PADMAC Logo: Unit for the study of Palaeolithic Artefacts andassociated Deposits Mapped as Clay-with-flints 

The PADMAC Unit undertakes the study of:

The Palaeolithic Research Agenda for Qatar as presented here is primarily concerned with academic and scientific research rather than any management issues. 


 Stone tools represent the earliest evidence of Palaeolithic occupation in Qatar, as elsewhere. These, the most ancient of artefacts, are found in a variety of different locations, such as limestone ridges and wadi terraces (Scott-Jackson J.E. et al., 2009). As Qatar succumbs to increasing pressure to meet the demands of the 21st Century, the survival of important Palaeolithic evidence is threatened by, for example, road building and urban development. Opportunities to discover and conserve Palaeolithic artefacts in Qatar may, in recent times, have been lost as the result of disagreements regarding the original categorization of stone tools discovered by Holger Kapel (1967). These disagreements led subsequent investigators to believe that there could be no Palaeolithic in Qatar (see Scott-Jackson J.E. et al., 2008:43-44; Scott-Jackson J.E. et al., 2009:125, for a discussion of the argument ).


Advances in knowledge rely on measures taken now to preserve enough physical and documentary evidence to secure an understanding of the Palaeolithic of Qatar. To this end, a research methodology has been developed by the PADMAC Unit, under the direction of Dr Julie Scott-Jackson (University of Oxford). The focus of the methodology is the use of a Palaeolithic Survey Grid (PSG) for Qatar.      

The PSG is a matrix of 4km x 4km grid squares (see Figure 1) which cover the whole of Qatar (the PSG coordinates comply with the Qatar National Grid system). Each specific grid square in the PSG has a unique identifier which allows repeatable, testable fieldwork data sets to be produced. The use of this method facilitates both the coordination of Palaeolithic field investigations (wherever in Qatar they are conducted) and retention/access to the information generated. The Palaeolithic Survey Grid master record, in addition to all other relevant data, is held on the QNHER GIS Database.
        The aim of the PSG methodology is to ensure that whenever Palaeolithic investigations are undertaken in Qatar, the resultant data is incorporated into the Palaeolithic database. Recording the presence or absence of Palaeolithic archaeology in any one place has a two-fold purpose. Firstly, it allows for the monitoring of areas that may be affected by weather and geomorphological processes that can effectively reveal or cover artefact scatters. Secondly, having determined with certainty the presence or absence of Palaeolithic archaeology, a better understanding of the Palaeolithic use of the landscape as a whole can be achieved. If Palaeolithic surface scatters (or indeed isolated artefacts) are found, then appropriate methodologies must be deployed to investigate such archaeology (for additional information and methodologies, see Scott-Jackson J.E. et al., 2008:51).