Out of Sundaland


A 2008 study from Leeds University, published in Molecular Biology and Evolution, suggests there is an older model placing the Philippines as the center of origin. I believe this to be true with the discovery of the Tabon caves. Artifacts that are carbondated before the Austronesian migration.

With advancements of DNA research and the study of Mitochondrial DNA lineages shows that they have been evolving within Island Southeast Asia (ISEA) for a longer period than previously believed. Population dispersals occurred at the same time as sea levels rose, which may have resulted in migrations from the Philippines to as far north as Taiwan within 10,000-9,000 years ago (8000 BC -7000 BC). 

The population migrations were most likely to have been driven by climate change — the effects of the drowning of a huge ancient peninsula called Sundaland. This landmass centered somewhere between Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea. This happened during the period 15,000 to 7,000 years ago (13000 BC-5000 BC) following the last Ice Age. Oppenheimer outlines how rising sea levels in three massive pulses caused flooding and the submergence of the Sunda Peninsula, creating the Java and South China Seas and the thousands of islands that make up Indonesia and the Philippines today. 

The new findings from HUGO (Human Genome Organization) also shows that Asia was populated primarily through a single migration event from the south. They found genetic similarities between populations throughout Asia and an increase in genetic diversity from northern to southern latitudes. Although the Chinese population is very large, it has less variation than the smaller number of individuals living in South East Asia, because the Chinese expansion occurred very recently, following the development of rice agriculture within the last 10,000 years.



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