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.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Palaeoanthropology: Early Homo sapiens in China

The timing of the dispersal of our species from Africa is a continuing and lively topic of debate. Evidence that modern humans existed in China more than 100,000 years ago is both equivocal and thought-provoking. Read More.

Giant Eruption Cut Down to Size

More than 2000 times as massive as the blast that ripped open Mount St. Helens in 1980, the Indonesian "super-volcano" Toba ejected millions of metric tons of volcanic ash, sulfur, and other debris into the atmosphere 74,000 years ago. The eruption darkened the skies, cooled the globe by 10˚C for half a decade, and redirected the course of human evolution. At least that's what some climatologists and archeologists have concluded. But a new model indicates that Toba's climate effects were milder and abated quickly, suggesting that humans may have made it through the incident relatively unscathed. Read More