Challenging the Late Neolithic cultural horizon of Southern Arabia: The case of Sharbithat 10 (Dhofar, Sultanate of Oman) - HAL UNIV-PARIS8 - open access Access content directly
Journal Articles Archaeological Research in Asia Year : 2023

Challenging the Late Neolithic cultural horizon of Southern Arabia: The case of Sharbithat 10 (Dhofar, Sultanate of Oman)

Abstract

The Neolithic in Southern Arabia has always shown unique traits that followed an autonomous path, different from the Northern Arabian region and the Levant. Its chronological framework is still under construction, but the systematic research occurring in Oman unveils a complex picture of moving populations developing specific solutions to various environmental conditions. This paper shows the results of an intensive survey carried out on the coastal trait around the village of Sharbithat (Sharbithāt), which refines the cultural chronology of the vastly unexplored area at the turn of Al-Wusta/Dhofar Governorate in southern Oman. Characterised by 14 km of shoreline enclosed in a limestone massif, Sharbithat is dotted by vast mesas surrounded by wadi deltaic branches and abundant flint sources. Most terraces are inhabited today and covered up with flint scatters, dwellings, and cairns. A sequence of preliminary test trenches to assess the stratigraphy of Sharbithat SHA-10B indicated a precise chronological frame. Indeed, the sites on this mesa show a single period stratification sequence, a rich marine faunal composition and intense flintknapping activity. A peculiar lithic industry consisting of lunates, backed pieces, and tanged points characterise this Late Neolithic site (4th mill. BCE), in contrast with the Middle Neolithic sites (as SHA-4, 6th mill. BCE), which are fully dedicated to the production of bifacial foliates and trihedral projectile points. Based on the study of the technological processes that led to the manufacture of such artefacts, new hypotheses on coastal subsistence strategies and chronological issues have risen. With the present article, we introduce the first study of this area, the chrono-typological implications, and their relevance in the framework of South Arabian prehistory.
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Dates and versions

hal-03963943 , version 1 (14-03-2023)

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Attribution - NonCommercial

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Maria Pia Maiorano, Grégor Marchand, Jérémie Vosges, Vincent Charpentier. Challenging the Late Neolithic cultural horizon of Southern Arabia: The case of Sharbithat 10 (Dhofar, Sultanate of Oman). Archaeological Research in Asia, 2023, 33, pp.100429. ⟨10.1016/j.ara.2023.100429⟩. ⟨hal-03963943⟩
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