The Evolution of Human Populations in Arabia: Paleoenvironments, Prehistory and Genetics

The Evolution of Human Populations in Arabia: Paleoenvironments, Prehistory and Genetics

ISBN: 9400731027

ISBN 13: 9789400731028

Publication Date: March 14, 2012

Publisher: Springer

Pages: 312

Format: Paperback

Authors: Michael D Petraglia, Jeffrey I Rose

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The romantic landscapes and exotic cultures of Arabia have long captured the int- ests of both academics and the general public alike. The wide array and incredible variety of environments found across the Arabian peninsula are truly dramatic; tro- cal coastal plains are found bordering up against barren sandy deserts, high mountain plateaus are deeply incised by ancient river courses. As the birthplace of Islam, the recent history of the region is well documented and thoroughly studied. However, legendary explorers such as T.E. Lawrence, Wilfred Thesiger, and St. John Philby discovered hints of a much deeper past during their travels across the subcontinent. Drawn to Arabia by the magnifcent solitude of its vast sand seas, these intrepid adventurers learned from the Bedouin how to penetrate its deserts and returned with stirring accounts of lost civilizations among the wind-swept dunes. We now know that, prior to recorded history, Arabia housed countless peoples living a variety of lifestyles, including some of the world s earliest pastoralists, c- munities of incipient farmers, fshermen dubbed the Ichthyophagi by ancient Greek geographers, and Paleolithic big-game hunters who were among the frst humans to depart their ancestral homeland in Africa. In fact, some archaeological investigations indicate that Arabia was inhabited by early hominins extending far back into the Early Pleistocene, perhaps even into the Late Pliocene."

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