This year, two papers covering recent progress in Project CLEAR were presented at the EGU General Assembly 2017, Vienna, Austria (23-28 April 2017).
In her talk on Friday, Nadine Dräger provided first insights into her dataset on lipid biomarkers from the palaeo-lake sequence of the Tayma sabkha basin. The presentation, held in a session comprising (palaeo-)environmental studies from early hominin Anthropocene sites, showed how the peak in concentration of long-chain n-alkanes positively correlates with what is assumed to represent the highest lake levels and most humid period in the Holocene. This peak is a further corroboration of an increase of mostly grassland vegetation at that time, as already identified in the local pollen record. Interestingly, the onset of most likely human faecal biomarkers significantly predates the initial occurrence of cultivation-related in the pollen spectra, possibly indicating nomad-like frequentation before the phase of mor eintense occupation and agricultural activities in the oasis since c. 6300 years ago. Please download the Abstract here.
Ina Neugebauer presented her findings on cryptotephra in the Holocene palaeolake sequence of Tayma, which has the same geochemical characteristics as the distal “S1 tephra” identified in the Yammoûneh palaeolake, Lebanon, the SE Levantine basin, and Sodmein Cave in The Estern Desert of Egypt. The pollen-based age model of the sequence provides a timing of 9041+/-254 cal yr BP and correlates well with previous age estimates of the Early Holocene eruption of Erciyes Dag volcano in central Anatolia, Turkey, which led to the formation of sapropel S1 in the Mediterranean Basin. Please download the Abstract here.