Modern Human Dispersal Through Asia: The Long vs the Short Chronology

1Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Macquarie University

2Southern Cross GeoScience, Southern Cross University

The timing of human dispersal in the Asian region has recently split into two contrasting theories - one that supports a long chronology, the other, a short chronology. Traditionally, research in this area supported a late exit out of Africa and into Asia, around c. 60 Ka. However, archaeological research at sites such as Madjedbebe (Northern Australia), Lida Ajer (western Sumatra), Fuyan (southern China), and Tam pa Ling (northern Laos) have suggested an earlier exit and shorter dispersal chronology. Recent reviews of this dating (O’Connell et al., 2018) and the re-dating of some sites in southern China (Sun et al., 2021) have argued that the dispersal timeline was much longer and have once again turned the tables in favour of a later exit from Africa into Asia en route to Australia. This session aims to delve into this controversial issue by inviting presentations that support either the long or short chronological framework. We strongly encourage current and new research to contribute to this debate, and/or reassessments of established evidence. Be prepared for a fiery debate as we explore the important issue of timing in an effort to better understand our complex dispersal history.