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Thread: Peopling of Arabia

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    Peopling of Arabia

    Saudis can be modeled well with Levant_BA south on nMonte. So did people from the levant move south and populate the peninsula? If so, why? The climate there is quite inhospitable compared to the former. Was it different at some point, the same way the sahara had green periods?

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    The climate in the Levant is not all the same, some parts are desert just like Arabia, the same can be said the other way around, not all parts of Arabia are deserts, there are places where you start seeing mountains and snow.

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    Once the camel was introduced into the Levant, it became possible to travel long distances through desert, moving from oasis to oasis. Semitic peoples with camels probably spread into Arabia from the southern Levant as you described after this time. With camels, Arabia became capable of hosting larger populations. It's believed this happened some time around the early Iron age (after 1200 BCE).

    Before this the Arabian peninsula had probably been emptied of most human presence for some time after the aridity events in the late Neolithic and Bronze age. But in earlier periods, it was much wetter and probably hosted older human populations that are no longer around (at least in unadmixed form).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psynome View Post
    Once the camel was introduced into the Levant, it became possible to travel long distances through desert, moving from oasis to oasis. Semitic peoples with camels probably spread into Arabia from the southern Levant as you described after this time. With camels, Arabia became capable of hosting larger populations. It's believed this happened some time around the early Iron age (after 1200 BCE).

    Before this the Arabian peninsula had probably been emptied of most human presence for some time after the aridity events in the late Neolithic and Bronze age. But in earlier periods, it was much wetter and probably hosted older human populations that are no longer around (at least in unadmixed form).
    More ancient Arabian samples are needed. For example, did Natufians migrate from Arabia to the Levant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Censored View Post
    did people from the levant move south and populate the peninsula? If so, why? The climate there is quite inhospitable compared to the former. Was it different at some point, the same way the sahara had green periods?
    Yemen had a lot of fertile land, and was the location of ancient civilizations. Semitic people migrated down there from the Levant, and also colonized part of Ethiopia. Desert oasis towns probably grew up as a result of trade caravans travelling between Yemen and the Levant.

    “The Sabaeans were a Semitic people who, at an unknown date, entered southern Arabia from the north, imposing their Semitic culture on an aboriginal population. Excavations in central Yemen suggest that the Sabaean civilization began as early as the 10th–12th century BC.”

    https://www.britannica.com/place/Sab...kingdom-Arabia


    "Yemen is one of the oldest centers of civilization in the Near East.[1] Its relatively fertile land and adequate rainfall in a moister climate helped sustain a stable population, a feature recognized by the ancient Greek geographer Ptolemy, who described Yemen as Eudaimon Arabia (better known in its Latin translation, Arabia Felix) meaning "fortunate Arabia" or "Happy Arabia". Yemenis had developed the South Arabian alphabet by the 12th to 8th centuries BCE, which explains why most historians date all of the ancient Yemeni kingdoms to that era."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Yemen
    Last edited by Philjames; 12-17-2018 at 08:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psynome View Post
    Once the camel was introduced into the Levant, it became possible to travel long distances through desert, moving from oasis to oasis. Semitic peoples with camels probably spread into Arabia from the southern Levant as you described after this time. With camels, Arabia became capable of hosting larger populations. It's believed this happened some time around the early Iron age (after 1200 BCE).

    Before this the Arabian peninsula had probably been emptied of most human presence for some time after the aridity events in the late Neolithic and Bronze age. But in earlier periods, it was much wetter and probably hosted older human populations that are no longer around (at least in unadmixed form).
    But even with camels, what could prompt them to go into such a harsh climate? Most of it is barren and incredibly hot. The idea that people just randomly moved from a more to a less hospitable environment does not make sense to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Censored View Post
    But even with camels, what could prompt them to go into such a harsh climate? Most of it is barren and incredibly hot. The idea that people just randomly moved from a more to a less hospitable environment does not make sense to me.
    People move to less hospitable environments all the time, because there's work there, or because they are trying to get away from conflict or disaster. A harsh environment with plentiful resources is more inviting than a lush environment packed full of people fighting over them.

    Arabia had its green periods at much the same time as the Sahara, with relatively wet conditions beginning around 11 000 years ago and off and on until around 3000 BC.

    Quick summary without guarantees of accuracy: Arabia had a few different forager cultures in the Early Holocene - in the north and part of the Gulf probably related to Levantine populations, but apparently distinct in Yemen and Oman. Pre-Pottery Neolithic B-related pastoralists are thought to have brought livestock to southern Arabia around 6000 BC, but as yet making little or no use of ceramics or crops. Around 3500-3000 BC Chalcolithic/EBA agropastoralists with cultural links to the Levant settled in Yemen, growing wheat, barley, pulses, etc in terraced and irrigated fields and building cairn tombs much like those in the Sinai, southern Levant, and various other parts of Arabia. At the same time African crops (mainly sorghum), obsidian, and likely pottery are found in Yemen coming from Sudan/Eritrea. The fishermen and herders of the Persian Gulf region were strongly influenced by Ubaid culture from around 5500 BC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalophias View Post
    People move to less hospitable environments all the time, because there's work there, or because they are trying to get away from conflict or disaster. A harsh environment with plentiful resources is more inviting than a lush environment packed full of people fighting over them.

    Arabia had its green periods at much the same time as the Sahara, with relatively wet conditions beginning around 11 000 years ago and off and on until around 3000 BC.

    Quick summary without guarantees of accuracy: Arabia had a few different forager cultures in the Early Holocene - in the north and part of the Gulf probably related to Levantine populations, but apparently distinct in Yemen and Oman. Pre-Pottery Neolithic B-related pastoralists are thought to have brought livestock to southern Arabia around 6000 BC, but as yet making little or no use of ceramics or crops. Around 3500-3000 BC Chalcolithic/EBA agropastoralists with cultural links to the Levant settled in Yemen, growing wheat, barley, pulses, etc in terraced and irrigated fields and building cairn tombs much like those in the Sinai, southern Levant, and various other parts of Arabia. At the same time African crops (mainly sorghum), obsidian, and likely pottery are found in Yemen coming from Sudan/Eritrea. The fishermen and herders of the Persian Gulf region were strongly influenced by Ubaid culture from around 5500 BC.
    What was the climate in Arabia like during the neolithic/bronze age?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Censored View Post
    What was the climate in Arabia like during the neolithic/bronze age?
    At the beginning of the Neolithic, Arabia was wetter than it is now. But what followed were multiple periods of drying, beginning with the 8.2 kiloyear event, followed by the 5.9 kiloyear and 4.2 kiloyear events, which dried Arabia out and made it difficult to live in for most of the later Neolithic and Bronze age.

    The camel changed all that. With camels, the resources of even a hot, dry Arabia are accessible. It's not truly inhospitable if you can raise livestock, find water, and trade with foreigners and neighbors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by josh w. View Post
    More ancient Arabian samples are needed. For example, did Natufians migrate from Arabia to the Levant.
    I doubt it. According to Lazardis et al 2018 (Check "Paleolithic DNA from the Caucasus reveals core of West Eurasian ancestry"), instead of specifying gene flow from the ancestors of Natufians into the ancestors of the North African Taforalt as originally reported, the paper infered gene flow in the reverse direction (into Natufians). The taforalt aDNA is approximately a Mixture of a Dzudzuana related population (predominantly Villlabruna Related HG + Basal Eurasian) and 'Ancestral North African' (a new population group that shared 2/3 genetic drift with SSA). Natufians could be convincingly modeled as a 2-way mixture of ~86%
    Dzudzuana and ~14% Taforalt (p=0.405) with small standard errors of 1.9%. Thus the affinity between
    Natufians and Taforalt may have come about by admixture from a North
    African/Taforalt-related population into Natufians, rather than by admixture in the opposite direction. This would make sense if Natufians had there origins in the Levant proper, being more geographically proximate to North Africa compared to Arabia.

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