EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Arid occupation of south-eastern Arabia: A new Late Pleistocene site at Wadi Asklat, south-central Oman—dating and paleoenvironmental reconstruction.

Roman Garba1,2, Matthew Meredith-Williams3, Stephanie Neuhuber4, Susanne Gier5, and Vitalii Usyk6,7
Roman Garba et al.
  • 1Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czechia (
  • 2Nuclear Physics Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Husinec-Rez, Czechia
  • 3La Trobe University, Archaeology, Melbourne, Australia
  • 4Institut für Angewandte Geologie, Universität für Bodenkultur, Vienna, Austria
  • 5Institute of Geology, University of Vienna, Austria
  • 6Institute of Archaeology National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; Kyiv, Ukraine
  • 7Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences; Brno, Czechia

The Arabian Peninsula was, up until recently, thought to have been depopulated during the more arid phases between MIS5 and Holocene interglacials, and in particular during MIS3 and MIS2. Within the last few years there have been five new sites dated to this arid phase, demonstrating that at the very least there were episodic occupation events on the Arabian Peninsula, and potentially refugial populations. The increasing number of sites potentially lends weight to the hypothesis for a more continuous refugial population on the Arabian Peninsula, as opposed to multiple-short lived events. The human adaptation to harsh environment during transition from humid period is a focus of this research project. Here we present preliminary dates from the newly recorded site at Wadi Asklat in Duqm, south-central Oman, where stratified lithic technology has been identified within a alluvial terrace sediment sequence. Two OSL samples at depth of 100 and 125 cm were taken to understand site chronology together with geomorphic processes. The paleoenvironmental samples were collected for palynological and pedological analyses. The preliminary clay mineral analysis identified palygorskite, illite, chlorite, smectite in layer at depth 90 to 110 cm suggesting a soil formation process. The lithic artifact at depth of 115 cm was preliminarily identified as Kombewa core with two bidirectional negatives made on crested flake. In addition, a several stratified sites have also been identified within the area, however except for the Wadi Asklat site these are at present undated. The association of many of the new sites with river terraces, including Wadi Asklat, indicate an important link between human activity and water which was no doubt heightened during arid phases. The results contribute to our knowledge of population dynamics and settlement patterns in this under-studied region of central Oman. The research is as a joint effort of ARDUQ expedition led by Archaeological Institute Prague (Czechia) and LARiO expedition led by La Trobe University Melbourne (Australia).

How to cite: Garba, R., Meredith-Williams, M., Neuhuber, S., Gier, S., and Usyk, V.: Arid occupation of south-eastern Arabia: A new Late Pleistocene site at Wadi Asklat, south-central Oman—dating and paleoenvironmental reconstruction., EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-8109,, 2023.