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Volume 37, issue 1 | Copyright
J. Micropalaeontol., 37, 167-180, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 17 Jan 2018

Research article | 17 Jan 2018

A humid early Holocene in Yemen interpreted from palaeoecology and taxonomy of freshwater ostracods

Munef Mohammed1, Peter Frenzel2, Dietmar Keyser3, Fadhl Hussain1, Abdulkareem Abood1, Abdulmajed Sha'af1, Sadham Alzara'e1, and Sakher Alammari1 Munef Mohammed et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Sanaa University, Sanaa, Yemen
  • 2Institute of Geosciences, Friedrich Schiller University, Burgweg 11, 07749 Jena, Germany
  • 3Zoologisches Institut, Martin-Luther-King Platz 3, 20146 Hamburg, Germany

Abstract. Lake or marsh sediments in the Qa'a Jahran–Dhamār area indicate a period of higher moisture availability in the early Holocene of the highlands of Yemen. Forty-two marl–peat sediment samples from eight stratigraphic sections of that area have been collected and are examined for the first time for their ostracod associations. Eight species belonging to seven genera and four families are reported. Their ecological tolerances and preferences are used to investigate the climatic and environmental changes in the early to mid-Holocene. Our data are compared and correlated with previous archaeological results, particularly from the region of Qa'a Jahran (Dhamār) in the vicinity of the village of Beyt Nahmi. We conclude that the wettest period of the Holocene was from about 7900 to 7400calyrBP, when northwards incursion of the Indian Ocean Monsoon caused intensified monsoon precipitation over southern Arabia.

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With the help of remnants of small crustaceans that fossilize easily and live only in different types of freshwater, we could verify the fact that the Holocene was wetter than today; this also influenced the human population at that time. Due to the higher moisture, farming and husbandry was probably possible. We could also clarify some of the changes in time in these very fertile areas. This is also a help for the archaeologists who have recently carried out many excavations in the same area.
With the help of remnants of small crustaceans that fossilize easily and live only in different...