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

Paul Mellars, Kevin C. Gori, Martin Carr, Pedro A. Soares, Martin B. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

146 Citations (Scopus)

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 themost recent genetic evidence fromboth Africa and Asia and the archaeological evidence fromSouth 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.

LanguageEnglish
Pages10699-10704
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume110
Issue number26
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2013

Fingerprint

Technology
Neanderthals
Eastern Africa
Indonesia
South Africa
Bone and Bones
Population

Cite this

@article{385fe97b69bb44ecb57a54e3dd88e12c,
title = "Genetic and archaeological perspectives on the initial modern human colonization of southern Asia",
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 themost recent genetic evidence fromboth Africa and Asia and the archaeological evidence fromSouth 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 = "Archaeogenetics, India, mtDNA, Paleolithic",
author = "Paul Mellars and Gori, {Kevin C.} and Martin Carr and Soares, {Pedro A.} and Richards, {Martin B.}",
year = "2013",
month = "6",
day = "25",
doi = "10.1073/pnas.1306043110",
language = "English",
volume = "110",
pages = "10699--10704",
journal = "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America",
issn = "0027-8424",
publisher = "National Academy of Sciences",
number = "26",

}

Genetic and archaeological perspectives on the initial modern human colonization of southern Asia. / Mellars, Paul; Gori, Kevin C.; Carr, Martin; Soares, Pedro A.; Richards, Martin B.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 110, No. 26, 25.06.2013, p. 10699-10704.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Genetic and archaeological perspectives on the initial modern human colonization of southern Asia

AU - Mellars, Paul

AU - Gori, Kevin C.

AU - Carr, Martin

AU - Soares, Pedro A.

AU - Richards, Martin B.

PY - 2013/6/25

Y1 - 2013/6/25

N2 - 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 themost recent genetic evidence fromboth Africa and Asia and the archaeological evidence fromSouth 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.

AB - 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 themost recent genetic evidence fromboth Africa and Asia and the archaeological evidence fromSouth 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.

KW - Archaeogenetics

KW - India

KW - mtDNA

KW - Paleolithic

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84879512750&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1073/pnas.1306043110

DO - 10.1073/pnas.1306043110

M3 - Article

VL - 110

SP - 10699

EP - 10704

JO - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

T2 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

JF - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

SN - 0027-8424

IS - 26

ER -