Australia’s Enigmatic Boab Tree Seeding The Out-Of-Australia-Theory
The Out of Africa Theory is the dominant - though not only - model for the geographic origins and subsequent migration of modern humans. While it has been tweaked over time to generally now encompass multiple migrations from the African continent, the arguably most significant of these migrations under the theory is thought to have taken place some 70,000 years ago. In this migration, modern humans left Africa, crossing the southern coast of Asia before ultimately arriving at and settling in Australia from around 65,000 years ago. It is a popular theory. But it remains that – a theory (indeed, there is disagreement even amongst its advocates as to these dates). Amongst other models proposed, there is one that turns this theory completely on its head. What if it was not to Australia that these modern humans migrated, but from Australia? Out of Australia and into Africa!
Putative migration waves out of Africa and back migrations into the continent, as well as the locations of major ancient human remains and archeological sites (López et al.2015)( CC BY-SA 3.0 )
Out of Australia
Authors such as Bruce Fenton and Steve and Evan Strong have in recent years developed persuasive grounds, both genetic and archaeological, for the theory that modern humans migrated from Australia some 70,000 years ago. As these authors note, there are multiple sites and artifacts in Australia which suggest that humans may well have been there at least tens of thousands of years before this migration. Indeed, many indigenous Australians believe that their ancestors have been on the continent from ‘time immemorial’.
Illustration of what the Toba eruption might have looked like around 42 km above northern Sumatra. ( anynobody/ CC BY-SA 4.0 )
The Strongs also point to the impact of the Toba eruption 74,000 years ago on Sumatra in Indonesia, the largest volcanic eruption in the past two million years. Due to the prevailing winds, this disaster has been suggested to have severely impacted both Asia and Europe (possibly even reducing the modern human population to just a few thousand individuals worldwide), while leaving Australia (and equatorial and southern Africa) largely unaffected.
The Strongs postulate that following this it would be from Australia that people would have set sail in search of new horizons. This thesis is consistent with that also put forward by Fenton.
Like this Preview and want to read on? You can! JOIN US THERE ( with easy, instant access ) and see what you’re missing!! All Premium articles are available in full, with immediate access.
For the price of a cup of coffee, you get this and all the other great benefits at Ancient Origins Premium. And - each time you support AO Premium, you support independent thought and writing.
Dr Philip Jamieson is a retired former academic and researcher who now pursues his interests in ancient cultures, mythology, animal welfare, spirituality and the environment. He has two blog sites innerscribe.home.blog and mybitesizecredo.wordpress.com
Top Image : Boab tree sunset near Derby, Western Australia ( Summerdrought / CC BY-SA 4.0 )