Acheulean landscapes in the Arabian Peninsula


Surveying one of the many dykes in the Dawadmi region. The dykes consists of magma intrusions that have cooled and hardened into rock, typically andesite. The fine-grained nature of these rocks made them a target for Acheulean hominins – the slopes of these dykes contain lithic debris from biface manufacture

Our systematic survey of Acheulean occupation evidence at Dawadmi, in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula, has led to the discovery of 14 new Acheulean sites at Saffaqah, and a further 22 sites in the Dawadmi area.

Our survey revealed a strong correlation between Acheulean sites and fine-grained andesite dykes, a major source of raw material for stone tools; no Acheulean sites in the study area were found away from dykes or their adjacent landscape units. Based on dyke distributions, the geographic range of Acheulean activity is estimated to be 100km × 55km, making Dawadmi one of the largest Acheulean landscapes in the world.

Read more in Multi-scale Acheulean landscape survey in the Arabian Desert in Quaternary International.