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Palaeogeography of an Ubaid Archaeological Site, Saudi Arabia

Arabian archaeology and epigraphy
1993: 4: 107-125

H. A. McCLURE AND N. Y. AL-SHAIKH
Natural History Museum, London, UK and BBC Brown Boveri, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

  

Palaeogeographic analysis and radiocarbon dating indicate that sometime in the second half of the fifth millennium BC a sea-level rise occurred along the coast of the western side of the Arabian (Persian) Gulf. Cultural remains of the ‘Ubaid archaeological period are intimately associated with the event and the palaeogeographic environment that accompanied it. The sea-level rise appears to have had a catastrophic effect on habitation sites.

 

 

Within Holocene time, in addition to the availability of resources for exploitation, other important natural constraints that may be assumed to have controlled ancient human populations living along the western coast of the Arabian (Persian) Gulf are accessibility and quality of ground-water, local spring discharge, and sea-level fluctuation.

     Sea-level fluctuation can obviously affect littoral populations dependent on shoreline activities such as fishing and maritime trade.

Inundation of habitation or activity sites in the case of sea-level rise can obliterate such populations or force movement inward.

Shoreline may be especially at risk even in the case of minor sea level fluctuation.

     This paper documents the palaeogeographic environment of the time and effect of a minor sea-level rise on what is figured to have been a prehistoric population of ‘Ubaid cultural period  living along the western coast of the Arabian Gulf sometime in the latter half of the fifth millennium BC (1).

     The area studied is located about 10 km south of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on the south side of the Dammam structural dome. A group of five more or less separate but apparently related archaeological sites occur in the area, aligned in a west to east strike on a traverse of about 6 km width along an approximate latitude of 26  13  N. For the purposes of this paper, the sites are designated, west to east, A, F, B, C, and D. The easternmost site, D, is considered to have been a principal

 

Fig. 1.

Index map, showing locations of sites mentioned in text.

 

occupation site. It is situated north, slightly east, of ‘Ain as-Sayh, a spring located at the head of the embayment complex of sites are indicated on USGS Map I-208A (2). The group of sites is referred to in this paper as the “Ain as-Sayh complex”.

Fig. 1 is a location map.

 

 

 

 

 

Palaeogeography

The sites presently occupy a series of shallow depressions and indentations cut by natural erosion of wind deflation and recent human industrial activity into sandy silt flats and low dunes a few kilometers inland from the present shoreline at an elevation of  about 1.2 m above high-water. The sites are bordered inland by a discontinuous line of low rolling dunes partly stabilized by scrub palm clusters and sparse grass cover. Further north, rock outcrops of the Dammam structural dome comprise the main landscape feature.

     The present silt and sand flats on which the sites are situated represent fossil remnants of a former higher sea level at a time when sheltered, shallow-water lagoons or inlets and tidal flats were the main features of the area. Diagnostic sub-fossil marine shell species constituting the dominant element of the biotope occupying this former marine environment, some still occurring in situ in growth position, include: Circe Arabica (common), Sanguinolaria ?cumingiana (common), Cerithidea cingulata (common), Pinctada radiate (rare), serpulids, and other rarer small gastropods. The barnacle, Balanus amphitrite, occurs along what would have been the high-water line where a splash zone was present adjacent to land. An open beach line with abundant whole and comminuted shells of diverse species and derivation from a mixture of deeper water biotopes was not present.

The sand containing the shells is only a few centimeters thick, indicating that deposition was of short duration. It overlies biologically and culturally sterile sand.

     In addition to occupying a significant niche in the fossil biotope by serving to indicate the former high-tide line, the other significance of the barnacles is that they adhere to the objects they serve to date. In the particular case at hand, as will be seen, they encrust cultural remains considered to be of the ‘Ubaid archaeological period and, in addition to providing an absolute time framework, also furnish an important clue in decipherment of natural events that drastically affected human populations living in the area (3).

     The area of ‘Ain as-Sayh, the spring, would have been a marsh, as it is today, fringed with Typha and Phragmites reeds.

     The ‘Ubaid populations lived along the edge of a palaeoenvironment of lagoons, tidal flats, and inlets (at the time occurring a little further seaward), evidently exploiting marine life (fish and shellfish) and boating and maritime facilities. They were already precariously perched only a bit above the high-tide line. This environment was then displaced further inland by the sea-level rise, resulting in inundation of habitation and activity sites. The high sea-level need not have lasted very long, perhaps as only a few years.

 

Chronology

McClure and Vita-Finzi established a shoreline chronology based on radiocarbon analyses to evaluate a neo-tectonic deformation along the littoral of the western side of the Arabian Gulf (4). They dated Holocene palaeo-shorelines over a distance of 350 km from the Lawdhan Peninsula in the north to the base of the Qatar Peninsula in the south. Dates on a similar shoreline of Holocene age along the coast of the United Arab Emirates (Trucial Coast) had already been reported (5). The chronology established by McClure and Vita-Vinzi was refined by additional radiocarbon and palaeogeographical analyses by the same two authors (6). In this second study, first-order dating (7) and additional conventional radiocarbon dating were applied to more mollusks and barnacles associated with the same section of palaeo-shoreline originally reported near Dhahran, but extended on a traverse eastward to Site D. The close agreement obtained between ages for the barnacle, Balanus amphitrite, adhering to cultural remains of the ‘Ubaid archaeological period, Circe Arabica in growth position, and Cerithidea cingulata ,  showed that a wide range of shell material and species could be used for reconstructing the nature and age of the former shoreline and high-tide line. Ages obtained on a number of conventional and first-order analyses were in very close agreement, within limits of the radiocarbon dating technique. At Site F, ages in years BC (uncalibrated conventional) are: Circe Arabica 4320 + 80; Cerithidea cingulata 4380 + 70; and Balanus amphitrite 4430 + 90. All three ages may be taken, within limits, as representing the same event, the sea-level rise, accompanied by changes in geography and environments that affected sites documented in this paper (8).

 

 

The archaeological sites (described west to east)

Site A, a minor site from the standpoint of cultural remains (9), yielded a few fragments of hard, gray, lime plaster, impressed with a pattern of twisted and bound reeds on one side, smooth, pink washed, and barnacle encrusted on the other. The plaster fragments are considered to represent remains of some kind of building. Similar remains from ‘Ubaid excavations in southern Mesopotamia were called “huts” (10). It is important to note that the barnacles encrust pieces that are found presently smooth face down in the sand. Considering the living habits of barnacles – they do not burrow, for one thing – the walls of the “huts” from which the plaster pieces derive can be assumed to have been standing at the time of encrustation. Barnacles encrusting outside surfaces (i.e., where the bound reeding is assumed to have been exposed) would have disassociated quickly due to rapid decay of the reeding. Lots of barnacles lying around loose may be the product of this process. As such flimsily constructed structures can hardly be expected to have stood long after abandonment due to any other reason, it is reasonable to assume that abandonment was due to events of which the barnacle encrustation was a by-product, i.e., sea-level rise, rapid marine inundation, and presence within a high-tide zone.

     The reeding of which the “hut” walls were constructed very likely was derived from twisted leaves and bound stems of the common Middle Eastern brackish water reed, Phragmites communis (11).

     Several pieces of light red, coarse pottery were present at the site. Only one “hut” seemed to be represented.

At Site F, a cluster of 5 or 6 more or less distinct sand mounds, each about 0.5 m high and about 1.5 m in diameter, contains abundant large and small fragments of the same kind of plaster that is present at Site A. A number of the fragments, as at Site

Fig. 2.

Smooth, pink-washed, barnacle-encrusted inside surface of a piece of reed-impressed lime plaster. Site F.

 

A, retain a pink wash on the smooth side, in addition to being encrusted with barnacles. Pieces of the plaster are illustrated in Fig. 2 and 3. One pieces of painted pottery was found at the site, along with several pieces of plain, coarse, red pottery. A few flint chips and one piece of tile flint were present. No other

 

Fig. 3.

Piece of lime plaster showing reed-impressed outer surface. Site F.

 

occupational debris was obvious, though proper archaeological examination might reveal such. The “hut” appear not to have been utilized very long. Fig. 4 depicts several of the sand mounds with fragments of plaster weathering out.

 

Fig. 4.

Sand mound with pieces of reed-impressed lime plaster weathering out. Site F. (15 cm scale in lower left).

 

     Some stratification is evident at the site. A thin, lightly calcreted, soft sandstone crust bearing possible root or stem casts caps some of the remains, in turn overlain by present mobile, sterile dune sand.

    Site F occurs at the edge of an artificial hollow where bulldozers have removed material for construction purposes and recent wind deflation has been active. The remains of two other “hut”, indicated by pieces of plaster scree and barnacles weathering from the dune sand, occur at the south side of the hollow. Other such remains may be present in immediate nearby areas underneath undisturbed dune sand.

     The relationship of the “hut” –bearing sites of A and F to other sites of the ‘Ain as-Sayh complex, especially the (assumed) main occupation site of D, discussed below, may be subject to future archaeological interpretation, but the two sites, probably task oriented, were apparently co-eval with the other sites, all of which display evidence of barnacle encrustation.

 

     At Site B, small pieces of reed-impressed plaster and a number of pieces of painted pottery considered to be of ‘Ubaid typology occur in a debris pile dredged and scraped out of a thin

 

Fig. 5.

Debris pile, about 2m high, which yielded painted pottery sherds and lime plaster fragments. Exposed crust (white horizontal patch) in upper right background. Site B.

 

crust and overlying dune sand by bulldozer activity (Fig.5). One piece of painted pottery, however, the cross-hatch patterned one of Fig. 6, occurred still embedded in a patch of undisturbed crust. One piece of the pottery had small barnacles encrusted on it, barnacles being otherwise very rare at the site. A few flint chips and one piece of tile flint were found.

     A substantial part of a large building of rough faroosh blocks (12), Plastered on the inside, with a height of more than a meter, occurs at a higher elevation on a small sand hillock at the site. It seems likely to be of later date, but serves to mark Site B. The

 

Fig. 6.

Patterned and painted sherds of ‘Ubaid typology. Cross-hatched sherds of far middle right occurred in situ in the crust. Site B.

 

site, unlike the others of the complex, is otherwise unstructured, significant mostly for the painted pottery that occurs there. The

pottery sherds and plaster pieces have a re-worked aspect. (Could Site B be an earlier site abandoned for another reason, then reworked and barnacle encrusted by the sea-level rise documented in this paper ?) Fig. 6. illustrates some of the sherds (13).

     More significant structured remains may lurk underneath overlying sand terrain surrounding the dredged hollow. As at Site D, described below, lagoon shells do not occur in the immediate vicinity. The barnacles, though few and small, indicate that, like Site D, it was nevertheless within the high-tide zone, perhaps elevated a bit above what became lagoon level when the sea-level rise occurred.

 

Site C can be characterized mainly by the occurrence of moderately coarse, red and pink, large fragments of round-bottomed pottery, some of which are bitumen coated and barnacle encrusted. The bitumen is the most interesting and probably most significant item at the site. It occurs as a thick coating, which may be on the order of half a centimeter thick or more, running down the sides and covering the bottoms of some of the vessels (Fig. 7 and 8). Bitumen was evidently the bulk product contained and processed in the pottery and not a simple coating to render it impervious.

     Scattered gray low humps of sand containing blackened and feature of the area.

     Another interesting item at the site comprises flat bitumen

 

Fig. 7.

Inside surface of a large fragment of a round-bottomed, bitumen-coated and barnacle encrusted pot. Site C.

 

Fig. 8.

Outside barnacle-encrusted surface of part of a pot similar to that of Fig. 7. Site C.

 

fragments about a centimeter or less thick, impressed with a woven reed pattern, the largest illustrated in Fig. 9. The fabric represented suggests usage of split lengths of Typha stems (14). The fragments may have been parts of a bitumen substratum on which woven reed matting was placed. Another piece of reed-impressed bitumen displays a fabric indicating bound reeding laced with fine, twisted,  double-stranded threading. Still other fragments occurring as sandstone casts seem to represent coarsely woven cloth. Bitumen fragments and sandstone casts

 

Fig. 9.

Large bitumen fragments impressed with a woven reed pattern. The two pieces fit together at the right ends. Site C.

 

 

Fig. 10.

Bitumen fragments impressed with various fabrics. Site C.

 

displaying fabric impressions are illustrated in Fig.10 and 11.

     A number of pieces and fragments of faroosh blocks, some smooth on one side, is associated with the humps of sand mentioned enough to have constituted flooring or building remains, and may have been simply used as work bases of some kind or in hearths for working with the bitumen.

 

Fig. 11.

Impressions of coarse fabric preserved in sandstone casts. Site C.

 

 

Fig. 12.

Flint pieces. Upper right-hand 3 specimens appear to be of scraper typology. Site C.

 

     Some pieces of flint occur at the site, several possibly retouched for use as scrapers (Fig. 12). They resemble flakes that might have been derived from deposits of nodular or bedded flint to be found in Eocene limestone outcrops riming flanks of Dammam dome.

     In  addition to the red and pink pottery at the site, a substantial part of a small, light-red, vase-shaped pot with narrow base and barnacle encrustation was found (Fig. 13). Several of what appear to be the same type occurred at the main site of D, discussed blow.

 

 

Fig. 13.

Large fragment of a small, light-red, vase-shaped, narrow-based. Site D.

 

Fig. 14.

Surface of Site C showing abundant palaeo-lagoon shells and large piece of blackened and baked pottery and weathered bitumen.

 

     The barnacle encrustation serves to indicate it probably not of later intrusion (but see reference 15). One piece of painted pottery was found at the site.

     It is too tempting not to speculate the Site C may have been used to process bitumen for caulking or otherwise working with reed boats. The  bitumen fragments impressed with woven reed pattern may indicate matting used for comfort or linings in boat bottoms. The weave pattern and fabric as well as the flat shape are suggestive of matting, not basketry work. Some of the other impressed bitumen fragments at the site may indicate parts or accessories of reed boats.

     No natural bitumen seepage sites are known to exist on the Arabian Peninsula, Bahrain, or Kuwait that were capable of producing usable bulk bitumen, the nearest practical source being the Hit area of southern Iraq on the Euphrates (16).

     The area of Site C is now a silty sand flat, presently profusely covered with the palaeo-lagoon shells described above (Fig. 14). The cultural remains described here are inconspicuous, requiring careful scrutiny, study and interpretation.

 

Site D appears to have been a main habitation site. It has been exposed in an area presently characterized by low dunes, sand humps, scrub palm clusters, and evidence of much recent industrial disturbance. It was formerly covered with Aeolian sand and later occupation debris of abundant Islamic and other Pre-Islamic, post ‘Ubaid periods (17). Bulldozer operations of about 20 years ago exposed the site. Lithologically, the occupation level comprises an indurated, hard, sandy crust roughly 15 cm thick, in which are imbedded cultural remains.

 

Fig. 15.

Faroosh (walling ?) blocks with barnacle encrustation. Site D.

 

Fig. 16.

Crust with faroosh flooring ? stones and pot sherds embedded. Site D. (Lens cap for scale).

 

Fig. 17.

Vertically set rows of faroosh slabs possibly comprising floor foundation. Patches at lower right hand corner and at upper left. Considerably more might be revealed under the loose sand scree presently covering the area. Site D. (Paint brush about 9 cm width for scale).

 

 The crust is probably a product of cementation due to sea-water inundation at high-tide, plus perhaps some compaction due to former human occupation activity. It is underlain by unconsolidated, culturally and biologically sterile fine sand and silt, evidently representing the initial level and substratum on which the original population set up habitation and lived until catastrophic sea-level rise. Much of the crust is now covered by a light, thin scree of loose sand blown in after originally bulldozer exhumation and still mobile over the area. Large patches are prominently exposed, though, and the rest is easily uncovered with brush or broom.

     Most important at the site are building remains, exposed by the bulldozer activity. Fig. 15 illustrates faroosh blocks (walling ?) with barnacle encrustation. Fig. 16 illustrates some of the crust with slabs of faroosh flooring ? stones and pot sherds imbedded. Nearby are tow patches several square meters in size (or very possibly more when properly exposed) of what appears to have been a floor foundation composed of uniformly thin

 

Fig. 18.

Close-up of vertical foundation slabbing (at middle right), with partial covering of flooring slabs apparently in situ in foreground. Site D. (15 cm scale in middle right).

 

Fig. 19.

Mosaic of pottery sherds (all of same pot) imbedded in crust of Site D).

 

faroosh slabs vertically set, firmly and evenly spaced, in the sand substratum (Fig. 17 and 18). The supposed flooring, wall portions, and foundation stones all occur close together, suggesting the base of a single, substantial building of careful workmanship (18).

     Light brown or red pottery sherds are frequent in the crust. Painted sherds are rare, but much of a large, globular, round-bottomed, cream-coloured pot, painted with closely spaced diagonal stripes and horizontal banding, can be reconstructed from pieces apparently randomly but deliberately laid after breakage in a sort of mosaic, possibly to form a working base of some kind (Fig. 19 and 20). Several specimens of a particular kind of small, brown vase or cup, very much like the one of Site C (Fig. 13), were noted, in addition to some short, brown, straight pot spouts.

 

Fig. 20.

Close-up of imbedded pottery sherds of Fig. 19. Site D.

 

     Though remains of later cultural period along with ‘Ubaid mixed in as part of the bulldozer disturbance can be found in humps of disturbed sand and debris, the crust is important as containing in situ remains.

     No reed-impressed plaster fragments were noted at the site, the faroosh blocks being the only indication of building, highly important as they are. Absence of the plaster, so ubiquitous at sites elsewhere, must have a significance, assuming true contemporaniety of the sites. A possible clue to how ‘Ubaid communities were structured may be provided.

     Only a few small pieces of reed-impressed bitumen occur. Flint tools of definite typology and arrow points, so prominent on other Arabian ‘Ubaid sites, appear conspicuously absent, though some flint chips and flakes occur, similar to those of Site C.

     Other occupation items, not investigated much but readily observable in the crust, in addition to the pottery sherds and faroosh blocks, include a string of beads, fragments of several small alabaster jars, copper tools (several awls and razors ?), pounding stones, spindle whorls ?, perforated discs, common fish bones and spines, articulated vertebrae, bovid? Teeth, tusks of some sort, and mollusk shell fragments. A number of the shell fragments scattered in the crust are of Pinctada radiata and a large muricid gastropod, probably food sources (19).

     No lagoon shells occur in situ at the site, possibly indicating it was originally at a slightly higher elevation than the other sites (with the possible exception of Site B), not surprising considering it appears to have been the main habitation of the complex. The splash zone of high-tide clearly occurred her, though, evidence being the barnacle encrustation on the building blocks.

     The fresh-water supply to support local populations and provide reeding surely derived from ‘Ain as-Sayh, located to the immediate south of the site. It is still flowing, but is heavily sanded over and now discharges as seepage into the Gulf and adjacent sabkhas.

     Site D is presently located at the side of a major carriageway and is subjected to heavy local recreational activity. It is consequently rapidly deteriorating as an archaeological site.

 

Conclusions

Anything but tentative conclusions at this stage of the study of the ‘Ain as-Sayh sites as well as other ‘Ubaid sites in Arabia would be premature. The ‘Ain as-Sayh complex of sites clearly should be subjected to proper archaeological investigation, detailed, and interpretation in the future. It therefore seems best as final conclusion to this paper simply to pose some questions that future studies and analyses may elucidate.

1.      Can the usage of bulk bitumen at Site C be taken as evidence for a maritime connection with southern Mesopotamia during ‘Ubaid times?

2.      What role did the reed-impressed plaster “huts” play in ‘Ubaid cultural activity.

3.      Can Site D be taken as evidence for truly permanent habitation, perhaps the only such ‘Ubaid site known along the Arabian coast ?

4.      Why do sites such as ad-Dossariyah contain much abundance of ‘Ubaid painted pottery and the ‘Ain as-Sayh sites so relatively little ?

5.      Why are flint tools of definite typology such as tile flint knives and scrapers and bifacial arrow points as found at other ‘Ubaid sites not prominent at the complex ?

6.      Does the complex represent a one-time attempt, comparatively brief and abortive, to occupy and exploit this part of the Arabian Gulf coast ?

7.      What was the relation of the complex of sites to other known sites of the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula ?

8.      How do pottery typologies and other features compare with other Saudi sites and Mesopotamian, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain sites ?

9.      Masry indicates with an “X” a site characterized by flint tools to the east of ‘Ain as-Sayh and east of Site D, approximately between ‘Ain as-Sayh and the present coast (20). This was assumed to be an ‘Ubaid site because of the presence of abundant tile flint tools and arrow points, a common feature of other Saudi ‘Ubaid sites. No other clearly characteristic ‘Ubaid remains apparently occurred at the site. Is this previously reported site part of the complex further to the west, perhaps in some way another task-oriented site ?

10.Can the complex of sites, possibly including the tile flint site of 9 above and possibly excluding Site B (as perhaps older), be taken to indicate a single structured ‘Ubaid community ?

     

 

 

 

References

1.    Enough is known about ‘Ubaid archaeological remains to separate them out from other bodies of remains in time and space and to ascribe them to a particular group of people. In the sense of a population group being defined by such remains where cultural attributes can be implied, it seems acceptable to use the term “’Ubaid culture”. The date is based on uncalibrated conventional radiocarbon analysis. Calibration indicates an earlier period, the latter half of the sixth millennium-see reference 8 below.

2.    Steineke M, Harris TF, Parsons KR & Elberg EL Jr. Geologic map of the Western Persian Gulf Quadrangle, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Washington, DC,: Miscel. Geol. Invest. Map I-208A, U S Geol. Surv., 1958.

3.    Balanus amphitrite occurs sporadically along the present open shoreline at the high-water level where beachrock patches or debris dumped at the water’s edge afford a solid attachment not otherwise available on the smooth, sandy, shallow-water substratum. Barnacles can become established in a very short time- a month or so; lagoon mollusks such as the assemblage described above may require only a few seasons.

4.    McClure H & Vita-Finzi C. Holocene shorelines and tectonic movements in eastern Saudi Arabia . Tectonophysics: 85: 1982: 37-43.

5.    Taylor JCM & Illing LV. Holocene intertidal calcium carbonate cementation in Qatar, Persian Gulf. Sedimentology 12: 1969: 29-107.

6.    Vita-Finzi C & McClure HA. High resolution C-14 dating of an uplifted Holocene shoreline in eastern Saudi Arabia. Tectonophysics 194: 1991: 197-201.

7.    Vita-Finzi C. First order C-14 dating of Holocene mollusks. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 65: 1983: 389-392.

8.    Calibrated true calendric date ranges, calculated from tables of klein et al. (klein J, Lerman J, Damon P & Ralph E. Calibration of radiocarbon dates: tables based on the concensus data of the Workshop on Calibrating the Radiocarbon Time Scales. Radiocarbon 24: 1982: 103-150, are: for the uncalibrated date of 4320 BC, 5475-4965 BC ; for the date of 4380 BC, 5520-5065 BC; for the 4430 BC date, 5590-5070 BC. The ranges are broad, reflecting the present state of the art, but certainty within the ranges is considered to be on the order of 95%.

9.    Called site 4 in McClure & Vita-Finzi, Holocene shorelines.

10.                       Woolley CL. Ur excavations, IV. Philadelphia: Univ. Museum, 1955. The Mesopotamian plaster is apparently of mud, a product readily available in the area. Suitable mud would have been less available at the ‘Ain as-Sayh sites, but marine shells for lime plaster would have been plentiful. Woolley presents a cross-section drawing of a piece of the Ur plaster (p. 7, Fig. 2).

11.                       Barnacle-encrusted plaster is also reported at ad-Dossriyah, an ‘Ubaid site further to the north. (Bibby TG. Preliminary survey in Eastern Arabia, 1968. Aarhus: JASP, XII: 1973; Burkholder G. ‘Ubaid sites and pottery in Saudi Arabia. Archaeology 25: 1972: 264-269).

12.                       Faroosh – a well-cemented beachrock, composed of a coquina of small, whole and fragmented shells. Used locally as building stone until recently.

13.                       The sherds are illustrated, described in detail and typologically analyzed in a separate paper in this volume by B. Hermansen.

14.                       Typha would be more appropriate for matting. Not being a grass, as Phragmites, its stems do not have nodes to hinder lengthwise splitting.

15.                       Hermansen, this volume, considers this piece of pottery (his type 10) to be typologically within the Jamdat Nasr-ED chronological range. There is thus a discrepancy between the absolute chronological scheme based on shell dating and contexts and Hermansen’s typological chronology. This is obviously a problem to be resolved in the future when more detailed analysis of the sites can be undertaken.

16.                       Zarins J, Mughannum AS & Kamal M. Excavations at Dhahran South. Atlal 8: 1984: 36.

17.                       A cylinder seal found at the site has been tentatively identified as of Warka style. Hermansen, this volume, documents later post-‘Ubaid evidence.

18.                       Possibly non-secular. It is tempting to wonder if the remains of a temple may be represented.

19.                       Pinctada margaritifera, the larger, deeper-water, “Pearl Oyster” of the Gulf (not really an Oyster), does not seem to be represented. There is no obvious indication that pearling was a part of the activity of the population.

20.                       Masry AH. Prehistory in Northeast Arabia: the problem of interregional interaction. Miami: Field Research Projects: 1974: 79, map 7.

 

Addresses:

 

H. A. McClure

Natural History Museum

Cromwell Road

London SW7 5BD

UK

 

N.Y.AL-SHAIKH

BBC Brown Boveri

Dammam, Saudi Arabia

 

New addresses:

 

Nabiel Y. al Shaikh

Dammam Regional Museum

Gen. Directorate of Education in the Eastern Province

Dammam 31158

Saudi Arabia

 

Telephone: 00 9663 8266056

E-mail:  nabielalshaikh@yahoo.com

 

 

 

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