Papers presented at the Seminar for Arabian Studies

PI Joy McCorriston and Abigail Buffington presented two papers on ASOM research at the Seminar for Arabian Studies, this year in Leiden (the Netherlands). McCorriston presented a paper on monuments in Dhufar with an emphasis on boat-shaped graves the team excavated at D114 this past field season. Buffington presented the results of the settlement survey along with preliminary spatial analysis. Additionally, team member Joe Roe presented survey results from his latest field season in eastern Jordan.

Molen de Valk windmill in the center of Leiden

A field trip to Tabletop Game Cafe

Ok, so its not quite a three-month archaeological field season in Dhofar, but it made a nice change from the Research Commons Seminar Room at OSU and we even got to spend some time in the Forbidden Desert!!

We got together at Tabletop Café to select a board game to ‘deconstruct’ at the upcoming PAST Foundation Agent-Based Modelling Summer Camp. We will be picking apart the game into various components, just as scientists do with complex socio-ecological systems.

We decided on Qwirkle!

A repository of geospatial datasets for Al Mahra and Dhofar

We have compiled a collection of geospatial datasets for the Central South Arabian mountains (CSAM) in Al Mahra, Yemen and Dhofar, Oman. They are stored in the Pangaea data repository and can be accessed here

Included are vegetation indices, topographic variables, geomorphology metrics and a layer of fog density. The latter was calculated using a novel fog detection method, shows the average spatial variability in fog and will help improve our understanding of how fog influences vegetation patterns in the region. Vector layers of roads, places and waterpoints are also included.

The datasets can be utilized by researchers from a range of disciplines whom are conducting research in the CSAM region. More specifically, use of the datasets in the fields of geography, anthropology, archaeology, ecology and conservation is encouraged. The datasets could be used in a  range of analytical and modelling techniques or utilized early in the research process to inform research design, fieldwork logistics and/or sampling strategies.

The Paleoethnobotany Laboratory’s Arabian Herbarium is receiving a facelift

The Paleoethnobotany Laboratory Arabian Herbarium is receiving a facelift after new samples arrived from the Oman Botanic Garden this past spring. The Arabian Herbarium has been one of Dr. Joy McCorriston’s many projects. This extensive collection of plants from the Mediterranean to the southern coasts of Yemen have proven to be indispensable as it assists many researchers with plant identification of macro, photolith, pollen, and charcoaled remains.

Ohio State Senior, Jackie Stewart, has been leading the crusade to update the collection to include the new samples from the recent 2018 Autumn Field Season. Stewart is a Biology major minoring in Physical Anthropology and History. She will be graduating in December 2019. Her and Annalee Sekulic’s work mainly focuses on the data organization of the diverse range of plants being entered and mounted in the herbarium. Stewart is passionate about the breadth and immense diversity of knowledge which is found in Arabia.

Welcome Back, Kyle Riordan!

Graduate student and former hyrax midden hunter Kyle Riordan will rejoin the ASOM Team in August to coordinate laboratory and sedimentological analysis. (Kyle is the one on the left!)

French Mission visits Rock Art Discovered by ASOM Field Team

Omani Ministry of Heritage and Culture representative Ali Ahmad Al-Kathiri reports that a French archaeological team has visited the rock art our ASOM team documented in at Mthbon in November 2019. Much in need of dedicated research attention, this rock art stretches along one of the eastern upper tributaries to Wadi Darbat. We hope the French Mission with its expertise in paleography and epigraphy will take on further study!

New PhD for Abigail Buffington

Congratulations to Abby Buffington who passed the oral defense of her dissertation, Using Phytolith Assemblages to Detect a Pastoral Niche in the Vegetation Communities and Plant Exploitation Strategies of Early-Middle Holocene Herders in Wadi Sana, Yemen.

Left to Right: Mark Moritz; Mark Hubbe; Abby Buffington; Joy McCorriston; Julie Field; Graduate Faculty Representative Matthew Anderson; (External Examiner Arlene Rosen not shown)