Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Conference papers

Obsidian value and exchange in the southern Red Sea region and its role in the establishment of prehistoric complex society: new data from South Arabia and the African Horn

Abstract : The Red Sea is renowned as a locus of maritime activity during the early historic periods. As a resultof systematic obsidian analyses of sources and artifacts, maritime interaction in South Arabia can now be traced back to the beginning of the Neolithic period. Its increased intensity is echoed in the cultural sphere that eventually formed on opposing shores of the two continents by at least the third millennium B.C. New geochemical, archaeological, and technological data from South Arabia, Ethiopia and Djibouti illustrate the current state of research on Afro-Arabian prehistoric interactions, highlighting variabilities and relationships between two mirroring regions either bound or separated by the Red Sea. While major chronological gaps remain regarding the transition from the LSA to the Neolithic, the study of lithic and faunal material from several sites allows us to note major technological and subsistence shifts that occurred independently in each region, but also early links,such as maritime interaction, that may have affected the nature of the process of neolithization. Finally, we discuss obsidian circulation in light of elements of cultural convergence that make up theRed Sea cultural sphere and that occur sometime in the late 4th millennium B.C.
Complete list of metadatas

https://hal-univ-orleans.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02888166
Contributor : Scd Université d'Orléans <>
Submitted on : Thursday, July 2, 2020 - 5:55:38 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 4:14:04 PM

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-02888166, version 1

Citation

Clément Ménard, Bernard Gratuze, Amélie Diaz, Edward Keall, Lamya Khalidi. Obsidian value and exchange in the southern Red Sea region and its role in the establishment of prehistoric complex society: new data from South Arabia and the African Horn. 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Society for American Archaeology, Apr 2015, San Francisco, Californ, United States. ⟨hal-02888166⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

53