via World Archaeology, 13 October 2022: An overview of how humans populated rainforests during the Pleistocene. The data has a strong focus on Southeast Asian sites and offers four models for human colonisation.
This paper is a cross-comparative examination of how tropical forested islands were populated by humans. It first describes the unique ecological conditions of these environments, how they fluctuated during glacial cycles, and the challenges and affordances they provided people. The paper then explores the global archaeological record, classifying modes of colonisation that led insular tropical forests to be populated. These modes include terrestrial colonisation followed by insularisation (Mode A), maritime colonisation followed by major landmass reconfiguration (Mode B), maritime colonisation of uninhabited islands that always remained insular (Mode C), and maritime colonisation of already inhabited islands (Mode D). Finally, the paper discusses how, amongst Homo sapiens, ongoing dynamism between human adaptive behaviours and environmental flux stimulated processes of diversification, specialisation, and connectivity in these crucial ecologies; by contrast, archaic hominins like Homo erectus, Homo floresiensis, and Homo luzonensis may have found changes associated with forest expansion and insularity extremely challenging.
Source: Full article: Peopling island rainforests: global trends from the Early Pleistocene to the Late Holocene
Leave a Reply