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A wetland oasis at Wadi Gharandal spanning 125–70 ka on the human migration trail in southern Jordan

A wetland oasis at Wadi Gharandal spanning 125–70 ka on the human migration trail in southern Jordan
A wetland oasis at Wadi Gharandal spanning 125–70 ka on the human migration trail in southern Jordan
Former lakes and wetlands can provide valuable insights to the late Pleistocene environments encountered by the first humans to enter the Levant from Africa. Fluvial incision along Wadi Gharandal in hyperarid southern Jordan has exposed remnants of a small riverine wetland that accumulated as a sedimentary sequence up to ∼20 m thick. We conducted a chronometric and sedimentological study of this wetland, including 10 optically stimulated luminescence dates. The wetland sequence accumulated during the period ∼125 to 70 ka in response to a positive water balance coupled with a (possibly coseismic) landslide that dammed the outlet. The valley fill was dissected when the dam was incised shortly after ∼36 ± 3 ka. Comparison of our ages with regional palaeoclimate indicates that the Gharandal oasis developed during the relatively humid Marine Isotope Stage 5. A minimum age of 74 ± 7 ka for two Levallois flakes collected from stratified sediments suggests that the oasis was visited by humans during the critical 130–90 ka time window of human migration out of Africa. Gharandal joins a growing network of freshwater sites that enabled humans to cross areas of the Levant and Arabia along corridors of human dispersal.
Hyperarid; Optically stimulated luminescence; Palaeoclimate; Humans; Levallois lithics; Archaeology; Levant
0033-5894
1-16
Al-Saqarat, Bety
256bfd41-b0d5-4dc8-a57d-1890964aee1a
Abbas, Mahoud
7e28288c-fcc5-45f7-b346-3e6249acac00
University, Shantou
cba57e67-7a5a-425b-882f-40f763749c1f
Gong, S.
9504a294-49b2-4b8e-a9b0-d647bf7a119f
Abu Hamad, A.
1d608900-7b07-4e36-8db5-c2fc100f4fa0
Carling, Paul
8d252dd9-3c88-4803-81cc-c2ec4c6fa687
Jansen, J.
41a10d3e-cbf8-4602-93ec-101687d700b9
Al-Saqarat, Bety
256bfd41-b0d5-4dc8-a57d-1890964aee1a
Abbas, Mahoud
7e28288c-fcc5-45f7-b346-3e6249acac00
University, Shantou
cba57e67-7a5a-425b-882f-40f763749c1f
Gong, S.
9504a294-49b2-4b8e-a9b0-d647bf7a119f
Abu Hamad, A.
1d608900-7b07-4e36-8db5-c2fc100f4fa0
Carling, Paul
8d252dd9-3c88-4803-81cc-c2ec4c6fa687
Jansen, J.
41a10d3e-cbf8-4602-93ec-101687d700b9

Al-Saqarat, Bety, Abbas, Mahoud, University, Shantou, Gong, S., Abu Hamad, A., Carling, Paul and Jansen, J. (2020) A wetland oasis at Wadi Gharandal spanning 125–70 ka on the human migration trail in southern Jordan. Quaternary Research, 1-16. (doi:10.1017/qua.2020.82).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Former lakes and wetlands can provide valuable insights to the late Pleistocene environments encountered by the first humans to enter the Levant from Africa. Fluvial incision along Wadi Gharandal in hyperarid southern Jordan has exposed remnants of a small riverine wetland that accumulated as a sedimentary sequence up to ∼20 m thick. We conducted a chronometric and sedimentological study of this wetland, including 10 optically stimulated luminescence dates. The wetland sequence accumulated during the period ∼125 to 70 ka in response to a positive water balance coupled with a (possibly coseismic) landslide that dammed the outlet. The valley fill was dissected when the dam was incised shortly after ∼36 ± 3 ka. Comparison of our ages with regional palaeoclimate indicates that the Gharandal oasis developed during the relatively humid Marine Isotope Stage 5. A minimum age of 74 ± 7 ka for two Levallois flakes collected from stratified sediments suggests that the oasis was visited by humans during the critical 130–90 ka time window of human migration out of Africa. Gharandal joins a growing network of freshwater sites that enabled humans to cross areas of the Levant and Arabia along corridors of human dispersal.

Text
Al-Saqarat et al. 2020-Quat.Res-Wetland oasis at Wadi Gharandal - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 5 May 2021.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 10 August 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 5 November 2020
Keywords: Hyperarid; Optically stimulated luminescence; Palaeoclimate; Humans; Levallois lithics; Archaeology; Levant

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 444906
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/444906
ISSN: 0033-5894
PURE UUID: 39a8d63b-5cb3-4de7-ac0b-aac7ac2b145a

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Nov 2020 17:31
Last modified: 12 Nov 2020 17:30

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