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Aridity And Adaptation Among Arabian Bronze Age Communities: Investigating Mobility And Climate Change Using Isotope Analysis

  • 17 Oct 2021
  • 3:00 PM (CDT)
  • Virtual

Aridity And Adaptation Among Arabian Bronze Age Communities: Investigating Mobility And Climate Change Using Isotope Analysis

AIA Society: Milwaukee
Lecturer: Lesley Gregoricka

The rapid aridification of southeastern Arabia at the end of the Umm an-Nar period  (2700-2000 BCE) coincided with major changes in material culture and social organization demarcating the subsequent Wadi Suq period (2000-1600 BCE). However, climate change has rarely been directly observed in the tissues of the people who themselves experienced it. Here, stable oxygen isotopes from the dental enamel of those interred in monumental third and second millennia BCE tombs at the Shimal Necropolis in the United Arab Emirates were used to evaluate shifts in climate. Strontium and carbon isotope values were similarly investigated to assess the impact of an increasingly arid climate on mobility patterns and dietary intake. These isotopes reveal regional aridification over time, but also continuity in lifestyle, suggestive of a resilient community that sought to maintain their way of life in the face of environmental change.


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