53rd Seminar for Arabian Studies – University of Leiden – 11-13 July 2019

The 53rd Seminar for Arabian Studies, organised by the International Association for the Study of Arabia (IASA), will be held at in the Lipsius Building of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands from Thursday 11th to Saturday 13th July 2019.

Click here for details of the programme.

 The Seminar for Arabian Studies is the only international forum that meets annually for the presentation of the latest academic research in the humanities on the Arabian Peninsula from the earliest times to the present day or, in the case of political and social history, to the end of the Ottoman Empire (1922). The Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies are published the following year in time for the next Seminar.

A Special Session on the Stone Tools of Prehistoric Arabia will be held at the Seminar for Arabian Studies on Friday 12th July. Focusing on patterns and changes in stone tool assemblages from Arabian prehistory, this special session will bring together lithic experts working on the Arabian Palaeolithic to provide insights from deep-time evolution and experts working on Holocene lithic assemblages providing insights from high resolution records with more details available about palaeo-environmental and chronological contexts. In doing so, the session aims at compiling an overview of spatio-temporal patterns in lithic typo-technology in Arabia. From this foundation we hope to grasp and discuss the evolution of stone tools in Arabia, possible factors behind this process and their potential implications.

I will be co-presenting a paper in this Special Session on Stone Tools of Prehistoric Arabia with Heiko Kallweit entitled:

Lithics from Delma Island excavations – remarks on the lithic assemblage from a coastal Ubaid-related settlement site, 1992-2016


An important Neolithic Ubaid-related coastal settlement site (known by the site codes DA11, DA12 or DLM0019) was first discovered on Dalma Island, Abu Dhabi emirate, UAE, in 1992 by the former Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey (ADIAS). The site is located at what was originally the southern tip of the island. The site was first investigated between 1992-1994 (when surface collections and limited excavations were undertaken), and then in 1998 and 2015-2016 (when more substantial excavations took place). During the course of these field campaigns a total of about 35.000 lithics were retrieved from the site which are now catalogued and archived by the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT Abu Dhabi).

The Delma Neolithic site, now re-named by the DCT site code DLM0019, comprises stratified layers of occupational remains, which have been radiocarbon dated to the late 6th millennium to mid-5th millennium BC. A natural flint source has been identified on the north-west coast of the island during the early stages of investigation in the 1990s. This provides a comparably low quality, mostly nodular flint with inclusions, fractures and mostly a thick bright coloured cortex. Unfortunately, this source has now been consumed by modern construction activities on the island.

The bulk of the lithic production on Delma appears to be of local origin, as seen by the final products and rejects or production waste recorded at the site. There only appears to be a small number of imported final products.