Stone Tools Show Humans in India Survived a Massive Volcanic Eruption 74,000 Years Ago

The Toba supervolcanic eruption about 74,000 years ago was one of the most colossal eruptions in the past 2 million years.

The massive eruption at the site of present-day Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia spewed an estimated 1,000 times as much rock as the 1980 eruption of Mt St Helens and, many believe, triggered a decade-long “volcanic winter” and a millenia-long glacial period.

This so-called Toba catastrophe theory left the global human population with just a few thousand survivors.

However, an ancient stone tool industry uncovered at Dhaba in northern India suggests that humans have continuously occupied the Middle Son Valley for roughly 80,000 years, both before and after the Toba eruption.

“Populations at Dhaba were using stone tools that were similar to the toolkits being used by Homo sapiens in Africa at the same time,” explains archaeologist Chris Clarkson from the University of Queensland.

“The fact that these toolkits did not disappear at the time of the Toba super-eruption or change dramatically soon after indicates that human populations survived the so-called catastrophe.”

At about the same time as the Toba eruption, our species was also going through a genetic bottleneck, an unmistakable drop in human genetic diversity, and the eruption seemed like a plausible cause for this drop in diversity.

But the authors say the thousands of stone tools found in Dhaba suggest that humans migrated out of Africa and expanded across Eurasia much earlier than expected, and that the Toba eruption did not, I repeat, did not, lead to extreme cooling, nor trigger a glacial period.

The study by Clarkson et al. was published in 2019 in Nature Communications.  ( )

For the time being, I think I’ll stick with the millenia-long glacial idea. According to Wikipedia, geologist Michael R. Rampino and volcanologist Stephen Self think the eruption caused a “brief, dramatic cooling or ‘volcanic winter'”, which resulted in a drop of the global mean surface temperature by 3–5 °C. Evidence from Greenland ice cores indicates a 1,000-year period of low δ18O and increased dust deposition immediately following the eruption. The eruption may have caused this 1,000-year period of cooler temperatures (stadial), two centuries of which could be accounted for by the persistence of the Toba stratospheric loading.

17 thoughts on “Stone Tools Show Humans in India Survived a Massive Volcanic Eruption 74,000 Years Ago”

  1. Humans arrived in Australia at about 65000 BC. Genetically they were descended from people from East Africa. It makes sense that if Toba erupted about 68000 BC, and the Earth then suffered from a “volcanic winter,” people would have moved to the seacoast and traveled along the coast, all the way from East Africa to Australia.

  2. DROUGHT AND COLD EARLY !!! (South Brazil)
    Irregular rain in SC throughout 2020 increasing the intensity of drought affecting agriculture and water supply in SC.
    Climaterra’s projections (Ronaldo Coutinho / Piter Scheuer) indicate the chance of La-Niña at the end of the first half throughout 2020 (NOAA Projection) which will make the rain very irregular in Santa Catarina (drought conditions) and cold arriving earlier.
    If the south of Brazil is going to suffer from drought and colder weather, imagine how great drought or how cold Argentina will face.

  3. We are and were diversified enough to have different subspecies of humanity despite the PC rhetoric to the contrary. There are plenty of differences in skull morphology, skin and hair , blood types and body shape to truthfully say that we are not all the same.
    One has to remember that it is possible for different subspecies to survive but not in large numbers and not in one area of the world within and beyond 80,000 years ago. The last of the neanderthals died out 26,000 years ago in Spain but between then and the Toba eruption there were plenty of chances for neanderthals to hybridize with early modern humans for example and in other parts of the world earlier forms of the genus homo could have evolved or blended with early modern humans. Europeans are not bleached black Africans and the Chinese and Amerindians are not Europeans with a sun tan. They are different subspecies and hybrids.

    • You are right about “us” being hybrids. Then mapping of the DNA of early modern humans/neanderthals proves this. It also is giving hints that we mated with a third, as yet unknown/found subspecies of humans, so the hunt is on.

    • Don’t tell the Afrocentric morons on YouTube that. Those idiots think that Europeans are albino Africans. Seriously. This in spite of non-African hair texture, different hair and eye colours, and different skin tones.

      • Yes. All races can be racist. I’m tired of the nonsense that Europeans are albino Africans or that we’re less than human. because we have Neanderthal in our genome. That nonsense nse has got to go. If an ice age is coming–and I think it may well be, we all need to pull together.

    • Whether you like it or not.
      Whether you believe it or not.
      Whether you acknowledge it or not, the fact is the races are irrevocably, undeniably, irreversibly mixed.
      And will continue to become more and more intertwined with each passing year.

  4. I place that point on the 20 degree line, to the left of the G in the rightmost glacial term.

    Four fairly regular glacial-interglacial cycles occurred during the past 450,000 years. The shorter interglacial cycles (10,000 to 30,000 years) were about as warm as present and alternated with much longer (70,000 to 90,000 years) glacial cycles substantially colder than present. Notice the longer time with jagged cooling events dropping into the colder glacials followed by the faster abrupt temperature swings to the warmer interglacials. This graph combines several ice-core records from Antarctica and is modified from several sources including Evidence for Warmer Interglacials in East Antarctic Ice Cores, 2009, L.C. Sime and others. Note the shorter time scale of 450,000 years compared to the previous figure, as well as the colder temperatures, which are latitude-specific (e.g., Antartica, Alaska, Greenland) temperature changes inferred from the Antarctic ice cores (and not global averages).

  5. these things seem to happen in 12,000 year cycles.

    What else happens in 12,000 year cycles- could it be, weakening of the Earth’s magnetic field due to lack of solar activity which could be caused by our position in the Galaxy’s magnetic region?

    If the Sun does a micro nova every 12,000 years, is that causing all this geolological disruption?

    One is due soon…..

    • That is a very interesting question. Do micronovas have something to do with the current geological problems or are there earth cycles that we don’t yet understand?

  6. A friend of mine is trying to get me to go to Church.

    I try and explain to him there are problems with his beliefs since they don’t account for “humans’ existing 74,000 years ago, or even 1 million years ago, or even 4 million years ago.

    Where was the “Plan of Salvation” for Lucy? For the Neanderthals? For the Australopithecus Africans? Did they receive the message of the Lord?

    Religions have a very, very, very, serious problem with the history of Hominids and Hominins…..Australian Aborigines have no “Plan of Salvation”..Why not?

    Anybody care to give a logical, reasonable, explanation? I am NOT trying to be a snot, it is just obvious there is something wrong here.

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