Humans thrived in South Africa through the Toba eruption about 74,000 years ago.
Smith, Eugene I
Fisher, Erich C
Harris, Jacob A
Marean, Curtis W
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Smith, E. I., Jacobs, Z., Johnsen, R., Ren, M., Fisher, E. C., Oestmo, S., Wilkins, J., et al. (2018). Humans thrived in South Africa through the Toba eruption about 74,000 years ago.. Nature, 555 (7697), 511-515. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature25967
Approximately 74 thousand years ago (ka) the Toba Caldera erupted in Sumatra and its impact on climate, environment, and humans has been continually debated. Here we describe the discovery of Youngest Toba Tuff (YTT) glass shards in two archaeological sites on the south coast of South Africa, a region with recurrent evidence for early human behavioral complexity. An independently derived age model supports a ~74 ka age for the sediments containing the YTT glass shards. Just 9 km apart, defining the input of shards at both sites allows an unprecedented temporal correlation between them. Our high resolution excavation and sampling technique allows exact comparison of the input of YTT glass shards and the evidence for human occupation. Humans in this region thrived through the Toba event and the ensuing full glacial, perhaps as a combined result of this region’s uniquely rich resource base and a fully evolved modern human adaptation.
Humans, Glass, Adaptation, Psychological, Geologic Sediments, Archaeology, History, Ancient, South Africa, Indonesia, Volcanic Eruptions, Spatio-Temporal Analysis, Industrial Development
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nature25967
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/276224