Modern humans populated Europe from the east?

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Nov 23, 2002
Read an interesting suggestion that the first early modern humans came to Europe from the east:

specifically after a major supervolcano volcanic eruption in Italy around 39,000 BC is claimed to have wiped out existing Neanderthal and other hominid populations in Europe:

If I've read anything about this before it's certainly slipped my mind, so am posting to help serve as a reminder, because normally I don't see this supervolcano eruption mentioned in general discussion about the extinction of Neanderthals. :)
I'm no expert by any means but I have been dabbling in the genetic research which leads me to believe the title appears to be an overly simplistic origin story. There were multiple waves of immigration into western Europe. For example, genetic studies show Haplogroup R coming out of central Asia into present day Ukraine, through the Balkans and also France. Haploid Group I is another link that took the route through the Mediterranean, up through Spain all the way up to Scandinavia over 23,000 years ago. There are many others.
Modern humans have been around over 200,000 years. That's a long time for them to migrate and populate/depopulate regions/continents several dozen times.
Unlikely to have come from the West. Surely the only routes are east Europe or across the straits of Gibraltar. All getting more mixed up now with modern transport. Different social needs to long ago.
"supervolcano eruption mentioned in general discussion about the extinction of Neanderthals".

And an earlier wave of us. We migrated into western Europe several times. The last ones stuck.

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