75 000 years ago many different hominid species roamed the earth in small, widely separated groups. Only a few breeding pairs survived the Toba Super Volcano Eruption. The first book in the ILLOREAEN SAGA series, ‘CATASTROPHE! (available on kindle – or UK), tells the tale of how a few survivors managed to escape the world-wide destruction and established a foot-hold where humans could start anew. The book is set in the time before, during and immediately after this Catastrophe.
Earth looked very different when the Toba Super Volcano exploded, with sea levels much lower than today. What is now the Black sea was a many miles deep cavity surrounded by high cliffs.
Ice covered much of Europe and Asia with low rainfall deserts covering the remaining land surfaces . In these tough conditions a major catastrophe was bound to kill off all but the very hardy. The Toba Super Volcano was just such an event as it caused a millennium long volcanic winter.
The purpose of this blog is to share knowledge and open a discussion.
The Illoreaen Saga is based on seven premises as follows:
When the Toba Super Volcanic erupted 75 000 years ago, causing shock waves and wind storms world-wide, there were many hominin (modern and extinct human) species roaming the earth in small groups.
Supporting arguments to the 1st premise:
Although we are now the only (known) human species alive today, we know that Homo neanderthalensis and Homo floresienses shared the earth with us, up to about 30 000 years ago, Homo erectus up to 75 00 years ago and Homo denisovan 95 000 years ago. There is no reason to suppose that there were not many more Homo species at the time. The past existence of Denisovans were only recently identified through a small bone fragment. We can expect more discoveries in the future.
All the human species experiencing a Catastrophe during and after the Toba explosion.
Supporting arguments to the 2nd premise:
The shock waves and storm winds generated by the Toba explosion would have travelled round the earth, possibly peaking in the Atlantic Ocean and triggering earthquakes and eruptions everywhere. During the volcanic winter with an invisible sun, water sources and lakes dried up, extending the Catastrophe for centuries.
Some of the human species were as intelligent as we are and were able to choose their lifestyle and could have developed sophisticated technology.
Supporting arguments to the 3rd premise:
The literature, art and other evidence of the Greeks of 3 000 years ago and that of the Egyptians, Babylonians and Akkadians show that during the last 5000 years, humans were at least as intelligent as we are today. There are evidence that a hunter-gatherer life-style could have been superior to the sedentary agricultural lifestyle that developed in response to population pressure at the end of the ice-age.
If one assumes that brain size is an indication of intelligence, then Neanderthals, with a brain size bigger than ours, would have been more intelligent than we are. Other human species (e.g. the Denisovans of which we only know fractions of DNA) might well have been very intelligent
Sophisticated technology could have been developed in the many millennia before and after the Toba eruption by intelligent humans.
Supporting arguments to the 4th premise:
There is proof that the Greeks and the Chinese had developed sophisticated technology thousands of years ago but the technology was always abandoned.
Our current technology was developed in the last 200 years by many thinkers and experimentalists. During the many millennia before and after the Toba eruption, a smaller group of humans could have developed as much, especially if they lived longer life, had adequate time and expertise were shared and transferred from generation to generation.
There are good reasons for the lack of archaeological evidence that a group could have developed sophisticated technology long ago.
Supporting arguments to the 5th premise:
According to the Saga, the Illoreaens had developed sophisticated technology on the northern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains. Their culture, shared with the Clans, required that when they abandoned a cave site, it had to be restored to a natural state, allowing nature and specifically cave bears, to re-occupy the area. This action destroyed any possible archaeological evidence of their existence and technology. Later developments and experimentation continued in the cavity now filled by the Black Sea where no detailed archaeological research is possible.
Most of the 16km deep layer of silt covering the floor of the Black sea, was deposited after the Toba eruption, 75 0000 years ago.
Supporting arguments to the 6th premise:
The ice age that ended 10 000 years ago, already started 120 000 years ago. In the intervening 110 000 years the ice advanced and retreated repeatedly scraping huge amounts of sand and dust from the continental surface. Flash floods would have washed the sand into the Black Sea cavity and exposed new rock surfaces to be grinded into more sand and dust. The dust from the Toba super volcano as well as that from the two eruptions of the Campi Flegrei super volcano in Italy, added to the silt washed and blown into the black sea cavity.
After the ice age the Danube, Dnieper, Dniester and Rioni grew in size. These great rivers, and others, annually deposit huge amounts of silt into the black sea.
75 000 years ago the Black Sea Cavity was many km deep and the effects of the volcanic winter, following the Toba eruption, was much less and a mild climate prevailed in its depts.
Supporting arguments to the 7th premise:
Despite the desert conditions outside of the Black Sea cavity, ground water must have been fresh and abundant deep down. The thick air, up to 16 km below sea level, would have a hot house effect despite the weakness of the sun, allowing abundant plant growth.