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La préhistoire du Yémen

Diffusions et diversités locales, à travers l’étude d’industries lithiques du Hadramawt

Rémy Crassard


Analysis, carried out within a wide chronological framework, of the variability of technological modalities for the lithic industries known from Yemen to date, has allowed a certain ‘fine-tuning’ in terms of our knowledge of the regional prehistory of Yemen. This research is founded on the definition of the environmental context of the region and the methodologies used for fieldwork and analysis. A focus on the Hadramawt region follows, which is used as a strong model for defining and orienting questionsrelated to the transformations of the role occupied by southwest Arabia throughout prehistory. Starting with the oldest recovered prehistoric lithic artefacts (Acheulian bifaces and Levallois methods) to the youngest (South Arabian microliths), and with an intensive focus on the intermediate Early to Mid- Holocene industries, this work temporally traces a large corpus of prehistoric knapping modalities in Hadramawt and compares these to adjacent regions in Yemen. The temporal and spatial analysis of lithic technologies has enabled for a number of models of prehistoric occupation and dispersal to be proposed for Yemen. At the same time, the discovery and excavation of several stratified prehistoric sites has allowed for a reassessment and restructuring ofthe chronology and terminology used for the region, as well as introducing new research perspectives that have, until now, been undervalued.