There is a broad scale agreement on the relative and absolute distribution of continental blocks during the Phanerozoic (e.g., Reeves and de Wit, 2000; Li and Powell, 2001; Torsvik et al., 2001; Stampfli and Borel, G.D., 2002; Muttoni et al., 2003; McElhinny et al., 2003). The long-lived supercontinent Gondwana collided with Laurussia in the Late Carboniferous, and was joined in the Permian by the Siberian craton and blocks of the Central Asia, to form Pangaea. The Mesozoic breakup of Pangaea caused the opening of Atlantic, Indian and Southern Oceans, and the accretion of East Asian cratons and continental fragments led to the amalgamation of Eurasia.

Precambrian reconstructions however, are much more controversial. The wide variety of possible models (e.g., Hoffman, 1991; Dalziel, 1997; Piper, 2000; Hartz and Torsvik, 2002; Pisarevsky et al, 2003; Pesonen et al., 2003) reflects the general poor level of knowledge of Precambrian geological history, as well as the often large time gaps between, and relatively limited number of, reliable palaeomagnetic poles for the major cratons and blocks. The latest Proterozoic and early Cambrian are the most crucial time intervals in further understanding and refining these reconstructions with the lack of data hindering the extrapolation of Gondwana fragments to their precursor configurations within Rodinia. Recent geochronological, palaeomagnetic and geological data, outlined below, has led to some progress in the understanding of latest Neoproterozoic-Cambrian global palaeogeography. Although these data are not yet sufficient to build a rigorous series of unequivocal palaeogeographic reconstructions, they at least permit a qualitative evaluation of those reconstructions which remain viable as well as indicating those which are invalid.