Archaeologists believed that the eruption of the Toba supervolcano in India left only a few thousand surviving people in the world, but it turned out to be an exaggeration.
Australian scientists, together with colleagues from the United States, India and Europe, provided evidence that even in In India, people of the Middle Paleolithic era lived before and immediately after the eruption of the Toba supervolcano.
Of all the volcanic eruptions that have shocked our planet over the past 2 million years, the Toba eruption in India was one of the colossal. It happened about 74,000 years ago, erupting about 1,000 times more stone than the eruption of St. Helens in 1980. For some time it was believed that the fall was so strong that it caused a ten-year “volcanic winter ”and the millennium ice age.
But archaeological finds in Asia and Africa suggest that, although the eruption was really huge, the consequences were not apocalyptic, and, of course, people were not on the verge of extinction.
The researchers came to this conclusion by studying “ancient and unchanging stone tool industry ”in Duba in northern India. As a result of the analysis, it turned out that the age of the instruments coincides with the time of the Toba eruption.
“The population in Duba used stone tools that looked like tool kits that Homo Sapiens used in Africa during the same period. The fact that these toolboxes did not disappear during Toba’s super-eruption and did not change shortly afterwards indicates that the human population survived the so-called catastrophe and continued to create tools to change their environment, ”explains archaeologist Chris Clarkson of the University Queensland.
The authors of the study say that most of the tools found in Duba resemble African Stone Age tools, and some even look like early artifacts from Australia.
Genetics agree that 70,000 years ago there was a decrease in human genetic diversity, but this shift may not have been the result of a super-eruption. As people spread throughout Eurasia and branch out into ever smaller groups, their genetic diversity may also begin to decline.