via World Archaeology, 04 October 2022: A paper by Hung et al. reveals the presence of pre-Austronesian populations in Taiwan, who seem to be closely related with the Negritos of Luzon. Paper is Open Access.
Taiwan is known as the homeland of the Austronesian-speaking groups, yet other populations already had lived here since the Pleistocene. Conventional notions have postulated that the Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers were replaced or absorbed into the Neolithic Austronesian farming communities. Yet, some evidence has indicated that sparse numbers of non-Austronesian individuals continued to live in the remote mountains as late as the 1800s. The cranial morphometric study of human skeletal remains unearthed from the Xiaoma Caves in eastern Taiwan, for the first time, validates the prior existence of small stature hunter-gatherers 6000 years ago in the preceramic phase. This female individual shared remarkable cranial affinities and small stature characteristics with the Indigenous Southeast Asians, particularly the Negritos in northern Luzon. This study solves the several-hundred-years-old mysteries of ‘little black people’ legends in Formosan Austronesian tribes and brings insights into the broader prehistory of Southeast Asia.
Source: Full article: Negritos in Taiwan and the wider prehistory of Southeast Asia: new discovery from the Xiaoma Caves
Matsumura’s dual layer model is obsolete and not support by ‘many genetic studies’ as claimed within the paper. The general consensus is that the ancestors of East Asians, Australasians (Australo-Melanesians) and Indigenous South Asians, trifuricated from a common East-Eurasian meta-population source, using the southern route. East Asians originated in Southeast Asia and Southern China and spreaded northwards, not the other way. The Negrito populations do not even form a coherent genetic grouping, but are differentiated between Malay Negritos (Semang; closer related to East Asians, per Yang 2022 the Ancient Hoabinhians are on the East Asian lineage, although basal) and Philippines Negritos (closer related to Australo-Papuans, and on the Australasian lineage). Matusmura pushes his solely on craniometrics based and outdated dual layer model, despite genetic data confirmed the single southern route dispersal for the peopling of Asia and the Pacific region. We have seen that in 2017, 2019 and now again in 2022. It is neither accepted nor discussed as valid hypothese for the peopling of Asia anymore, and I suggest co-authors to spend their time in useful research, abd not 19th century thinking. It is well known that craniometrics do not necessarily correspond to genetics abd that adaptive selection for East Asians can be traced back 35,000 years ago to southern and Central China, while Siberia was than still populated by Ancient North Eurasians and Ancient North Siberians, European related populations. The northern Asian region turned genetically East Asian only with the expansion of Paleo-Siberians and Neo-Siberians about 12,000 years ago, which migrated northwards. Therefore the model by Matusmura does not only contradict the genetic data, but also other aspects of the peopling of Eurasia. Please take these points into account.