Early humans in India


  • General Studies-I
  • History of ancient india
  • Human geography
  • Early humans in India

For Prelims:

Sone River Valley, Volcanic Winter Concept, Loess-Age, Stone Age

For Mains:

Modern Human Development Period, Stone Age

Why in discussion?

Recently, an international team of researchers has found evidence of the continuous presence of humans in India’s Son River Valley from 80,000-65,000 years ago.

main point:

  • These research works were carried out in the trenches of a site called Dhaba in the upper Sone river valley of central India.
  • About 80,000 years before this archaeological excavation, evidence of human occupation (lithic or stone industry) has been found in this area.
  • Megalithic devices date back to around 80,000–65,000 years, while microlithic devices date back to about 50,000 years ago.


Stone Age:

  • Archaeologists have called the early period Purva Pashan period, the name indicates the importance of stone tools obtained from the archaeological sites.

Palaeolithic period:

  • The time of 20 million – 12 thousand years ago.
  • It is also divided into three Early, Middle and Post Palaeolithic periods.


  • It is also called the microlithic or microporous period because tools have fist of wood or bones.

New Stone Age:

  • Time after 10 thousand years ago.

Importance of research:

  • This research will help in understanding the first presence of human population in different regions of the world and human dispersal from Africa.
  • The lithium industry of Dhaba combines various tools from the Stone Age between Africa and Arabia and early artifacts from Australia, suggesting that they are likely products of Homo sapiens as they migrated eastward beyond Africa.
  • This study refutes the general view that modern humans have migrated out of Africa as early as 50,000 years ago, while suggesting that the Toba volcano has had a human presence even during the Great Explosion.
  • Researchers have speculated that they were made by Homo sapiens, based on the similarity of the devices previously found in Africa and Arabia.

Toba volcanic eruptions and human species:

  • Around 74,000 years ago, a super-eruption occurred in the Toba volcano of Sumatra, causing cold weather conditions in many parts of the Earth for a period of more than a decade. This explosion was the largest in the last 2 million years.
  • It is believed that due to this volcanic winter, the surface of the Earth remained cold for about a thousand years and it destroyed a huge population of humans (Hominins).
  • It was believed that this caused a dramatic climate change and reduced population across Asia. However, archaeological evidence from India does not support these theories.
  • According to the ‘Volcanic Winter’ hypothesis, this volcano disrupted the gene pool of humans (complete information related to genes) and destroyed the entire human race apart from Africa and this population was dispersed from Africa in the world. Settled in various parts.
Volcanic Winter Concept:
  • It is also known as Atmospheric Dust Hypothesis, in which the global temperature decreases due to the emission of aerosols, volcanic dust particles, sulfuric acid, etc. in the action of volcanic eruptions because these solar radiation Reflecting (also called albedo) produces a short-term cooling effect.
  • The long-term cooling effects are mainly dependent on the emission of sulfur gases in the stratosphere, where they can form aerosols by going through a series of reactions to form sulfuric acid.
  • These stratospheric aerosols cool the earth surface by albidoing solar radiation and heating the stratosphere by absorbing earth radiation.
  • Thus the atmospheric heat and cooling effect is different on the troposphere and stratosphere.
  • According to this research, the population of early humans settled in northern India before the eruption (74,000 years ago) and it was during the period of devastation and till much later.
  • Fossil evidence suggests that modern humans have been reported in Africa, Greece, Arabia and China 80–100,000 years ago, just before the Toba volcano eruption in Sumatra, and 65,000 years ago in Australia, 200,000 years before Africa.
Son River
  • The Son River originates from the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and passes through the hills of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and joins the river Ganges near Patna.
  • Due to the yellow color of sand in this river, it shone like gold and named it Son.
  • The Son valley is geologically almost continuous extension of the Narmada river valley to the south-west.

This research will broaden the scientific thinking in understanding the origin of human species and will attract the attention of the global community again.

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