Talk:Lapita culture

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New Guinea Mainland[edit]

Of relevance for expanding article: Basically, Lapita wares have been found in mainland New Guinea (and with connections to the Torres Strait Islanders). Cool stuff. Dan Cottrell (talk) 03:10, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Recent changes re genetics[edit]

Could User:Peter L. Marsh please give sources for his material about the recent genetic studies? In the meantime I have reverted the article to an earlier version. This might be the Peter Marsh, an Australian writer who believes that Polynesians derive from native American tribes that entered the Pacific from the Alaska area just before the birth of Christ, ie, a supporter of the Heyerdahl theory. Kahuroa 02:39, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Re: Peter Marsh

See, for example, Polynesian Pathways by Peter Marsh, and the discussion of the Teouma skeletons on the Science Forum at, referencing (disapprovingly) an article by "an editorial by a journalist who thinks Peter Marsh is an authority". -- Jmc 19:03, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

The Polynesian Pathways site appears seriously dodgy. For instance, looking at its statements on the linguistics of Polynesian, it shows incredible lack of understanding, as per statements like "Linguists have now shown that the Austronesian language spoken in the Solomon islands is the most ancient form of this language, estimated to be over 15,000 years old. The Polynesian version of Austronesian is from Taiwan only 6,000 years ago, showing a direction of dispersal opposite to what has previously been believed." That statement is just full of errors - and no linguist would ever single out Polynesian languages as having a different origin to the rest of Austronesian, nor is it linguistically valid to say that certain languages are 'older' than others in a given language family. Just ridiculous. And the strong association of Taiwan with Polynesian is an artefact created by ill-informed journalists oversimplifying - ie, stories about Austronesian origins in Taiwan get reported here in New Zealand as if Māori alone were involved. It really annoys me how Polynesia seems to attract the flaky, but I guess it afflicts other fields too Kahuroa 20:00, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Response from Peter Marsh; I Agree that I am no linguist, I am only going on a scientific paper which argued the case that Austronesian spoken by Melanesians displayed ancient characteristics which suggested that it was the mother language of Austronesian and they dated it at ~15,000 years. I will try and find this paper which I agree, contradicts many other papers. New Guinea has the most diverse range of languages in the Western Pacific - which clearly hints that there have been many waves of population groups in this area. (Geneticists believe the first wave of Homo sapiens to enter New Guinea were the Pygmies from Africa 100,000 years ago). What we see today are relics of this colourful and complicated history. I would like to point out that the above theory suggesting the Austronesian language came from New Guinea 15,000 years ago concurs with the genetic evidence of Mark Stoneking etal(see ) that Polynesians had a Melanesian male ancestor 11,500 years ago but since then evolved quite separately until 1,000 years ago. Geneticists also agree that Polynesians left Taiwan 6,000 years ago (so do the linguists), but did not arrive in the central Pacific until 2,000 years ago where they evolved for ~1,000 years in complete isolation (ie Hawaii) see;

So Mr Kahuroa, where do you think Polynesians lived for 4,000 years after they left Taiwan 6,000 years ago? Why does the genetic evidence show an absence of contact with Melanesians from 11,500 years ago, until 1,000 years ago? How can you explain that? Why did they not adopt Melanesian ways? Why did they not interbreed? If they did, Polynesians would have frizzy hair - and you know they don't. Why can Hawaiians remember their genealogy back 16,000 years? With the Melanesian "Big Man" society, genealogy is irelevant. Why didn't Polynesians use outriggers? Why did their boats "go about" in the conventional manner instead of shunting like Melanesian outriggers? Why did Melanesians and the Lapita people (as well as the Indian ocean traders) use money cowries for currency wheras Polynesians used mats for currency - the same as the Haida, Kwakuitl and Tlingit of Canada. see; All of these questions are answered by my hypothesis - none of them can be answered by the old Lapita/Polynesian theories.See;

Native Americans from Haida Gwaii and especially the Tlingit from Prince of Wales Island have the same genes, blood groups, appearance, social system, economic system and carving techniques as the Polynesians. They also share the Polynesian toolkit; Two piece fishhook,trolling lure, harpoon head, whale tooth pendant, reel ornament, tattooing needle, phallic and stirrup stone pestles and war clubs (Patu). see;

Neither Melanesian nor Lapita sites have ever uncovered a single item from this list. Only a severely brainwashed or IQ challenged individual would fail to see these connections.

With regard to genetics and the Lapita/Polynesian connection: this is a direct quote from Lisa Matissoo-Smith in her interview on "The Lapita special 3" (can still be viewed in the archives section on TV NZ Tagata Pasifika website July 25th 2005). She said; "We were able to look to see whether the individual possessed a particular mutation that we see at a very high frequency in Polynesians. It is a 9based pair mutation of Mitichondrial DNA and we found that the Teouma material - the first samples that we analysed did not have that mutation, so they did not look like 98% of the people we see living in Polynesia today."

I believe since this interview she has been told to shut up about her findings as two years have passed and no report has been forthcoming.

Have another look at my site and have a good look at the hard facts which are there with references. Go ahead and look for areas of speculation and shoot me down, but in doing so, you will have missed the point. Speculation is a highly necessary part of any research as it opens the door to areas that need more research. Two PHD students have already contacted me thanking me for my site as it gave them an insight into areas of research that had been ignored by the "old school".

May the truth be told.

Peter Marsh —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:20, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Mr Marsh, there are so many errors there - here's one - why do you say Polynesians didn't use outriggers???? I can't take the Stoneking site (your source) seriously - it is not a credible source. Just one example - the picture with the caption Wairaki Maori showing distinctivly caucasian features - from Martin doutres book Ancient Celtic NZ - the women in the picture are causasian!!!! if they have Māori ancestry, it's not much. And the Ancient Celtic stuff is just plain silly. We've seen it all before, all sorts of strange theories. So I cannot take your source seriously, sorry. I had a look at the Lapita special 3 on tvnz site. The sentence you quote from Lisa Matissoo-Smith is correct, but the program does say that she intended to publish her results in 2007, so its not overdue yet, so there's no need to speculate that she has been shut up. The program really does not give much concrete information other than that - and it stresses that conditions in Vanuatu are highly unfavorable for the preservation of DNA - long time (3,000 years), high tropical temperatures and moisture etc, and they specifically mention that the DNA is very degraded. There is not enough information in that program for you to jump to any conclusions about Polynesian origins. You also have to be aware that the program is not a specialist scientific program, but is aimed at a general NZ Polynesian audience and tends to simplify by saying 'Polynesian' instead of 'Austronesian' etc.
Because, for one thing, it was not the Polynesians who left Taiwan. If anyone did, it was the Austronesians - as the Stoneking site itself also says by the way. So no need for me to explain what a people who did not yet exist did for several thousand years before they came into existence.
Your attempts to derive the Polynesians from the Tlingits and other Canadian tribes comes up against the linguistic and cultural evidence. The closest linguistic relatives of Polynesian are Melanesian languages - the connections are deep and entirely consistent with a common linguistic history followed by a relatively recent separation. Whereas North American languages are about as different to Polynesian as it is possible to get. The grammar is vastly different, and the phonology is just about as opposite as it is possible to get. Oceanic languages, the Polynesian languages especially so, tend to have very simple phonologies, simple vowel structures and very few consonants. North American languages are the opposite - they have heaps of consonants, whole series of consonant kinds that are not found at all in Oceanic languages, and complex vowel systems. Polynesian grammatical forms, pronouns, and particles are generally obviously related to forms in Melanesian languages; the same goes for the lexicon.
To summarise, if you want to advance a new theory, get some reliable sources to back it up. Kahuroa 02:09, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

OK I will, but first;

Regarding Polynesian catamarans; The classic Eastern Polynesian sailing craft is a catamaran. Viz Hawaiian voyaging canoes and Tahitian royal canoes. Catamarans were not used by the Maori either. I believe the Tongan and Samoan outrigger voyaging canoe designs were introduced from Fiji, possibly as little as 1,000 years ago. The Western Pacific sailing outrigger is common to both Melanesia and Micronesia. Why not in Hawaii? According to mainstream beliefs Hawaii was one of the last places to be discovered when Polynesian voyaging was at it's peak, Why then was the sailing outrigger unknown in these parts??

Regarding Mark Stoneking in; Melanesian origin of Polynesian Y chromosomes by Manfred Kayser, Silke Brauer, Gunter Weiss, Peter A. Underhill, Lutz Roewer, Wulf Schiefenhövel and Mark Stoneking: Why is this article not a credible scource??? You can easily find it on Google. Quotes on my site have been lifted directly from this article. Your inability to accept this information is because it does not say what you want to hear.

Regarding Caucasian indegenous women; I am not in agreement with Martin Doutre's ideas. His work is inflammatry. There is nothing to suggest a Celtic colony in NZ, but there is lots to suggest a connection to South America - albeit Caucasians (possibly relics from the Bronze Age globalization). There are many stories in New Zealand about various relic populations prior to the Maori. Whether they were castaways from ships voyaging in the Indian Ocean or were from a Caucasian population in Peru (blonde people of Chachapoya - references if you want)we may never know.

Regarding Teouma DNA. I would expect you to try and belittle this information as this too is not in agreement with your fragile hypotheses.

Regarding Polynesian/Austronesian termilology. You are splitting hairs. I do not like the term Austronesian. It is a misnomer - a word that has the potential to mislead. I really should have said proto-Polynesian.

I will ask you again; Where did the proto-Polynesians live with their culture and genes intact for 4,000years? Mainstream science does not have an answer. That is why you don't want to answer this question. Mainstream science in trying to answer this question, has been unable to decide between a slow train or a fast train or an entangled bank. There are no square pegs in round holes with my hypothesis.

Regarding language; Have you ever listened to Melanesian alongside Polynesian? There is a distinct boundary between Tonga and Fiji. There is no gradual blend of language. The most glaring difference is with Fijian - as in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Phillippines they emphasize the R by rolling it off their tongues. Polynesian on the other hand does not even have an R in their alphabet let alone speak it. The only other place on the Pacific rim where R is absent from the language is Japan (very close to the dispersal point of Proto-Polynesians from East Asia).

As far as Austronesian not spoken in America - well there are some relic words in the Mayan language and in the Quechua language of Peru. I would like to remind you that we are talking of a population group that colonized the islands off Alaska and Canada - for 4,000 years. They did not populate the whole of America, therefore they would have been a minority group subject to invasion and assimilation. Language is something that can be lost overnight - unlike genes. (Compare England - first they spoke Gaelic, then Latin, then German, then Danish, then French).

Regarding culture; The Kwakuitl have almost exactly the same social system and used the same tools as the Polynesians. The same cannot be said when comparing Fijians with Hawaiians.

Personally I think it unfair that you have appointed yourself to be the adjudicator on this issue when you have such a biassed opinion.

There is a multitude of evidence which conflicts with your theories. I think it fair that you should allow at least some of these FACTS to be aired.


Again I ask, why do you think that there are no sailing outriggers in Polynesia??? Definitely there are, and I know what a catamaran is. The DNA evidence that you say I am belittling was just a quote from the program. And if there is no R in Polynesian, Might I remind you that I am a MaoRi from AoteaRoa named KahuRoa, and that my ancestry derives from Rangiatea and RaRoTonga; and both *r and *l have been reconstructed for Proto-Polynesian. And I have been to Fiji, and I am sorry to tell you that I could understand the odd sentence when I listened to Fijians speaking to each other. Many of the words, and many more of the concepts, are exactly the same. And no, that was not the side of Fiji that is near Tonga. If you count in Māori, a Fijian will understand completely, because the numbers are practically identical, because Fijian is, despite your theories, the closest linguistic relative of Polynesian. You should definitely take the trouble to look up the difference between Austronesian, Polynesian, Malayo-Polynesian and Proto-Polynesian. If you understood those terms, you would understand a great more than you do now. And if there is no R in Japanese, then what about samuRai, oRigami, kaRaoke and sayonaRa? Enough said, haeRe rā. Kahuroa 08:46, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Then why do the Japanese have great difficulty in pronouncing R? I believe Hawaii to have the purest form of Polynesian and Hawaiian does NOT have an R in the alphabet. If you are from Rarotonga and Rangiatea (is that Ra'iatea?) then your ancestral homeland would be known as Hawai'i or without the glottal stop Hawaiki. Is that correct? You still did not explain why you cannot take Mark Stonekings work seriously.

Regarding catamarans/outriggers. How do you explain the marked difference in sailing technology (shunting/going about) between Hawaiian catamarans and sailing outriggers of Melanesia? You still havn't answered the question regarding a proto-Polynesian homeland for 4,000 years. If they were the Lapita people living amongst Melanesians for some of these years then why did they not share their toolkit, their socio-political system and their genes??? Micronesia is also ruled out because of divergent genes, Indonesia is ruled out because of the absence of shovel shaped incisors in Polynesia and coastal China is ruled out because Polynesians were unaffected by the massive mongoloid expansion into Taiwan and Japan 5,000 years ago. Whereas coastal Canada has names such as Haida Gwai'i, Tongas strait, Hakai channel, suggesting an Austronesian presence some time in the past. It is common for place names to stick when a new population with a different language moves into an area.

How do you explain the incredible similarity between the poi pounders of Hawaii and Tahiti and the wheat grinders of the Haida, Salish and Kwakuitl? Stone tool manufacture and design are a commonly accepted way of linking cultures in archaeological circles. Why not with the pounders?

Peter —Preceding unsigned comment added by Peter L Marsh (talkcontribs) 20:41, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Dear Peter, your questions cannot be answered because they are nonsense basically - you do not even understand the terms you are using. For instance, there is no 4,000 year gap to explain. The stoneking site is unreliable because it is just a collection of random, misunderstood material. Findability on Google is no substitute for decent scholarship. There are simple answers to your other points, but it is not the purpose of this page to give you an introductory course in linguistics or in Polynesian material culture. Kahuroa 21:12, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

I have asked clear and simple questions, yet you are unable to answer them. You do not deserve the position you are in whoever you are. You are sidestepping the issue. By not answering these questions, you are the one who looks like a fool. Talking to me in a condescending manner is insulting. I see it as a poor attempt to mask your incompetence in and inability to properly understand Pacific prehistory. If you understood genetics you would realize there IS a 4,000 year gap between Proto Polynesians leaving Asia and arriving in the Pacific. Stoneking's work may be gobbledook, random and misunderstood material to you, but to him - and me, it paints a very clear picture of Pacific prehistory. Do you really have the right to poo poo the scholars who have used Google to display their work?? Because their work is displayed on Google, does it somehow detract from the FACTS displayed?? If there are simple answers to my other points, then go ahead and answer them! It is you Mr 'long robe' who needs remedial training in observing the differences between Lapita and Polynesian artefacts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Peter L Marsh (talkcontribs) 07:10, 19 October 2007 (UTC) Peter —Preceding unsigned comment added by Peter L Marsh (talkcontribs) 06:18, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Peter, with the greatest respect, I suggest you read the Wikipedia guide to civil discourse. It seems to me that some of your recent remarks are bordering on the incivil ("You do not deserve the position you are in whoever you are ... you are the one who looks like a fool.").
As for your theories, I really find it difficult to give credence to the contentions of one who commits such an elementary faux pas as to assert that "Polynesian on the other hand does not even have an R in their alphabet let alone speak it." -- Jmc 08:21, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

I apologise for my outburst. I trust you can understand my frustration in your reluctance to grasp what I am saying.

For your perusal a short summary of information that has led me to firmly believe what I am saying - most of the time.

Genetic origins Recent DNA analysis suggests that Polynesians, including Tongans, Samoans, Niueans, Cook Islanders, Tahitians, Hawaiians, Marquesans and Māori, exhibit a maternal mitochondrial DNA link to indigenous peoples of the New Guinea Highlands 25,000 years ago (Bryan Sykes - Seven Daughters of Eve). The paternal Y chromozome also comes from "New Guinea 11,500 years ago - but since that time they have evolved quite separately from ancestral Melanesians" (see "Melanesian Origin of Polynesian Y Chromosomes" and "Melanesian Origin of Polynesian Y Chromosomes (correction)" cited in References). After this period, proto-Polynesian genes exhibit a 9based pair mtDNA deletion common to East Asians, showing a separation from Taiwanese aborigines 6,000 years ago. (See "Melanesian origins of Polynesian Y chromozome") Polynesian population expansion began in isolation in the Pacific 2,000 years ago (see also Melanesian origin of Y chromozomes).

"One particular DNA haplotype - the human lymphocyte antigen (HLA)Bw48 is commonly found in Polynesian populations, but occurs only sporadically in Melanesia (Polynesian outliers). The only other known population with an appreciable frequency of HLA-Bw48 is that of the North American Indians or more specifically the Tlingit of Alaska. In Polynesia Bw48 co-occurs with A11, - suggesting a variation since Polynesians departed from the Alaskan/Canadian coast." (Susan Serjeantson - Out of Asia - Peopling the Americas and the Pacific Edited by Robert Kirk and Emoke Szathmary 1985). This DNA evidence is supported by cultural and archaeological evidence showing a definite link between Eastern Polynesia and the Tlingit, Kwakuitl and Haida of the islands off Alaska and Canada. This suggests that although there has been some cultural input, including the arrival of plants and animals into Western Polynesia through Melanesia, the main genetic input into Polynesia has been from the north. This strongly suggests that proto-Polynesians voyaged from East Asia to Alaska 6,000 years ago and then entered the Polynesian triangle from the north via Hawai'i 2,000 years ago.

Cultural similarities between coastal Canada and Polynesians is as follows; (From Thor Heyerdahl, American Indians in the Pacific); Rubbing noses as a form of greeting; Formal principles of rank; lineage, and kinship; Use of mats or rugs for money; Fish hook and harpoon design; Tattooing tools and techniques; Tiki design; Protruding tongue motif; Stone pounder design; Use of gourds for containers instead of pottery; Canoe design and building techniques, such as use of hot rocks for steaming hulls open; Earth oven procedure; House design with entrance through totem's legs; Inlaying of shells into carvings; Weaving styles; Stone bowl manufacture and design; The gaping angry mouth motif on the handle of war clubs; The traditional name for the Haida homeland of Queen Charlotte Island is Haida'gwai'i, very similar linguistically to Ha'wai'i (homeland). Names such as Tongass (southern) Strait and Hakai'i Channel appear to also be relic names suggesting an Austronesian past to this area.

Irving Goldman, author of "Ancient Polynesian Society", has this to say on the comparison between Kwakuitl and the Polynesians. "For reasons that remain to be discovered, the Indian tribes of this area [NW Coast] share formal principles of rank, lineage, and kinship with Pacific islanders. The Kwakiutl, seem very close to what I have designated as the "traditional" Polynesian society. They share with Polynesians a status system of graded hereditary ranking of individuals and of lineages; a social class system of chiefs ("nobles"), commoners, and slaves; concepts of primogeniture and seniority of descent lines; a concept of abstract supernatural powers as special attributes of chiefs; and a lineage system that leans toward patriliny, but acknowledges the maternal lines as well. Finally, Kwakiutl and eastern Polynesians, especially, associate ambiguity of lineage membership with "Hawaiian" type kinship, a fully classificatory system that does not distinguish between maternal and paternal sides, or between siblings and cousins."

"The following DNA evidence will help clarify the division between Polynesians, Melanesians and Micronesians.(from; S.W. Serjeantson "The Colonization of the Pacific - A Genetic Trail 1989 pp 135,162-163,166-7) "The following genes set them apart: Polynesians lack HLA-B27 , wheras it is common amongst Melanesians. Polynesians have had little contact with Micronesians. There are only a limited number of similarities in the HLA system. It is clear that Micronesia has had an independent source of HLA genes, probably from the Phillipines, as indicated by the high frequency of HLA-Bw35 which is absent from Melanesian and Polynesian groups. HLA-B13, B18 and B27 are found throughout Melanesia. These antigens are sporadic in Western Polynesia and are essentially absent from the populations of Eastern Polynesia. The few sporadic occurrences are attributable to recent foreign admixture. These antigens are also rarely found in Micronesia. HLA-A11 and B40 are significantly associated with each other in Melanesia, but are not linked in Polynesian Populations.HLA data cannot support the theory of Polynesian evolution within Melanesia.Gene frequency distributions, as well as linkage relationships, clearly place Maoris of New Zealand in the Eastern Polynesian branch, together with Hawaiians and Easter Islanders. The HLA-A-B linkage relationships seen in Hawaiians are present also in Maoris and are consistent with a split in these populations 1,000 years ago."(Susan Serjeantson - Out of Asia - Peopling the Americas and the Pacific Edited by Robert Kirk and Emoke Szathmary 1985).

Peter 12:36, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Furthermore Hawaiian royal genealogies agrre with the above. From ‘The Ancient Hawaiian History of Hookumu Ka Lani & Hookumu Ka Honua', by Solomon L.K. Peleioholani.

  "The ancestors of the Hawaiian race came not from the islands the South Pacific – for the immigrants from that direction were late arrivals there. – but from the northern direction (welau lani), that is, from the land of Kalonakikeke, now known as Alaska. 
 According to this tradition, a great flood that occurred during the reign of Kahiko-Luamea on the continent of Ka-Houpo-o-Kane, (Ta'pen Keng is the ancient name for Taiwan) and carried away a floating log of wood named Konikonihia. On this log was a precious human cargo and it came to rest on the land of Kalonakikeke (Alaska). 
 On this log was the first man and woman who came to Kalonakikeke from the continent of Ka-Houpo-o-Kane, they were Kalonakiko-ke ("Mr Alaska") and his wife Hoomoe-a-pule ("Woman of my dreams"). They were said to both be high chiefs of the countries of Kanaka-Hikina (person of the east) and Kanaka-Komohana (person of the west) and were descended from the great great ancestor Huka-ohialaka.
 ‘Many generations later, Chief Nuu, travelled with his wife, Lilinoe, their three sons and their three wives in a canoe called Ka-Waa-Halau-Alii-O-Ka-Moku (the royal canoe of the continent), and it rested apon Mauna Kea (white mountain), on the island of Hawaii. They were the first Hawaiians." 

 In the Kumuhonua Genealogy (a royal genealogy) of Kauai and Oahu, Chief Nuu is mentioned, including his wife Lilinoe. Nuu would have been born between 225 and 75 B.C. Solomon Peleioholani was a descendant of Chief Nuu through the Kings of Kauai. The Arrival of Chief Nuu between 2225 and 2075 years ago. This agrees fairly well with the genetic information that Polynesians underwent a rapid population expansion, from a small founder population about 2,200 years ago - when Eastern Polynesians (pure blood Polynesians) entered the Pacific. 

The proto-Polynesian arrival in Alaska from East Asia 6,000 years ago may well be recorded in this brief legend;

 There is an old story that says how some strange people came from the Western Ocean. Among them were two sisters. They landed on Dall Island in Southeastern Alaska. There the sisters met and married men whose people were coming down the rivers from interior North America. One sister-went with her family to Haida-gwaii or the Queen Charlotte Islands. Her children grew and multiplied into the Haida Nation. The other sister went with her family to Prince of Wales Island. She became the ancestress or Mother of the Tlingit Nation. 
 From ‘The Proud Chilkat', by Brendan and Lauri Larson. 

Peter —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:45, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Post-glacial flooding in Island SE Asia[edit]

If recent advances in "Inundation Mapping" are to be believed, a huge area of land was lost in Island SE Asia (Indonesia/Malaysia), in other words the Sunda Shelf, at the end of the last Ice Age (as mentioned in Eden in the East by Stephen Oppenheimer). The last great period of flooding occurred roughly 8000 years ago. Would that have triggered migrations of whoever would have been living there, irrespective of whether or not they were "proto-Austronesians", "Austronesian" or whatever? It is pertinent to remember that the Sunda Shelf did extend in much thinner form as far north as Hainan and Taiwan. best, Sunil060902 (talk) 11:23, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

As I understand it, that is basically what Oppenheimer is arguing, yes. I don't think he actually sees "Austronesian" as actually existing (certainly one of his long-time colleagues Martin Richards has stated that Austronesian is a "linguistic fiction").
The most recent paper on this by the Oppenheimer group is Soares et al 2008, which talks about these climate change effects. Frustratingly, they've been very vague about what actually happens in the region (especially w.r.t where Lapita arises).
It's worth noting that most archaeologists and anthropologists consider the scenario he describes in "Eden in the East" to be about as realistic as Atlantis. The orthodox view would see the spread of Austronesians happening AFTER these floods starting around 5,500BP. --Simon (talk) 11:46, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Actually my background is molecular structure so I'm just a layman when it comes to this field! But could we therefore postulate that the original inhabitants of Sundaland were not the ancestors of today's Austronesians?, best Sunil060902 (talk) 11:33, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes. People spread into this region around 40-50,000 years ago. They spread into Australia (where they became the Aborigines) and out into New Guinea, reaching as far as the Bismarck archipelago by about 33,000 years ago. Lapita is the outcome of the Austronesian peoples spreading from Taiwan around 5,500 years ago, and inter-mixing and merging with these existing inhabitants. -- Simon (talk) 15:08, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Yet I can't help thinking changing sea-levels were a factor, if only because there was a relatively late flooding event, the Flandrian Transgression, that occurred round about the 5,500 BP mark. Not sure what affect if any there was on Island SE Asia though. best, Sunil060902 (talk) 14:39, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
See Sahul Time. The effect of the Flandrian Transgression was much more limited in South East Asia than in the North Sea because the kind of extensive but really shallow areas found at the North Sea coasts does not exist in South East Asia, or is less noticeable because the region is much larger. The most recent flooding of the Sunda Shelf occurred more than 10,000 years ago, much too early for a connection with the Austronesian/Malayo-Polynesian/Oceanic/Lapita spread.
It is not inconceivable that the flooding did propitiate a linguistic dispersal, but it cannot have been one associated specifically with Austronesian languages. Instead, it must have been some much older dispersal event. Let's get speculative: If the Austronesian–Ongan proposal is valid, and as old as it appears to be (perhaps double the age of Austronesian, some 12,000 years then), there is a known candidate. Juliette Blevins has pointed to resemblances of the substratum of the Philippines (found in the languages of the Aeta–Ati relic populations, which are otherwise Malayo-Polynesian) with Ongan, so the Andamans, the Philippines and Taiwan might be the fringes reached by a very early linguistic spread, predating the Austronesian one by far – but, strikingly, involving an ancestor. In this way, the out-of-Sunda hypothesis would not be incorrect for Austronesian – however, it would not concern the dispersal of Austronesian as such, where the out-of-Taiwan model is still preferrable, but the more remote origins of Austronesian.
Curiously, physical anthropology does not align with this scenario, and the proposed linguistic relationship: The Ongans and Aeta–Ati are of the Negrito type, but the Austronesian-speaking populations are otherwise not: Taiwanese aborigines and the western Malayo-Polynesian-speaking populations (including those of the Philippines, save for the Aeta–Ati) are of the mainland East Asian type. The Ongans in particular seem to have been isolated for millennia, like the Andamanese in general, which is supported by genetic evidence, though the peopling of the Andamans from the mainland could have been relatively recent: archaeology on the Andamans does not go deep into the remote past. One way to solve this dilemma would be that the original speakers of Austronesian–Ongan were of the Negrito type, and so were the original speakers of (Pre-)Proto-Austronesian. Indeed, there is at least one indication pointing towards the former existence of a Negrito-like population on Taiwan, as well: the Pas-ta'ai festival of the Saisiyat. There is also the dentition pattern of Sundadonty, which links the Taiwanese aborigines, as well as the populations of South East Asia (of the East Asian type), to the southern, Negrito–Melanesian–Australian types. A scenario that can account for all this is that a Negrito-like population, which may have lived in the region of the now-submerged part of the lower Mekong valley specifically, with rising sea levels gradually spread out from Sundaland and colonised the coasts surrounding the South China Sea, encountering in the process both other Negrito-like populations with different languages (especially in the west) and perhaps Melanesian-like populations speaking Papuan languages as well. This movement reached (via Palawan) the Philippines in the east, Taiwan in the northeast, Thailand/Malaysia/Sumatra in the west and eventually the Andamans. In about 6000 BC, people of the East Asian type migrated from the mainland to Taiwan and encountered the local Negrito-like population, who spoke Pre-Proto-Austronesian, and eventually took over their language (or one of their languages), contrary to what might be expected. A possible reason for this counterintuitive shift might be that the immigrants were linguistically so heterogeneous that the language of the natives – or one of their languages at least – came handy as a lingua franca for everyone, natives and newcomers. A nice thought. Eventually, however, the Negrito-like populations went extinct, or merged into a common population without clear Negrito-like features (except some traces of the former physical type and a distant memory in folk culture), but (one of) their languages lived on. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:29, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

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