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The Dispersal of the Neolithic over the Arabian Peninsula

Philipp Drechsler


The general research question followed during the course of this study can be summarized as: Does the Neolithic in Arabia originate in the Levant? To approach this question, several facets of this topic have been investigated. The first aspect consideredis the most fundamental one with respect to the general research question: What is the archaeological material evidence for the Neolithic dispersal over Arabia, and where did it originate? If one accepts the Levantine origin for the Arabian Neolithic, the next question which has to be answered is: How did it happen? Here, two opposing, general, explanatory concepts are provided in the archaeological, social and geographic sciences. The third focus of this study investigates the Neolithic dispersal over Arabia as a spatial process: What are the most advantageous routes the Levantine Neolithic herders could have taken during the dispersal? The structure of this book follows the research agenda as outlined: Chapter 1 describes the history of research in Arabia. Chapter 2 discusses the conceptual model which was developed to consider the Neolithic dispersal from the Levant as a spatial process. Chapter 3 provides details about the dispersal simulations performed with respect to the environmental situation onthe Arabian Peninsula. Chapter 4 traces the dispersal routes suggested by the simulations by archaeological evidence. The concluding chapter 5 summarizes and compares the separate results of the study.