[Paper] Ancient genomes document multiple waves of migration in Southeast Asian prehistory

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A paper published in Science analyses the genomes of ancient Southeast Asian DNA and detected three distinct waves of migration into Southeast Asia beginning with hunter-gatherers around 45,000 years ago, followed by the Neolithic and the introduction of agricultural practices some 4,500 years ago, and a migration associated with the Bronze age, which reached Myanmar 3,000 years ago, Vietnam 2,000 years ago and Thailand in the last 1,000 years.

Ancient genomes document multiple waves of migration in Southeast Asian prehistory
Science 17 May 2018:
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat3188

Southeast Asia is home to rich human genetic and linguistic diversity, but the details of past population movements in the region are not well known. Here, we report genome-wide ancient DNA data from eighteen Southeast Asian individuals spanning from the Neolithic period through the Iron Age (4100–1700 years ago). Early farmers from Man Bac in Vietnam exhibit a mixture of East Asian (southern Chinese agriculturalist) and deeply diverged eastern Eurasian (hunter-gatherer) ancestry characteristic of Austroasiatic speakers, with similar ancestry as far south as Indonesia providing evidence for an expansive initial spread of Austroasiatic languages. By the Bronze Age, in a parallel pattern to Europe, sites in Vietnam and Myanmar show close connections to present-day majority groups, reflecting substantial additional influxes of migrants.

Source: Ancient genomes document multiple waves of migration in Southeast Asian prehistory | Science

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Man Bac, Vietnam

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Damien Huffer

Damien Huffer

Damien Huffer
Smithsonian Institution, Museum Conservation Institute and Dept. of Physical Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History
Man Bac excavation in the landscape, 2007 season, Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam