considering the disproportion between the state of research at coastal areas and inland territories.

Keywords: Neolithic, Oman, al-Hajjar mountains, campsites, lithics
Taymāʾ I: Archaeological Exploration, Palaeoenvironment, Cultural Contacts edited by Arnulf Hausleiter, Ricardo Eichmann, Muhammad al-Najem. Hardback; 210x297mm; xii+268 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (66 plates in colour). 499 2018 Taymāʾ: Multidisciplinary Series on the Results of the Saudi-German Archaeological Project 1. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781789690439. £55.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781789690446. Book contents pageDownload Full PDF   Buy Now

Archaeological investigations in the north-western part of the Arabian Peninsula has increased during the last 15 years. One of the major sites in the region is the ancient oasis of Taymāʾ, known as a commercial hub on the so-called Incense Road connecting South Arabia with the Eastern Mediterranean. In the context of this new research a multidisciplinary project by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and the Orient Department of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) has been investigating the archaeology and ancient environment of Taymāʾ since 2004. A major aim of this project was the development of new perspectives of the site and the region, characterised by elaborating the local socio-cultural and economic contexts. So far, Taymāʾ has been known mainly through exogenous sources.

The present volume is the first of the publication series of the Saudi-German archaeological project and focuses on three fundamental aspects of research at Taymāʾ: the current archaeological exploration of the oasis is contextualised with previous and ongoing research within the region, while at the same time offering a first overview of the settlement history of the site, which may have started as early as more than 6000 years ago. New information on the palaeoenvironment has been provided by multiproxy- analysis of sediments from a palaeolake immediately north of the settlement. The results indicate an Early Holocene humid period in the region that is shorter than the so-called African Humid Period. The abrupt aridification at around 8 ka BP, known from other regions in the Near East, is also attested in north-western Arabia. The reconstruction of the past vegetation of the site and its surroundings demonstrates that oasis cultivation at Taymāʾ started during the 5th millennium BCE with grapes and figs, rather than with the date palm. According to hydrological investigations on water resources, groundwater aquifers provided the main source of local water supply. These were exploited through wells, some of which have been identified in the area of the ancient oasis. Finally, since the time of early travellers to Northwest Arabia evidence of cultural contacts has been observed in the records from the site, which had been occupied by the last Babylonian king, Nabonidus (556–539 BCE) for ten years. A historical-archaeological essay on Egypt and Arabia as well as a study on the ambiguous relationship between Assyria and Arabia – characterised by conflict and commerce – shed new light on the foreign relations of ancient Taymāʾ.

About the Editors
ARNULF HAUSLEITER is researcher at the DAI’s Orient Department for the Taymāʾ project, funded by the German Research foundation (DFG). He has been field director of the excavations at Taymāʾ since 2004 and has co-directed the project with Ricardo Eichmann.

RICARDO EICHMANN is director of the Orient Department at the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin. He is the head of the German component of the Taymāʾ project and has co-directed it with Arnulf Hausleiter.

MUHAMMAD AL-NAJEM is head of the Antiquities Office of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and director of the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography at Taymāʾ, Province of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia.

Reviews
'In sum, all scholars and students of Arabia’s past will want to acquire this volume. It represents a first, fundamental, and substantial stepping-stone towards a comprehensive understanding of the long history and development of the Taymā᾿ Oasis.'—Lloyd Weeks, Bibliotheca Orientalis LXXVIII 1/2
Early Maritime Cultures in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean Papers from a conference held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (African Studies Program) 23-24 October 2015, with additional contributions by Akshay Sarathi. Paperback; 203x276mm; viii+228 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (60 plates in colour). 66 2018. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784917128. £48.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784917135. Book contents pageDownload Full PDF   Buy Now

The East African coast and the Western Indian Ocean are regions of global historical significance. This volume contains papers first presented at the conference, Early Maritime Cultures of the East African Coast, held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on October 23-24, 2015. Rather than limiting publication to the proceedings of the conference, additional contributions were solicited to expand the scope of the research presented and to place East Africa in its broader geographic and cultural contexts. The resulting volume focuses broadly on East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean and unites the papers under the general themes of movement and connection.

These papers represent a multi-disciplinary effort to examine East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean. Multiple lines of evidence drawn from linguistics, archaeology, history, art history, and ethnography come together in novel ways to highlight different aspects of the region’s past and offer innovative avenues for future research. The papers cover a diverse array of topics, including but not limited to: subsistence, watercraft traditions, trade and exchange (especially concerning the Silk Routes), migration, food ways, and familial relationships. This volume is unique in that it includes some speculative research as well, intended to present novel methods to deal with data-poor topics and to start important conversations about understudied topics.

The goal of this volume is to showcase aspects of the complex cultures and histories of this vast region and to emphasize its importance to world history. Ideally, it will generate scholarly and popular interest in the histories and cultures of the region and bring to the fore Africa’s and the Western Indian Ocean’s important (yet often overlooked) role in world historical narratives. It may also serve as a more advanced introduction to East Africa’s and the Western Indian Ocean’s history of interaction with other regions of the Old World and as a survey of methods used to understand the region’s past.

About the Editor
AKSHAY SARATHI is a graduate student of Archaeology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include the zooarchaeology of maritime adaptations, Indian Ocean trade and exchange, and East African coastal archaeology. More specifically, his current research project focuses on the island of Zanzibar, where he has excavated the sites of Unguja Ukuu, Kizimkazi Dimbani, and Kuumbi Cave. Data from these sites will form the basis of his dissertation, which will examine how dietary preferences changed over time at each site in response to various stimuli over time. He currently resides in Madison, WI (USA) with his two feline overlords.

Reviews
'Overall the book represents a useful resource for those interested in understanding the role of East Africa and the Red Sea in global networks, acknowledges the contribution of hinterland communities in the success of these exchanges, and documents how these networks can be examined from different perspectives.'—Annalisa C. Christie, Journal of Maritime Archaeology, Volume 15 (2020)

'Ultimately, the editor should be commended for pulling together a diverse and compelling collection of chapters. So, too, should Archaeopress be commended for the Access Archaeology initiative, which enables such eclectic volumes to find a publisher and a readership.'—Matthew Pawlowicz, African Archaeological Review, Volume 38, 2021
Middle to Late Neolithic animal exploitation at UAQ2 (5500–4000 cal BC): an Ubaid-related coastal site at Umm al-Quwain Emirate, United Arab Emirates Taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 46 (2016) by Marjan Mashkour, Mark Jonathan Beech, Karyne Debue, Lisa Yeomans, Stéphanie Bréhard, Dalia Gasparini & Sophie Méry. Pages 195-210.Download Full PDF  

The subsistence strategies of coastal Neolithic groups in eastern Arabia, reliant upon the exploitation of marine and terrestrial animal resources, are not yet fully understood. A central question in relevant literature is the issue of mobility. This is the reason for excavations in Umm al-Quwain (UAQ2), UAE, from 2011 by the French Archaeological Mission. UAQ2 is a site with obvious potential, occupied for 1500 years from the mid-sixth millennium BC. It has an area of approximately 6 ha with 3.2 m or more of imposing and unusual stratigraphy. A large quantity of faunal remains, including terrestrial and marine vertebrates, was recovered from UAQ2. The terrestrial mammals are composed mainly of domestic herbivores including caprines, cattle, and dogs. The most striking feature is the number of newly born and young animals among the small herbivores, a clear indication of occupation during late winter/spring. As for the fish bones, the following taxa were identified: requiem sharks, shark-suckers, marine catfish, needlefish, jacks/trevallies, milkfish, mojarra, emperors, snappers, mullet, flatheads, shortfin flounders, parrotfish, kawakawa, tuna, groupers, sea bream, barracuda, puffer, and tripod fish. These indicate that most fishing was carried out in the shallow lagoon area, but some fishing for tuna may have been carried out in the open seas beyond the local lagoon. Besides fish were also the remains of cuttlefish and swimming crabs. This assemblage provides new information on the mixed exploitation of inland and marine resources during the sixth to fifth millennium BC. The integrated study of the faunal remains contributes to the proposal of a possible year round residency, not excluding coastal mobility. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Ubaid-related sites of the southern Gulf revisited: the Abu Dhabi Coastal Heritage Initiative Taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 46 (2016) by Mark Jonathan Beech, Kristian Strutt, Lucy Blue, Abdulla Khalfan al-Kaabi, Waleed Awad Omar, Ahmed Abdulla al-Haj El-Faki, Anjana Reddy Lingareddy & John Martin. Pages 9-23.Download Full PDF  

The Coastal Heritage Initiative of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) aims to investigate the rich maritime history of Abu Dhabi Emirate. Since the establishment of TCA Abu Dhabi in February 2012, a new phase of archaeological research has been carried out. Systematic mapping of sites, their integration into the Abu Dhabi geographic information system (GIS geodatabase of archaeological sites for the Emirate), as well as further investigations of key sites by both geophysical prospection and excavation have been undertaken. Recent work has concentrated on the Ubaid-related coastal sites on both Dalma Island (Jazīrat Dalmā) and Marawah Island (Jazīrat MarawaΉ). A combination of both magnetometry and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) geophysical surveys, as well as follow-up excavations are discussed. These shed new light on the structure of Ubaid-related coastal settlements between the mid-sixth and early fifth millennium BC. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Early Iron Age metal circulation in the Arabian Peninsula: the oasis of Tayma as part of a dynamic network (poster) Taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 46 (2016) by Martina Renzi, Andrea Intilia, Arnulf Hausleiter & Thilo Rehren. Pages 237-246.Download Full PDF  

The oasis of Tayma, located in north-western Arabia, between the Hijaz mountains and the great Nafud desert, was strategically situated on one of the branches of the main trade routes that connected southern Arabia and the Mediterranean Sea during the first millennium BC. During archaeological excavations at this site — a project carried out by a Saudi Arabian-German team — an architectural complex of public character dated to the Early Iron Age (eleventh–ninth centuries BC) was investigated in Area O, in the southwestern section of the ancient settlement. Among other finds, a significant concentration of luxury goods (i.e. objects made of ivory, wood, bone, and faïence) was discovered there, together with a few iron and several copper-based artefacts. Of this assemblage, fifty-eight copper-based objects have been analysed by portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF), while sixteen have undergone trace element and lead isotope analyses. The objects chosen to be analysed included everyday items, such as rivets and fragments of rods, three small metal lumps, and a bracelet. The data on their elemental composition and lead isotope signatures combined to indicate that different metal sources were used, suggesting the existence of a highly dynamic metal trade in the wider region during the Early Iron Age. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Iron Age metallurgy at Salūt (Sultanate of Oman): a preliminary note (poster) Taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 46 (2016) by Michele Degli Esposti, Martina Renzi & Thilo Rehren. Pages 81-88.Download Full PDF  

Extensive excavations at the Iron Age site of Salūt, near Bisyā in central Oman, revealed a complex architecture, allowing the reconstruction of a long history of building activities and rearrangements. Among the discovered structures, none can clearly be associated to metal production, although a small vertical furnace could be tentatively interpreted as a metallurgical structure, possibly used for small-scale copper/bronze remelting. The presence of charcoalrich deposits, metal scraps, and stored broken objects in its vicinity also points in this direction. A selection of these items, together with some plano-convex ingots from other contexts within the site, has been analysed and the preliminary results are outlined here. The significance of this work is underlined by the current dearth of data on Iron Age metallurgy in the Oman peninsula, compared to comprehensive studies of Bronze Age metal production, when the land of Magan was widely renowned for its wealth of copper ores. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
The Crowded Desert: a multi-phase archaeological survey in the north-west of Qatar Taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 46 (2016) by Jose C. Carvajal Lopez, Laura Morabito, Robert Carter, Richard Fletcher & Faisal Abdullah al-Naimi. Pages 45-62.ISBN 9781784913632. Download Full PDF  

This paper introduces the conception, development, and results of the first campaign of the Crowded Desert Project, an archaeological survey of the area of Mulayhah (aka Mleiha), Umm al-Ma in north-west Qatar. The project aims to develop basic research on desert settlement and on processes of nomadism and sedentarization over a long timescale in Qatar. The first season has focused on two areas, the most important of which is the Mulayhah Depression, a geological silt trap with a well, around which there is documented occupation ranging from the Hellenistic period up to the present day. As expected, the seasonal flooding of the depression can offer potential stratigraphic sequences that can be combined with other methods of dating to establish a basic sequence of occupation of the area. In the survey more than 600 features were mapped, including campsites, Islamic and pre-Islamic cemeteries, and mosques of different sizes. This is the first multi-phasic intensive survey of the area in which an attempt to offer a long-term interpretation of settlement patterns has been undertaken. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Found: the Palaeolithic of Qatar Taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 45 (2015) by Julie E. Scott-Jackson, Jeffrey I. Rose, William Scott-Jackson & Faisal al-Naimi. Pages 329–336; colour and black & white illustrations. PSAS. Download Full PDF  

The seeming lack of evidence for a Palaeolithic presence in Qatar has been enigmatic. This has now changed. Here we report on discoveries made by the PADMAC Unit during 2013/2014 and the far-reaching implications of these findings. Our preliminary analysis of the Qatar lithic assemblages — QSS25, QSS29 (PADMAC Unit collection) and A-group Site I and A-group Site III (Kapel collection) — revealed the presence of large chopping tools and crude ‘Abbevillian’ cores, both indicative of an early stage within the lower Palaeolithic period, while the absence of classic Acheulean hand axes might even suggest a date exceeding one million years. Furthermore, the particular suite of technological traits we identified in Umm Taqa ‘B-group’ Site XXXIV (Kapel collection) lithic assemblage, are characteristic of middle–upper Palaeolithic transitional industries found in the Levant, Nile Valley, and southern Arabia. Hence, we tentatively assign the ‘Taqan’ industry to the upper Palaeolithic. Specific lithics from the QSS32 (PADMAC Unit collection) assemblage, allude to further ‘Taqan’ sites in southern Qatar.
Generosity, gift giving, and gift avoiding in southern Oman Taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 45 (2015) by Marielle Risse. Pages 289–296. PSAS. Download Full PDF  

Gibali (Jibbali/Shahri) is a Modern South Arabian language spoken in the coastal plain and mountains of the Dhofar region of southern Oman. Although there are researchers actively documenting Gibali, there has been little anthropological work on the speakers of this non-written language. Building on nine years of research about, and interactions with, Gibali speakers the author describes the concept of the gift in the Arab, Muslim, tribal culture of Gibali speakers. This article tries to form an appreciation of Gibalis by explaining their understanding of the definition of gifts as well as gift giving, receiving, reciprocating, and avoiding. From the field of gift theory, the author draws on Mauss, Godelier, Bourdieu, Appadurai, and Godbout and Caillé, to create a framework for the ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ of gifts. From the fields of travel writing and history, examples from Wilfred Thesiger and the memoirs of soldiers from the Dhofar War (1965–1975) are used to provide a historical perspective. The result is an insight into a culture in which gifts are, for the most part, not necessary as there are many limits placed on who can give/receive, the time to give/receive, and the kind of object that is considered a gift.
Investigating the orientation of Hafit tomb entrances in Wādī Andām, Oman This paper is taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 44 (2014) by William M. Deadman. 139-152.Download Full PDF  

This paper presents the results and analysis of a small research project exploring the orientation of Hafit tomb entrances in Wadi Andam, Oman. Measurements were taken at three sites along the course of the wadi: Fulayj in the northern mountains, Khashbah in the foothills, and ΚUyun on the plains to the south. The clear similarity between the collective tomb entrance orientation data and the annual variation in the position of the sunrise suggests that the path of the sun was of great significance to the Hafit population of Wadi Andam, and that it was recorded in their tomb architecture. Variation in the tomb entrance data between the three sites suggests that the population was nomadic and moved between areas of Wadi Andam according to season. These results are discussed in the context of the distribution of Hafit tombs and the terrain of Wadi Andam in order to explore how, where, and when this seasonal migration could have occurred. Ethnographic studies of the modern nomadic pastoralists of Oman and the UAE are examined to provide potential parallels and to obtain a better understanding of the driving force behind the Hafit seasonal nomadism. The tomb entrance orientation measurements from Wadi Andam are also presented alongside the available published data, revealing a possible east/west regional divide in the Hafit funerary architecture of the northern Oman peninsula. The results of this research suggest that the Hafit population of Wadi Andam was nomadic, and migrated from the southern plains in the summer to the mountains and foothills when the rains came in the winter, moving through the terrain along the major watercourses and building tombs on nearby elevated areas as they were needed, with entrances pointing towards the sunrise.

This paper is taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 44 edited by Robert Hoyland & Sarah Morriss, Archaeopress 2014. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Towards a Hadramitic lexicon: lexical notes on terms relating to the formulary and rituals in expiatory inscriptions This paper is taken from Languages of Southern Arabia: Supplement to the Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies Volume 44 (2014) by Alessia Prioletta. 101-110.Download Full PDF  

Although the corpus of Hadramitic inscriptions is highly fragmented both chronologically and geographically, its grammatical system and above all its lexicon display unique traits that make it of particular interest to scholars. These traits are especially well defined in the textual genre of the expiatory inscriptions since they display a distinctive formulary and ritual lexicon compared to the textual counterparts in the other South Arabian kingdoms. The study focuses, in particular, on the lexical analysis of some key terms that appear in the fixed formulas within which these inscriptions are structured. The lexicon of these texts is characterized by many unique features compared to the other ASA languages and, on a broader level, combines isoglosses with the Southern Semitic languages, archaisms that recall Akkadian, and a more typically Central Semitic lexicon. These elements still await full analysis and systematic organization into a comparative Hadramitic lexicon that will allow scholars to pursue broader studies on the position of Hadramitic within the Ancient South Arabian and Semitic in general.

This paper is taken from Languages of Southern Arabia: Supplement to the Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies Volume 44 edited by Orhan Elmaz and Janet C.E. Watson, Archaeopress 2014. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Sailing the Red Sea: ships, infrastructure, seafarers and society Chapter 5.1 from Ships, Saints and Sealore: Cultural Heritage and Ethnography of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea by Cheryl Ward. 115-123.Download Full PDF  

Sailing along the coast reinforces the benefits of long-established Indian Ocean monsoon and trade patterns that extended into the Red Sea. Vastly profitable and culturally significant expeditions and fleets channelled people and exotic animals from giraffes to elephants, Chinese porcelains, coffee, incense, textiles and other goods into a durable, if episodic, infrastructure of coastal sites in a pattern that endured for thousands of years. The acquisition and influx of exotic materials established economic and social interactions illuminated by recent archaeological exploration of anchorages, harbours, shipwrecks and other installations. New data from Red Sea sites offer a basis for examining the development of extensive maritime systems from the middle of the third millennium BCE through the early modern era.

This paper is taken from Ships, Saints and Sealore: Cultural Heritage and Ethnography of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea edited by Dionisius A. Agius, Timmy Gambin and Athena Trakadas with contributions by Harriet Nash, Archaeopress 2014. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
A note on the development of Cypriot Late Roman D forms 2 and 9 Taken from LRFW 1. Late Roman Fine Wares. Solving problems of typology and chronology. A review of the evidence, debate and new contexts by Paul Reynolds. 57-65.Download Full PDF  

The development and evolution of LRD 2 into LRD 9 through the 5th to 7th centuries is traced and illustrated through a revision of the evidence presented in Late Roman Pottery (Hayes 1972) and finds from new contexts excavated in Beirut.

This paper is taken from LRFW 1. Late Roman Fine Wares. Solving problems of typology and chronology. A review of the evidence, debate and new contexts edited by Miguel Ángel Cau, Paul Reynolds and Michel Bonifay, Archaeopress 2012. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Asia and the Middle East Chapter 21 from World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum by Dan Hicks. 455-470.Download Full PDF  

The Pitt Rivers Museum (PRM) holds c. 14,624 objects from Asia that are currently defined as ‘archaeological’ (Table 1.6). The largest collections within this Asian material are represented by the c. 5,449 artefacts from India, the c. 3,524 artefacts from Israel, the c. 1,602 artefacts from Sri Lanka, the c. 1,099 artefacts from Jordan, the c. 510 artefacts from Japan, and the c. 363 artefacts from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. These collections are explored over the next five chapters (Chapters 22–26), and are introduced in this chapter. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
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