|Fig. 1 Nubian Complex occurrences|
Late Nubian Complex assemblages have been found in stratigraphic succession overlying early Nubian Complex horizons at Sodmein Cave  and Taramsa Hill 1  in Egypt; in both cases separated by a chronological hiatus. The early Nubian Complex roughly corresponds to early MIS 5, while numerical ages for the late Nubian Complex in northeast Africa fall in the latter half of MIS 5.
For the time being, the apparent distribution of Nubian Levallois technology in Arabia is limited to the Nejd plateau and, perhaps, Hadramaut valley (Fig. 1). Archaeological surveys in central/northern Oman have not produced any evidence of Nubian Complex occupation , , nor have Nubian Complex occurrences yet been found in eastern , –, central, or northern Arabia –.
|Fig. 10 Dhofar Nubian Complex’ points|
Taking into account its distinct, regionally-specific characteristics, Marks  notes that the Nubian Complex has no exogenous source and, therefore, probably derives from a local Nilotic tradition rooted in the late Middle Pleistocene (~200–128 ka). This supposition is supported by the early Nubian Complex assemblage at Sai Island, northern Sudan, which overlies a Lupemban occupation layer dated to between ~180 and 150 ka.
The first hint of the Nubian Complex extending into southern Arabia was documented by Inizan and Ortlieb , who illustrate three cores from Wadi Muqqah in western Hadramaut, Yemen, with Nubian Type 1 and Type 2 technological features. More recently, Crassard  presents a handful of Levallois point cores exhibiting Nubian Type 1 preparation from Wadi Wa’shah, central Hadramaut, Yemen.
|Fig. 3 Dhofar ecological zones and place names mentioned in text.|
- MIS 5a – 84.74 (wet)
- MIS 5b – 92.84 (?)
- MIS 5c – 105.92 (wet)
- MIS 5d – 115.105 (?)
- MIS 5e – 130.115 (very wet and warm: Eemian interglacial)
… the monsoon increased in intensity during three intervals within MIS 5. Among these humid episodes, the last interglacial (sub-stage 5e; 128–120 ka) appears to represent the most significant wet phase within the entire Late Pleistocene, with rainfall surpassing all subsequent pluvials , . Later, less substantial humid episodes associated with sub-stages 5c (110–100 ka) and 5a (90–74 ka) are also attested to in the palaeoenvironmental record. Uncertainties remain concerning the extent to which the climate deteriorated in the intervening sub-stages 5d (120–110 ka) and 5b (100–90 ka).
|Dhofar mountains in monsoon season|
The authors discard the Levantine route because of the techno-cultural isolation of the Shkul-Qafzeh group.
… we surmise that at least two technologically (hence culturally) differentiated groups were present at this time: Nubian Levallois in southern Arabia and centripetal preferential Levallois with bifacial tools in northern/eastern Arabia.
… north-south demographic exchange between ~60–50 ka. South Arabian populations may have spread to the north at this time, taking with them a Nubian-derived Levallois technology based on elongated point production struck from bidirectional Levallois cores, which is notably the hallmark of the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic transition in the Levant , .
- Some key archaeological papers on the ‘coastal route’ (on Fields 2007, Bailey 2009 and Rose 2010)
- Coastal route through Arabia 130,000 years ago confirmed? (on Armitage 2011)
- Middle Paleolithic of Nefud (Arabia) (on Petraglia 2011)
- The various options for the migration out of Africa (a review of all the former)
- R.C. Walter 2000, Early human occupation of the Red Sea coast of Eritrea during the last interglacial (Nature – ppv)
- P. van Peer 2003, The Early to Middle Stone Age Transition and the Emergence of Modern Human Behaviour at site 8-B-11, Sai Island, Sudan (PDF)
- Ghanim Wahida 2009, A Middle Paleolithic Assemblage from Jebel Barakah, Coastal Abu Dhabi Emirate (PDF)
- M. Petraglia 2010, Out of Africa: new hypothesis and evidence for the dispersal of Homo sapiens along the Indian Ocean rim (scribd)