Dr Gareth Preston
Jebel Faya, UAE, is a key site for understanding the migration of anatomically modern humans (AMH) Out of Africa. Archaeological excavation, under the direction of Prof. Hans Peter-Uerpmann (University of Tübingen, Germany), has yielded Palaeolithic finds which can be dated as far back as 125,000 cal. yr BP. Significantly Armitage et al. (2011) propose that these finds have affinities to the late Middle Stone Age in northeast Africa, indicating that AMH may have a migrated into Arabia via a southern route (across the Red Sea at the Bab al-Mandab Straits) at beginning of the last interglacial (Marine Isotope Stage 5e), a time of significantly lowered global sea levels and intensified monsoonal rainfall throughout southern Arabia. The subsequent expansion and contraction of human populations throughout Arabia during the following 100,000 years is suggested to have been closely tied to the prevailing climatic conditions.