The theories about how anatomically modern humans populated the world are hotly-debated.However, genetic and archaeological evidence points towards an initial migration from southwestern Africa over 100,000 years ago, which spread eastwards out of Africa into the Arabian Peninsula, before a small group began a worldwide dispersal around 60,000 years ago along mainly coastal routes.Any archaeological remains of the coastal migration route around India to South East Asia and Australia are now probably under the sea.However, Virumandi Andithevar, of the Piramalai Kallar community from the Tamil Nadu region of southern India, was identified by the Genographic Project as one of the direct descendants of the first modern human settlers in India.They are 30-40,000 years old and are likely to represent among the first people to have entered the continent.Haplogroup I is a Palaeolithic ‘indigenous European’ marker which originated around 20-25,000 years ago around the time of the Last Glacial Maximum.Later remains from as early as 18,000 years ago suggest a direct line of descent to the indigenous Vedda population which inhabits the area today.
The geographical position of the Malay Peninsula made it a main thoroughfare on the first wave of migration south.
In 2007, evidence of the earliest human of occupation Germany was discovered in the form of a 35,000 year old figurine of a mammoth.
By 25,000 years ago, the Last Glacial Maximum rendered much of Europe uninhabitable; people took refuge in Iberia, the Balkans, the Ukraine and Italy.
At that time, the much lower sea levels meant that most of maritime Southeast Asia was one land mass; it is known as the lost continent of Sunda.
Archaeological evidence of modern human settlement in Peninsular Malaysia is at least 50,000 years old.