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<< 80 Kyr | 2 Ma-10000 BCE | 60 Kyr >>

Appearance of mitochondrial haplogroup L2. Behavioral modernity according to the "great leap forward" theory. Via the male line, all humans can trace their ancestry back to a single male (Y-chromosomal Adam) at 60,000 to 90,000 years ago.

Haplogroup N originated around 75,000 years ago possibly in India or South Asia. While Haplogroup R arose around 70,000 years ago in the same region.

Complex tool creation and use among humans about this time. Microliths were found at a South African site which existed 71,000 years ago, and that they persisted for another 11,000 years, indicating the transmission of technology down the generations, and the existence of superior mental skills among those who made them. Probably complex language skills in order to communicate the technology. (See South Africa, below)


Upper Paleolithic Neanderthals (approximately 130,000 to 45,000) - Upper Paleolithic Neanderthals sites include: Krapina, Saccopastore, Malarnaud, Altamura, Gánovce, Denisova, Okladnikov, Pech de l'Azé, Tabun, Kebara, Régourdou, Mt. Circeo, La Ferrassie, Combe Grenal, La Chapelle, Amud, Shanidar, Teshik-Tash, and Feldhofer.


When the first modern humans evolved in Africa, they lived mainly on meat hunted from animals. But by 70,000 years ago, they had switched to a marine diet, largely shellfish.

Homo sapiens appear to have occupied all of Africa by about 150,000 years ago, moved out of Africa 72,000 years ago according to modern DNA studies.

It's believed that about 68,000 years ago mankind nearly went extinct. The population was reduced to small, isolated groups in Africa. Stanford researchers believe the numbers may have been as low as 2,000 individuals before an expansion of the population during the stone age.

Research on our Y chromosome DNA suggests we may be descended from five "Adams" who lived in various places some 70,000 years ago. If the population nearly went extinct this could be the underlying reason for this result.

§Eastern Africa

70000 BCE - Genetic studies in 2008 estimated that the human population at this time may have shrunk to as low as 2000 due to a long period of severe droughts in Eastern Africa.

§South Africa

Sibudu Cave - KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa There were traces of heat treated gluing of stone and wood (72,000 years ago).

Archaeologists excavating a cave scientifically known as Pinnacle Point 5 – 6 (PP5-6) on the southern coast of South Africa recovered remains of the oldest known complex projectile weapons. The tiny stone blades, which were probably affixed to wooden shafts for use as arrows, date to 71,000 years ago and represent a sophisticated technological tradition that endured for thousands of years. The discovery bears on an abiding question about when and how modern human cognition emerged, and suggests a way by which early modern Homo sapiens outcompeted Neandertals to eventually become the last human species standing.

To craft the stone points, the people at PP5-6 first had to locate and collect a specific type of stone called silcrete. They then had to gather wood and transport it to a designated spot to build a fire to treat the stone, heating it to just the right temperature to make it easier to shape. After carefully chipping away at the rock to form tiny, sharp blades, they made mounts for the blades from wood or bone, and joined the stone to the mounts with mastic to create composite tools in the form of arrows or darts. The persistence of such a complex projectile technology for 11,000 years at PP5-6 (and the persistence of heat treatment of stone for 100,000 years at Pinnacle Point, which previous research documented) implies that people across a large region were using it and transmitting the recipe from one generation to the next verbally, according to the researchers.

§Arabian Sea

Arabian Sea Humpback Whales began their isolation from other humpback whales about this time. They remain isolated to current day.


The stone age began in India approximately 70,000 BCE and lasted until about 7000 BCE. New research suggests that humans migrated out of Africa along the coasts of the Arabian peninsula into India on a marine diet about 65,000 years ago.

§South Pacific


Scientists believe that from the period around 400,000 BCE giant marsupials, kangaroos and wombats, roamed the outback. They went extinct around 50,000 BCE coincident with the arrival of humans on the continent.


The Toba supereruption (Youngest Toba Tuff or simply YTT) was a supervolcanic eruption that is believed to have occurred some time between 69,000 and 77,000 years ago at Lake Toba (Sumatra, Indonesia). It is recognized as one of the Earth's largest known eruptions. The related catastrophe hypothesis holds that this event plunged the planet into a 6-to-10-year volcanic winter and possibly an additional 1,000-year cooling episode. This change in temperature is hypothesized to have resulted in the world's human population being reduced to 10,000 or even a mere 1,000 breeding pairs, creating a bottleneck in human evolution.

§Middle East

Red Sea floods

The barrier across Bab el Mandib, between Ethiopia and Yemen, seems to have been the source of outbreak flooding similar to that found in the Mediterranean. The Lake Toba event, approximately between 69,000 and 77,000 years ago, caused a massive drop in sea levels, exposing the barrier and enabling modern Homo sapiens to leave Africa via an alternative route than Sinai. The finding of saline evaporites on the floor of the Red Sea confirms that this dam has functioned at various periods in the past. Rising sea levels during the Flandrian transgression (and in earlier interglacial periods) suggest that this area may have been subject to outburst flooding.


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