The oldest known human fossils of homo sapiens, designated Omo I and Omo II, were discovered from the Omo river valley in Ethiopia by Richard Leakey and were dated to be 195,000 years old. The journey of mankind from 165,000 to 8000 years before present, coinciding with the pre-agricultural hunter-gatherer nomadic phase of human evolution, inferred based on the genetic studies of mtDNA and Y- chromosomes, reveals that almost entire globe was populated by the mankind before 8000 years as result of incessant migrations during the last 150,000 years. With such extensive migratory trends it can assumed that mankind almost evolved and perfected verbal/lingual communications in this huge period. The factors of time, distance, environment and tribes have introduced so many variations in the languages of the world that simple genetic connections between languages can be hardly deciphered.
The data in the compilation of journey of mankind suggests that:
1). 85,000-75,000 years ago.
The first phase (batch) of human migration from Africa to India. The earliest Indian settlers.
2). 74,000 years ago.
The massive volcanic eruption documented at Mt. Toba in Sumatra. It was followed by heavy dust storms that led to nuclear winter in the entire south Asian region with volcanic dust dissipations spreading up to India for six years. Volcanic activity was followed by a millennium of ice age. Widespread devastation of the human beings, animals and plants possibly occurred in most of the southern Asia.
3). 74,000-65,000 years ago. A group of tribal people entered India from the north east Assam and Bengal from the Borneo side.
4).65,000 -52,000 years ago.
Two way coastal migrations into India have been visualized:
(a).One branch from NW India migrating along the West Coast. This is second phase of migration from Africa, possibly more evolved anatomically than the first batch.
(b).Other branch from Bengal side migrating via East coast. This is the first batch returning from the tour of South-east Asia and Australia. Possibly this branch represents the advent of Austro-Asiatic (Munda) tribes into India.
5) 10,000 years ago. The global Ice Age also called the Last Glacial Maximum(LGM).
The Glaciation caused lowering of sea levels to the tune of about 100m.This facilitated human migrations across the continents and land masses as many of the land bridges were exposed and people were able to cross the sea routes through the exposed land bridges.
The sea had retreated exposing wider land coastal mass and the land bridge between India and Srilanka (‘Ram Sethu’ or the Adams bridge) was more accessible for human migrations across the sea from India to Srilanka and vice versa. These geological-geographic aspects have ramifications that inspired some of the famous folklores of India.
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