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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jun 25;110(26):10699-704. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1306043110. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

Genetic and archaeological perspectives on the initial modern human colonization of southern Asia.

Author information

1
Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3DZ, United Kingdom. pam59@cam.ac.uk

Abstract

It has been argued recently that the initial dispersal of anatomically modern humans from Africa to southern Asia occurred before the volcanic "supereruption" of the Mount Toba volcano (Sumatra) at ∼74,000 y before present (B.P.)-possibly as early as 120,000 y B.P. We show here that this "pre-Toba" dispersal model is in serious conflict with both the most recent genetic evidence from both Africa and Asia and the archaeological evidence from South Asian sites. We present an alternative model based on a combination of genetic analyses and recent archaeological evidence from South Asia and Africa. These data support a coastally oriented dispersal of modern humans from eastern Africa to southern Asia ∼60-50 thousand years ago (ka). This was associated with distinctively African microlithic and "backed-segment" technologies analogous to the African "Howiesons Poort" and related technologies, together with a range of distinctively "modern" cultural and symbolic features (highly shaped bone tools, personal ornaments, abstract artistic motifs, microblade technology, etc.), similar to those that accompanied the replacement of "archaic" Neanderthal by anatomically modern human populations in other regions of western Eurasia at a broadly similar date.

KEYWORDS:

India; Paleolithic; archaeogenetics; mtDNA

PMID:
23754394
PMCID:
PMC3696785
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1306043110
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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