There have been numerous supervolcano-eruptions that have taken place over the course of the last 2 million years, shaping the Earth to its present form. The Toba super-eruption on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, which took place over 74,000 years ago, is known as the biggest of them all to date. The supervolcano has been known for years to be a global catastrophe that led to a large-scale human extinction in the area.
However, the story may not be entirely true, as it has been discovered by a group of archaeologists that the aftermaths were not as apocalyptic as they are considered to be and that humans were clearly able to flourish through the super-eruption.
Archaeologists have uncovered an old stone tool industry at the Dhaba excavation site in the northern part of India. They discovered that the stone tools in the area were unchanging in nature from both before and after the Toba supervolcano-eruption took place. It suggested that humans continued to live in the area during the impact of the Toba super-explosion.
Archaeologist Chris Clarkson from the University of Queensland explained the fact that those toolkits did not disappear at the Dhaba excavation site during Toba supervolcano-eruption or did not go through any dramatic changes soon after. This is a sign that shows the human population was able to survive the so-called catastrophe and continued to create tools to modify their environments.
It is said that there was a huge drop in genetic diversity of humans at the time the Toba supervolcano-eruption had taken place which led to most people to believe that the volcanic eruption could be major the cause behind the massive decline, wiping out a major chunk of the population at the time. Some people also believed that post-eruption, there was a very long volcanic winter which lasted almost a decade.
The findings have confirmed that the Toba supervolcano-eruption did not result in a major impact on the people who resided in the area at the time. However, it is believed that those people had actually branched into smaller groups and spread across Eurasia, leading to a diminishing genetic diversity in the area.
Image credits: Unsplash | Yosh Ginsu