Stone Technology in Arabia

  • Rémy CrassardEmail author
  • Michael Petraglia
Living reference work entry

The Importance of Arabia in Prehistory

Prehistoric research in the Arabian Peninsula is in its infancy, and it has long been treated as an empty spot on the archaeological world map. While information about Arabian prehistory is still relatively scarce, archaeological sites are, in fact, abundant. Archaeological sites are found in many places across Arabia, usually represented by stone tool industries. Arabia is a key geographic zone of the Old World, as it lies at the crossroads of three continents: Africa, Europe, and Asia. The Peninsula therefore plays a leading role for studying the worldwide expansion of early humans.

Archaeological surveys have been carried out in Arabia for more than half a century, revealing the existence of prehistoric sites spanning over a long time period, some perhaps extending back to more than one million years ago. Stone tools (also called lithics) represent the main kind of material objects found in archaeological sites. Based on the typology of stone...


Archaeological Site Arabian Peninsula Marine Isotopic Stage Stone Tool Tool Form 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Armitage, S., Jasim, S., Marks, A. E., Parker, A., Usik, V. I., & Uerpmann, H.-P. (2011). The southern route “Out of Africa”: Evidence for an early expansion of modern humans into Arabia. Science, 331, 453–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Charpentier, V., & Crassard, R. (2013). Back to Fasad… and the PPNB controversy. Questioning a Levantine origin for Arabian Early Holocene projectile points technology. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy, 24(1), 28–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Crassard, R. (2008). La Préhistoire du Yémen. Diffusions et diversités locales, à travers l’étude d’industries lithiques du Hadramawt (British Archaeological Reports International Series, Vol. 1842). Oxford, UK: Archaeopress.Google Scholar
  4. Crassard, R., & Drechsler, P. (2013). Towards new paradigms: Multiple pathways for the Arabian Neolithic. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy, 24(1), 3–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Crassard, R., & Hilbert, Y. H. (2013). A Nubian Complex site from central Arabia: Implications for Levallois taxonomy and human dispersals during the Upper Pleistocene. PLoS ONE, 8(7), e69221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Crassard, R., Petraglia, M. D., Drake, N. A., Breeze, P., Gratuze, B., Alsharekh, A., et al. (2013). Middle Palaeolithic and Neolithic occupations around Mundafan Palaeolake, Saudi Arabia: Implications for climate change and human dispersals. PLoS ONE, 8(7), e69665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Delagnes, A., Tribolo, C., Bertran, P., Brenet, M., Crassard, R., Jaubert, J., et al. (2012). Inland human settlement in southern Arabia 55,000 years ago. New evidence from the Wadi Surdud Middle Paleolithic site complex, western Yemen. Journal of Human Evolution, 63(3), 452–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Groucutt, H. S., & Petraglia, M. D. (2012). The prehistory of the Arabian peninsula: Deserts, dispersals, and demography. Evolutionary Anthropology, 21(3), 113–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hilbert, Y. H. (2014). Khashabian, a Late Paleolithic industry from Dhofar, southern Oman (British Archaeological Reports International Series, Vol. 2601). Oxford, UK: Archaeopress.Google Scholar
  10. Petraglia, M. D., Alsharekh, A., Breeze, P., Clarkson, C., Crassard, R., Drake, N., et al. (2012). Hominin dispersal into the Nefud Desert and Middle Palaeolithic settlement along the Jubbah palaeolake, northern Arabia. PLoS ONE, 7(11), e49840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Rose, J. I., Usik, V. I., Marks, A. E., Hilbert, Y. H., Galletti, C., Parton, A., et al. (2011). The Nubian Complex of Dhofar, Oman: An African Middle Stone Age industry in southern Arabia. PLoS ONE, 6(11), e28239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UMR 5133 ‘Archeorient’Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS - Maison de l’Orient et de la MéditerranéeLyonFrance
  2. 2.School of ArchaeologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK