The Prehistoric Fisheries of Akab Island (United Arab Emirates): New Insights into Coastal Subsistence during Neolithic in Eastern Arabia

Abstract : The Neolithic period in Eastern Arabia (especially from 5500 to 3100 BC) is better understood due to recent excavations of stratified sites stretching from Kuwait to the Sultanate of Oman. When oasis agriculture developed from the Bronze Age onwards, herding, shellfish gathering, and fishing became the primary modes of subsistence, and despite strong regional aridity, coastal shell middens provide the best preservation conditions in the Persian Gulf. Akab, one of the many Neolithic shell middens of the United Arab Emirates coastline, is situated in the Umm al-Quwain lagoon. This settlement is dated to the second part of the fifth millennium BC and has provided more than 37,000 fish remains, derived from over 50 fish species. Ichthyofaunal analysis underlines the predominance of coastal pelagics, such as kawakawas and trevallies, and the exploitation of several coastal fishes, mostly seabreams and emperors. Inhabitants fished over a wide aquatic territory, which included shallow-water biotopes, situated inside the lagoon, and the open sea. The associated fishing gear, composed of stone sinkers and shell fishhooks, indicates that nets and lines were used. Here, we review the seasonal organization of activities and mobility schemes from an archaeo-ichthyological perspective.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 4, 2019 - 1:12:02 PM
Last modification on : Friday, November 15, 2019 - 1:18:46 AM

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Kévin Lidour, Philippe Béarez, Vincent Charpentier, Sophie Méry. The Prehistoric Fisheries of Akab Island (United Arab Emirates): New Insights into Coastal Subsistence during Neolithic in Eastern Arabia. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2019, pp.1-24. ⟨10.1080/15564894.2018.1531330⟩. ⟨hal-02055952⟩

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