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Dilmun civilisation
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Bahrain digs unveil one of oldest civilisations

Excavations at an archaeological site in Bahrain are shedding light on one of the oldest trading civilisations.
Despite its antiquity, comparatively little is known about the advanced culture represented at Saar.
The site in Bahrain, thought to be the location of the enigmatic Dilmun civilisation, was recently discussed at a conference in Manama, the Gulf nation's capital, organised by the UN's educational, scientific and cultural body (Unesco).

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RE: Garden of Eden
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 Ancient network of rivers and lakes found in Arabian Desert

Satellite images have revealed that a network of ancient rivers once coursed their way through the sand of the Arabian Desert, leading scientists to believe that the region experienced wetter periods in the past.
The images are the starting point for a major potentially ground-breaking research project led by the University of Oxford into human evolutionary heritage. The research team will look at how long-term climate change affected early humans and animals who settled or passed through and what responses determined whether they were able to survive or died out.
Until now this part of the world has been largely ignored by scholars despite its critical location as a bridge between Africa and Eurasia. In a project funded by Euro 2.34 million from the ERC (European Research Council), a multidisciplinary team of researchers will study the effects of environmental change in the Arabian Peninsula over the last two million years. The systematic study of the Pleistocene to Holocene periods will be unique in its length and level of detail.

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Dalma
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Dalma is an island located in the western region of Abu Dhabi emirate, about 80kms east of the Qatar peninsula, and . The island is about 9 kms from north to south (not taking into account its modern landfilled peninsula to the south) and is 5kms from east to west. Its central hills rise to a maximum elevation of 98 m above sea-level. Dalma is a salt-dome island with a central hilly interior of pre-Cambrian age. The island has a modern population of around 6-7000 people. Dalma is known in the past to have had a permanent population which was made possible by the presence of wells near Dalma town, the main settlement located at the southern tip of the island. Around 200 wells are reputed to have once existed there, with freshwater being supplied to Abu Dhabi island until the 1950s.
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Ancient settlements detected at Dalma Island and Al Khan

Archaeologists have discovered the buried remains of neolithic, medieval and later structures at two sites using sophisticated imaging technology.
The group from the UK's University of Southampton spent the past two weeks examining coastal sites on Dalma Island in Al Gharbia and Al Khan in Sharjah, and said neolithic man was not as different from people today as one might think.

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Hammar marshes
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Archaeologists explore Iraqi marshes for origins of urbanisation

The first non-Iraqi archaeological investigation of the Tigris-Euphrates delta in 20 years was a preliminary foray by three women who began to explore the links between wetland resources and the emergence and growth of cities last year.
The project aims to investigate the contributions of the early-mid Holocene shoreline of the gulf and marshes to the economic foundations of Mesopotamian cities. The researchers are looking at archaeological sites from 5,000 B.C. to Islamic times.

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RE: Garden of Eden
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It is thought to be the original Garden of Eden.
A place so beautiful, teeming with water and life, that according to the Christian faith it was the birthplace of mankind.
That was until the 1980s, when Saddam Hussein drained these great wetlands of southern Iraq, destroying them, turning them to desert.
However, since his overthrow, a remarkable effort has begun to restore these Mesopotamian Marshes, among the most important wetland habitat in the world.

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Persian Gulf Oasis
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Jeffrey Rose, an archaeologist and researcher with the University of Birmingham, now believes that the area in and around what he calls the "Persian Gulf Oasis" may have been home to humans for over 100,000 years before it was inundated by rising sea level of the Indian Ocean around 8,000 years ago.
It is and exciting hypothesis that introduces a "new and substantial cast of characters" to the human history of the Near East, and suggests that humans may have established permanent settlements in the region thousands of years before current migration models suggest.

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RE: Garden of Eden
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Lost civilization may have been beneath Persian Gulf

Veiled beneath the Persian Gulf, a once-fertile landmass may have supported some of the earliest humans outside Africa some 75,000 to 100,000 years ago, a new review of research suggests.
At its peak, the floodplain now below the Gulf would have been about the size of Great Britain, and then shrank as water began to flood the area. Then, about 8,000 years ago, the land would have been swallowed up by the Indian Ocean, the review scientist said.
The study, which is detailed in the December issue of the journal Current Anthropology, has broad implications for aspects of human history. For instance, scientists have debated over when early modern humans exited Africa, with dates as early as 125,000 years ago and as recent as 60,000 years ago (the more recent date is the currently accepted paradigm), according to study researcher Jeffrey Rose, an archaeologist at the University of Birmingham in the U.K.

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Persian Gulf Oasis
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A once fertile landmass now submerged beneath the Persian Gulf may have been home to some of the earliest human populations outside Africa, according to an article published today in Current Anthropology.
Jeffrey Rose, an archaeologist and researcher with the University of Birmingham in the U.K., says that the area in and around this "Persian Gulf Oasis" may have been host to humans for over 100,000 years before it was swallowed up by the Indian Ocean around 8,000 years ago. Rose's hypothesis introduces a "new and substantial cast of characters" to the human history of the Near East, and suggests that humans may have established permanent settlements in the region thousands of years before current migration models suppose.
In recent years, archaeologists have turned up evidence of a wave of human settlements along the shores of the Gulf dating to about 7,500 years ago.

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RE: Garden of Eden
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The United Nations wants an ancient wetland in southeast Iraq, thought to be the biblical Garden of Eden, listed as a world heritage site.
The UN Environment Program, based in Kenya, says the Marshlands are of cultural and ecological significance but were almost completely drained in the 1990s during Saddam Hussein's rule.

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