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Journal Article

The prehistory of the Arabian peninsula: Deserts, dispersals, and demography

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Groucutt, H. S., & Petraglia, M. D. (2012). The prehistory of the Arabian peninsula: Deserts, dispersals, and demography. Evolutionary Anthropology, 21(3), 113-125. doi:10.1002/evan.21308.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-E0FA-6
As a geographic connection between Africa and the rest of Eurasia, the Arabian Peninsula occupies a central position in elucidating hominin evolution and dispersals. Arabia has been characterized by extreme environmental fluctuation in the Quaternary, with profound evolutionary and demographic consequences. Despite the importance of the region, Arabia remains understudied. Recent years, however, have seen major developments in environmental studies and archeology, revealing that the region contains important records that should play a significant role in future paleoanthropological narratives. The emerging picture of Arabia suggests that numerous dispersals of hominin populations into the region occurred. Populations subsequently followed autochthonous trajectories, creating a distinctive regional archeological record. Debates continue on the respective roles of regional hominin extinctions and population continuity, with the latter suggesting adaptation to arid conditions.