Tower Hill Volcanic Complex

24 Aug 2020

At www.geosociety.org/GSA/News/pr/2020/20-04.aspx ... in Australia the arrival and dispersal of early humans is complicted by a lack of ceramics and permanent structures. Aborigines were mobile, yet returned again and again to certain sites regarded as important in their world view. There is a scarcity of dateable archaeological sites, we are told, those that are older than the Holocene. It  may be that geological changes are responsible, to a degree. Certainly, a considerable amount of continental shelf all around has been submerged. In SE Australia there are just six sites definitely dated older than 30,000 years ago. These are in Tasmania, New South Wales and South Australia. In contrast, the good news is that Aborigines possess a strong oral tradition. They have a well defined ecological memory. Some surviving traditions, it seems, allude to past geological events. Volcanoes, for example, meteors, and earthquakes. It is ecognised that some of these traditions have been transmitted across thousands of years,

The so called Newer Volcanic Province of SE Australia contains some 400 basaltic eruption centres, a number of which have probably erupted within the last 100,000 years. Oral traditions surrounding the Budj Bim volcanic complex, formerly known as Mount Eccles, in western Victoria, has been interpreted as referring  to volcanic activity. A new study published in the journal Geology comes up with an age range of 36,800 +/- 3800 thousand years for the Tower Hill Volcanic Complex. A stone axe was found is ash deposits. This date is significant as between 40,000 and 30,000  years ago a major catastrophic event occurred. This may have sparked the volcanism. If this is true this will represent the longest living oral tradition yet known, anywhere.

At https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.192005.1117 ... human migrations during the European Holocene. Actually, it concentrates on two migrations that have been isolated by recent DNA studies. One, the arrival of people from the Near East and Anatolia bringing with them farming practises, and introducing the Neolithic. Two, a massive wave of migrants arriving at the beginning of the Bronze Age, with an origin in the Yamnaya Culture of the Pontic steppe zone (renowned for its metallurgy). They are associated with the Corden Ware culture in central and northern Europe, and later, the Bell Beaker phenomenon in NW Europe.