Notice that I use the term ‘coastal route’ senso lato, meaning a migratory route in Asia (from ultimately Africa) via Arabia and South Asia, rather than Central Asia and Siberia. How strictly ‘coastal’ this migration was is subject to debate but the evidence is strong and growing in favor of the tropical route in any case.
The links were provided to me by a reader (carpetanuiq) in the comments section of this previous post. They are all very valuable but specially the three I want to introduce here. All links are PDF.
Analysis of lesser cost routes into South Asia and through it
Fields et al., The southern dispersal hypothesis and the South Asian archaeological record: Examination of dispersal routes through GIS analysis. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 2007. [LINK]
This research advances a model for coastal-based dispersals into South Asia during oxygen isotope stage (OIS) 4. A series of GIS-based analyses are included that assess the potential for expansions into the interior of South Asia, and these results are compared with known archaeological signatures from that time period. The results suggest that modern Homo sapiens could have traversed both the interior and coastlines using a number of routes, and colonized South Asia relatively rapidly. Use of these routes also implies a scenario in which modern H. sapiens, by either increased population growth or competitive ability, may have replaced indigenous South Asian hominin populations.
Key maps from this paper (there are some others also interesting):
|Cut from fig.2 Location of linear origin and the results of the least-cost route analysis into South Asia. Least-cost route is indicated by the grey [black] line.|
|Fig. 3 Results of the wandering path analyses into and through South Asia. Least-cost routes are indicated by the grey [black] lines.|
The Red Sea in the Pleistocene
Geoff Bailey, The Red Sea, Coastal Landscapes, and Hominin Dispersals. Published within M. Petraglia & J. Rose (eds.). The Evolution of Human Populations in Arabia (2009). [LINK]
Key maps in this paper are:
|Fig. 1 showing among other things ‘a simplified
distribution of Lower and Middle Paleolithic archaeological sites in the Arabian Peninsula’.
|Fig. 5 reconstructed shoreline of Bab-el-Mandeb at different Late UP dates (cal BP)|
The Persian Gulf “oasis”
Jeffrey I. Rose, NEW LIGHT ON HUMAN PREHISTORY AROUND THE PERSIAN GULF OASIS. (2009 or 2010?) [LINK]
The emerging picture of prehistoric Arabia suggests that early modern humans were able to survive hyperarid climatic conditions that periodically caused widespread landscape desiccation by contracting into environmental refugia around the coastal margins of the peninsula. This paper reviews new archaeological and palaeoenvironmental evidence from the richest of such zones in eastern Arabia: the “Persian Gulf Oasis.” These data are used to assess the role of this ancient alluvial plain, which, prior to being submerged beneath the waters of the Indian Ocean, was well-watered by the Tigris, Euphrates, Karun and Wadi Batin Rivers as well as subterranean aquifers flowing beneath the Arabian subcontinent. Inverse to the amount of annual precipitation falling across the interior of Arabia, reduced sea levels periodically exposed large portions of the Persian Gulf, equal at times to the size of Great Britain. Therefore, when the hinterland was desiccated, populations could have contracted into the Gulf Oasis and exploited the freshwater springs. This relationship between environmental amelioration/desiccation and marine transgression/regression is thought to have driven demographic exchange into and out of this zone over the course of the Upper Pleistocene and Early Holocene, as well as having played an important role in shaping the cultural evolution of local human populations during that interval.
Key maps are:
|Fig. 2 Map of ancient drainage systems in Arabia showing the Ur-Schatt River Valley as
the primary recipient of runoff within the regional catchment zone. Numbers indicate
known MP/UP sites in eastern Arabia and southern Iran.
|Cutoff from fig. 5 (Palaeo-shoreline configuration, drainage systems and archaeological sites around the Persian Gulf basin during the Upper Pleistocene and Early Holocene). Shown 74-24 Ka map only. Dots are archaeological sites.|
Other relevant links mentioned in that discussion are:
- Gahnim Wahida et al., A Middle Paleolithic Assemblage from Jebel Barakah,
Coastal Abu Dhabi Emirate. (Chapter in M.D. Petraglia and J.I. Rose (eds.), The Evolution of Human Populations in Arabia, Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology). [LINK]
- Marta Mirazón Lahr et al., Project: ‘Searching for traces of the Southern Dispersal’. General description of the archaeological research project0 by the ‘Petraglia team’. [LINK]
- Ancient Indian Ocean Corridors. Blog of the same team, inaugurated this spring. [LINK]
- Synopsis of Paleo India (2007). James B. Harrod. [LINK]