As Nature reports, these guys were tough:
A stash of ancient tools in India hints that life carried on as usual for humans living in the fall-out of a massive volcanic eruption 74,000 years ago.
Michael Petraglia, from the University of Cambridge, UK, and his colleagues found the stone tools at a site called Jwalapuram, in Andhra Pradesh, southern India, above and below a thick layer of ash from the eruption of the Toba volcano in Indonesia â€” an event known as the Youngest Toba Tuff eruption.
The tools from each layer were remarkably similar, and Petraglia says that this shows that the huge dust clouds from the eruption didn't wipe out the population of tool-using people. "Whoever was there seems to have persisted through the eruption," he says.
This is the first archaeological evidence associated with the Toba super eruption, says Petraglia, and it contradicts theories that the eruption had a catastrophic effect on the area that its ash blanketed.
The image, from the Cambridge Geography department, shows the massive white layer of ash from the super eruption.