Modern humans first arose about 200,000 years ago in Africa but some new research suggests humankind left Africa traveling through the Arabian Peninsula instead of hugging its coasts, as long thought.

Over 100 newly discovered sites in the Sultanate of Oman might confirm that modern humans left Africa through Arabia long before genetic evidence suggests - the sites are located far inland. in the Dhofar Mountains of southern Oman, away from the coasts.

Two optically stimulated luminescence age estimates from the open-air site of Aybut Al Auwal in Oman place the Arabian Nubian Complex at ~106,000 years ago, providing archaeological evidence for the presence of a distinct northeast African Middle Stone Age technocomplex in southern Arabia.

Schematic of preferential Levallois core preparation strategies mentioned in text.

Citation: Rose JI, Usik VI, Marks AE, Hilbert YH, Galletti CS, et al. (2011) The Nubian Complex of Dhofar, Oman: An African Middle Stone Age Industry in Southern Arabia. PLoS ONE 6(11): e28239. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028239

Also check out: Arabian Artifacts May Rewrite 'Out of Africa' Theory By Charles Choi