The Palaeodeserts project sets forth a bold interdisciplinary approach, combining information from palaeoenvironmental studies, palaeontology, geography, geochronology, animal and human genetics, archaeology, rock art studies and linguistics.

Six hypotheses will be examined over the next five years (2012 – 2017):

  1. Hominin and animal range expansions are inextricably linked with wet phases in the Pleistocene and Holocene periods
  2. Arid and hyper-arid periods resulted in population contractions, genetic bottlenecks, and extinctions
  3. Hominin and animal settlement are linked with variations in physiogeography and palaeohydrology across the Arabian Desert
  4. Hominins and animals migrated along specific dispersal routes across the Arabian Desert
  5. Cultural innovations set hominins apart from boundary conditions in mammals
  6. Economic and social practices set Neolithic societies fundamentally apart from Palaeolithic populations.

Our interdisciplinary team will be conducting research throughout the Arabian Peninsula, gathering new information in order to understand the effect of climate change on human populations.