W2 Professor and Lise Meitner Group Leader of the Pan African
Research Group, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

ERC Palaeodeserts Project

The Palaeodeserts Projects a European Research Council and Max Planck Society funded project investigating one million years of climate change and human evolution in the Arabian Peninsula, the crossroads of human dispersals. The project is led by Professor Michael Petraglia (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History) and is a large, multidisciplinary endeavor involving numerous specialists and employing novel methodologies to reconstruct past climates and human evolution in multiple locations of Saudi Arabia. Since 2013, I have been a research associate on this project.

Publications:

Scerri, E.M.L., Shipton, C., Clark-Balzan, L., Frouin, M., Schwenninger, J.-L., Groucutt, H.S., Breeze, P.S., Parton, A., Blinkhorn, J., Drake, N.A., Jennings, R., Cuthbertson, P., Al Omari, A., Alsharekh, A.M., Petraglia, M.D. The expansion of later Acheulean hominins into the Arabian Peninsula. Scientific Reports 8, 17165 (2018).

Roberts, P., Stewart, M., Aziz, N., Breeze, P., Drake, N., Groucutt, H.S., Scerri, E.M.L., Lee-Thorp, J., Louys, J., Zalmout, I., Zech, J., Boivin, N., Petraglia, M.D. Fossil herbivore stable isotopes reveal Pleistocene hominin palaeoenvironment in ‘Green Arabia’. Nature Ecology and Evolution 2, 1871–1878 (2018).

Scerri, E.M.L., Guagnin, M., Groucutt, H.S., Armitage, A.J., Parker, L.E., Drake, N.A., Louys, J., Breeze, P., Zahir, M., Alsharekh, A., Petraglia, M.D. 2018. Neolithic pastoralism in extreme marginal environments during the mid-Holocene wet phase, northern Saudi Arabia. Antiquity 92 (365), 1180-1194 (2018).

Shipton, C., Blinkhorn, J., Breeze, P.S., Cuthbertson, P., Drake, N., Groucutt, H.S., Jennings, R.P., Parton, A., Scerri, E.M.L., Alsharekh, A., Petraglia, M.D. 2018. Acheulean technology and landscape use at Dawadmi, central Arabia. PLoS ONE 13(7): e0200497 (2018).

Groucutt, H.S., Grün, R., Zalmout, I.S.A., Drake, N.A., Armitage, S.J., Candy, I., Clark-Wilson, R., Louys, J., Breeze, P.S., Duval, M., Buck, L.T., Kivell, T., Pomeroy, E., Stephens, N., Stock, J.T., Stewart, M., Price, G.J., Kinsley, L., Sung, W.W., Alsharekh, A., Al-Omari, A., Zahir, M., Memesh, A.M., Abdulshakoor, A.J., Al-Masari, A.M., Bahameem, A.A., Al Murayyi, K.S.M., Zahrani, B., Scerri, E.M.L., Petraglia, M.D. 2018. Homo sapiens in Arabia 85 thousand years ago. Nature Ecology and Evolution 2, 800–809 (2018).

Groucutt, H.S., Scerri, E.M.L., Amor, K., Shipton, C., Jennings, R.P, Parton, A., Clark-Balzan, L., Alsharekh, A., Petraglia, M.D. Middle Palaeolithic raw material procurement and early stage reduction at Jubbah, Saudi Arabia. Archaeological Research in Asia 9, 44-62 (2017).

Breeze, P.S.,  Groucutt, H.S.,  Drake, N.A.,  Louys, J.,  Scerri, E.M.L.,  Armitage, Zalmout, I.S.A., Memesh, A.M., Haptari, M.A., Soubhi, S.A., Matari, H.A.,  Zahir, M.,  Al-Omari, A., Alsharekh, A.M., Petraglia, M.D. Prehistory and palaeoenvironments of the western Nefud Desert, Saudi Arabia. Archaeological Research in Asia 10, 1-16 (2017).

Stimpson, C.M., Lister, A., Parton, A., Clark-Balzan, L., Breeze, P.S., Drake, N.A., Groucutt, H.S., Jennings, R., Scerri, E.M.L., White, T.S., Zahir, M., Duval, M., Grün,  R., Al-Omari, A., Sultan, K., Al Murayyi, M., Zalmout, I.S., Mufarreh, Y.A., Memesh, A.M., Petraglia, M.D. Middle Pleistocene vertebrate fossils from the Nefud Desert, Saudi Arabia: implications for biogeography and palaeoecology. Quaternary Science Reviews 143, 13-36 (2016).

Scerri, E.M.L., Breeze, P., Parton, A., Groucutt, H.S., Stimpson, C., White, T.S., Clarke-Balzan, L., Jennings, R., Petraglia, M.D. Middle to Late Pleistocene human habitation in the western Nefud Desert, Saudi Arabia. Quaternary International 382, 200-214 (2015).

Groucutt, H.S, Shipton, C., Scerri, E.M.L., Alsharekh, A., Petraglia, M.D. Late Pleistocene lakeshore settlement in northern Arabia: Middle Palaeolithic technology from Jebel Katefeh, Jubbah. Quaternary International 382, 215-236 (2015).

Breeze, P.S., Drake, N.A., Groucutt, H.S., Parton, A., Jennings, R.P., White, T.S., Clark-Balzan, L., Shipton, S., Scerri, E.M.L., Stimpson, C.M., Crassard, R., Hilbert, Y., Alsharekh, A., Al-Omari, A., Petraglia, M.D. Remote sensing and GIS techniques for reconstructing Arabian palaeohydrology and identifying archaeological sites. Quaternary International 382, 98-119 (2015).

Stimpson, C.M., Breeze, P., Clarke-Balzan, L., Groucutt, H.S., Jennings, R.P, Parton, A., Scerri, E.M.L, White, T., Petraglia, M.D. Preliminary observations of stratified Pleistocene vertebrates with a new record of Panthera gombaszogensis (Kretzoi, 1938) from northern Saudi Arabia. Quaternary International 382, 169-180 (2015)

Groucutt, H. S., Clark-Balzan, L., Crassard, R., Shipton, C., Parton, S., Jennings, R., Parker, A.G., Breeze, P., Scerri, E.M.L., Alsharekh, A., Petraglia, M. D. Human occupation of the Arabian Empty Quarter during MIS 5: evidence from Mundafan al-Buhayrah, Saudi Arabia. Quaternary Science Reviews 119, 116-135 (2015).

Scerri E.M.L., Groucutt H. S., Jennings, R., Petraglia, M. D. Unexpected technological heterogeneity in northern Arabia indicates complex Late Pleistocene demography at the gateway to Asia. Journal of Human Evolution 75, 125-142 (2014).

I am a member of the field team and I am also responsible for analyzing artefacts using a number of different techniques, integrating results with climate data and coordinating dating. The artefacts I work with range from the Lower Palaeolithic to the Holocene.

The project's website with details of our work and the rest of the team can be found here : www.palaeodeserts.com.

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