EGU2020-19608, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Climate driven mobility of the early humans in SW Asia: Preliminary evidence from Iranian Stalagmites

Arash Sharifi1,2,3, Ali Pourmand1,3, Mehterian Sevag3, Peter Swart3, Larry Peterson3, and Hamid A. K. Lahijani4
Arash Sharifi et al.
  • 1Neptune Isotope Laboratory (NIL),University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Marine Geosciences, (
  • 2Research and Development Department, Beta Analytic, Inc. 4985 SW 74th Ct, Miami, FL 33155, USA, (
  • 3Department of Marine Geosciences, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami.
  • 4Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science (INIOAS), Marine Geology Division.

The dynamic interaction between synoptic systems across the Iranian Plateau in West Asia has made this region highly sensitive to climate change.   Early human migration routes in the region from Africa to Eurasia are marked by Paleolithic sites and provide a unique opportunity to study the impact of climate variability on early human mobility and settlement. Preliminary results are based on δ18O and elemental time series from three stalagmites in central-northwest Iran with robust U-Th chronology over the last 450,00 years The data raise the possibility that the Iranian Plateau experienced several episodes of wet conditions during the Paleolithic period. This is in line with findings from a compilation of independent proxy records of lake sediment in northwest Iran and loess deposits in northeast Iran. The fluctuation of Mn abundance and δ18O values in these stalagmites correlate with the Greenland ice core record (NGRIP) and coincide with periods of high solar intensity in the northern hemisphere. These early results indicate wet conditions may have prevailed over the Iranian Plateau during marine isotope stages MIS5a,b, MIS5c, MIS5e, MIS6b, MIS6d-e and most likely also during stages MIS3-4 and MIS7a. Early human occupation of the Southern Caucasus, Zagros, and the Near East regions coincides with the upper Pleistocene wet periods. The co-variability between the proxy data from these speleothems and solar insolation at 30°N suggests that early human settlements/occupations may have been more prevalent along coastal regions of the Near East during dry climate episodes.

How to cite: Sharifi, A., Pourmand, A., Sevag, M., Swart, P., Peterson, L., and A. K. Lahijani, H.: Climate driven mobility of the early humans in SW Asia: Preliminary evidence from Iranian Stalagmites, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19608,, 2020


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