Toba's eruption provides snapshot to life in India 74,000 years ago

Archaeologist have a developed a clearer picture of what life in India was like, 74,000 years ago before and after the massive supervolcano eruption of Toba in Sumatra.
Lake Toba sunset
photo credit: Marc Veraart

New archaeological sites reveal life after ancient Toba eruption
The Star, 23 February 2010

Newly discovered archaeological sites in southern and northern India have revealed how people lived before and after the colossal Toba volcanic eruption 74,000 years ago, according to Press Trust of India (PTI) on Tuesday.

The international and multidisciplinary research team, led by Oxford University in collaboration with Indian institutions, has uncovered what it calls ‘Pompeii-like excavations’ beneath the Toba ash.

The seven-year project examines the environment that humans lived in, their stone tools, as well as the plants and animal bones of the time.

“This suggests that human populations were present in India prior to 74,000 years ago, or about 15,000 years earlier than expected based on some genetic clocks,” said project director Michael Petraglia, Senior Research Fellow in the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford.

Full article here.


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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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