This blog provides a forum for presenting and discussing the latest findings relating to the ancient Indian Ocean, from archaeology, molecular genetics, historical linguistics and other disciplines. It takes a long-term view of the Indian Ocean region, exploring the processes that shaped its cultures, societies and environments from the Pleistocene to the historical period.

We welcome your ideas, inputs and views. Please provide news of relevent publications, conferences, meetings, and other events.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Out of Africa

Our team has recently written the article, "Out of Africa: new hypotheses and evidence for the dispersal of Homo sapiens along the Indian Ocean rim", published by the Annals of Human Biology. We argue that modern humans were present in Arabia and South Asia earlier than currently believed, and probably coincident with the presence of Homo sapiens in the Levant between ca 130 and 70,000 years ago. We go on to argue that climatic and environmental fluctuations during the last 125,000 years would have had significant demographic effects on Arabian and South Asian populations, though indigenous populations would have responded in different ways. Based on a review of the current genetic, archaeological and environmental data, we indicate that demographic patterns in Arabia and South Asia suggest an early dispersal. This new hypothesis, based on new evidence, contrasts with the consensus view of Indian Ocean movements, which contends that modern humans moved out of Africa 60,000 years ago, rapidly moving along the coast to eventually reach Australasia. This new model has obvious implications about the unfolding of the later demographic history of human populations in Eurasia.


  1. Hi,
    I would like to receive a pdf of the article. It is very valuabel for my climate work in the region.


  2. . I’ll probably come again to read much more, thanks for the info.