High atop a dusty plateau on the Arabian Peninsula, archaeologist Jeffrey Rose picked up a rock, saw something surprising, and started asking questions that could change history.
His unusual discoveries in southern Oman help shape new theories about when early humans may have exited Africa, who those pioneers were, and what route they took on the first stage of their journey to every corner of the Earth.
Some of the sites are in excess of 30 000 years in age.
What has surprised archaeologists was the finding of Pleistocene sites in extremely arid parts of the Pilbara, Central Australia and even as far south as the Nullarbor Plain.
Prior to the discovery of the sites of ancient habitation around the Top End it had been postulated by a number of researchers that the first Aboriginal People to arrive in Australia would have landed at places like Arnhem Land, Cape York or the Kimberly region, based on the proximity of these places to New Guinea and the islands of Southeast Asia.