It is the world's most ancient settlement yet discovered of anatomically modern humans outside of Africa.
Archaeologists found three different Paleolithic settlements which date from 125,000 years ago (125 kya) to 34,000 years ago (34 kya). These indicate that early human groups were living around the Persian Gulf basin throughout the Late Pleistocene.
Simon Armitage, Sabah A. Jasim, Anthony E. Marks, Adrian G. Parker, Vitaly I. Usik and Hans-Peter Uerpmann published findings on three assemblages of stone tools from Jebel Faya in the January 2011 edition of the journal Science. They argue that style of the tools indicate their makers were AMH. So, a migration of AMH from Africa populating Arabia took place during an interglacial period. They then became cut off from East African populations when the Sahara returned to desert conditions. Dating was accomplished by thermoluminescence dating of sand grains found buried with the tools. Furthermore, they argue that the site's population could have spread eastward across the southern coast of Asia, which "implies that AMH may have been present in South Asia before the Toba eruption."
- From the Trenches - New Evidence for Mankind's Earliest Migrations - Archaeology Magazine Archive
- Kamrani, Kambiz (January 27, 2011). "125,000 Year Old Hand Axes From Jebel Faya, UAE". Anthropology.net. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
- "Early human migration written in stone tools : Nature News". Nature. 27 January 2011.
- Armitage, Simon; Sabah A. Jasim, Anthony E. Marks, Adrian G. Parker, Vitaly I. Usik, and Hans-Peter Uerpmann (28 January 2011). "The Southern Route "Out of Africa": Evidence for an Early Expansion of Modern Humans into Arabia". Science 331 (6016): 453–456. doi:10.1126/science.1199113. PMID 21273486. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
- Lost Civilization May Have Existed Beneath the Persian Gulf - December 10, 2010
- Nature: Early human migration written in stone tools - 27 January 2011
- Science: Did Modern Humans Travel Out of Africa Via Arabia? - 28 January 2011 (requires subscription or proxy)