Original paper

Lacustrine to palustrine sediments from the Sirwah Oasis, Yemen sedimentological implications for the local paleoecology and archeology

Weiss, Christian; Brunner, Ueli


This work presents a new record of a paleolake in the Yemeni Highlands. The sedimentary record shows a fast development of a permanent water body with diatoms and freshwater gastropods revealing environmental conditions of a shallow, eutrophic water body. During younger (earlier) stages of sedimentation, the sediments show a slow decrease of humidity (rain) with dry interruptions (arid conditions). Stable isotope data of gastropods evidence this development, in lower parts of the profile, they have negative values for δ18O, in the upper parts the values show a large variation with positive values corresponding with changing conditions in the sedimentary environment. Prehistoric settlements around the lake deposits suggest that men profited from this special environment.