Geoarchaeological research on the sedimentary fill of rockshelters and caves in the Gebel Qara (Dhofar, Southern Oman) has revealed the onset of heavy rains at 8700 yr B.P. These rains, produced by strengthening of the Southwest monsoon, abruptly altered the dry environment dominant in the area since the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Comparison of cave fills from the southern and northern fringes of the Gebel Qara indicates that the monsoon effects were limited to the southern and central part of the mountain range, directly facing the sea, and did not penetrate into the Nejd Desert. Â© 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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