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Author Topic: Lapita/  (Read 3606 times)
Robert Henvell
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Posts: 124

« on: June 05, 2008, 03:21:05 PM »

A number of inconsistencies appear to be associated with the premise that the
descendants of Formosan seafarers contributed to the initial dispersal of Lapita
ceramics and cultural artifacts to Vanuata and Fiji.

C Hill [2006] and P Soares [2008] proposed that people with mtDNA M7c1c
And subclades of mtDNA haplogroup E migrated northward from Island SE
Asia to Taiwan during the Holocene.

C Palides [2006] claims that many Lapita “innovations” were  present in
Melanesia by 2000BCE.Tridaona shell adzes,Trocus arm rings,and one piece
 fish hooks are pre-Lapita [Spriggs,1997].Ceramics east of the lower Ramu
River,New Guinea,tentatively date to ca 3600BCE [P Swadling,1989].Cord
 and paddle impressed pottery were retrieved from east Borneo caves [ca
3500?BCE] Sabuh and Sulawesi.Traces of  rice from Gua Sinah cave on
Sarawak are deemed to be 4500 years old [J Chazine,1996].

Provisional genetic results from 60 Lapita remains at Teouma cemetery on
Vanuata [1200-1000BCE] have no or minimal correlation with Polynesian
DNA. [L Matisoo-Smith,2006].G Horvat [2006] provided a summary of 493
Vanuata mtDNA samples.Over 70% belong to haplogroups,which are
considered to have Melanesian origins and less than 18% have an Asia
B-4a component.This genetic information does not imply an early Formosan

Fiji is the most western of the Polynesian islands.MtDNA analysis of 59
Fijian specimens yielded 44 with the B4a1a1 [Polynesian] and 15 with
Melanesian haplogroups.The frequency of Fijian Melanesian mtDNAs
[20.5%] is higher than the average for the Polynesian Islands [6%].Fiji is
 the only Polynesian island that has all 4 mtDNA haplogroups,that occur
 among Polynesian populations.Fiji has the highest diversity of Y chromo
-some and mtDNA markers in Polynesia.It also has the highest frequency
of the Y chromosome M-M4 [24.3%].which has only a 2% frequency in
Melanesia,where it probably originated.Today many Melanesians carry the
sub-group M-P34.This infers that M-M4 is an old lineage,which left
Melanesia before the M-P34 mutation had attained an appreciable frequency
[M Kayser,2006].A cranial and post cranial phenotypic measurement study
Of 44 Austrolo-Melanesians and Mongoloids by Pietrusewsky [1994]
 indicated  that the Fijian samples clustered with Melanesians,rather than
with Polynesian Tongans and Samoans.Collation of the above and the
archaeological data suggests that Fiji might have been colonized by
Melanesians prior to the arrival of people,who carried east Asia genes
and whose descendants eventually sailed eastward with a high proportion
of Melanesian males [speculation].

A number of Y chromosome STR haplotypes on the backgroud of Q-M122
are shared between Polynesia and Asia [8%],Polynesia and Melanesia [16%]
and Melanesia and Asia [4%].This includes 2 haplotypes,which are shared
between 3 geographic regions.O-M122 “seems” to have spread relatively
 recently from Asia to Polynesia via Melanesia [M Kayser,2006].

Network and demographic analysis were preformed on the most frequent Y
chromosome and mtDNA sequences in Polynesia using Y-STRs and mtDNA
sequence haplotypes.The number of founding haplotypes is low in Polynesia.
Asian mtDNa haplotypes are shared between Melanesians and Polynesians.
There is no sharing of Melanesian mtDNA haplotypes between Polynesians
 and Melanesians [small sample size].This is compatible with the spread of
 east Asia genes,after an initial dispersal of people with Melanesian haplotypes
[critical sampling gaps need to be infilled to assess the validity of this

Richard Parker has constructed several comprehensive maps.which illustrate
the dispersal of languages throughout Melanesia.Hopefully he and others
will contribute their knowledge to this discussion.

The Polynesian motif has not been identified in any Lapita remains,which
pre-date the first Polynesian site on Tonga [ca 950BCE].There does not
seem to be any genetic evidence to support a Formosan [Amis] presence in
 the initial voyages to Vanuata and Fiji.The available information suggests
that Melanesians were the first mariners to venture eastward.Small group
 may have sailed to Samoa and Tonga,prior to the arrival of the east Asians.

Principal source:Melanesian and Asian Origins of Polynesians,Manfred
Kayser et al,2006,Molecular Biology and Evolution,Volume 23,Number
11,pages 2234-2244 plus supplementary material.

E.P. Grondine
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Posts: 107

« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2008, 10:08:17 PM »

Good to see B mt DNA tracked by the geneticists, but please remember the sample has been biased.

Aside from the rise in sea levels over the last 13,000 years, which places the really early sites under 300 feet or so of water, of course you're dealing with a sample which has been limited by a recent impact - in this case the "great wall of water", tentatively dated to 1431 or so. Ever wonder what happened to the folks on Ponhpei (spelling?) and where those strange Tongan traditions came from ?

In the Americas, between impact and the conquest, we appear to have nearly entirely lost the savanah river mt DNA haplogroup.

E.P. Grondine
Man and Impact in the Americas
Robert Henvell
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Posts: 124

« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2008, 01:33:01 PM »

Apologies there is a typing error.The second line of the second last paragraph should read ca 850BCE.
Robert Henvell
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Posts: 124

« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2009, 12:38:27 AM »

Collation of the Island SE Asian archaeological and prehistory
data for ca 2500-1000BC has not yielded sufficient definitive
information to confidently reconstruct the chronology of human
migration patterns.Red-slipped pottery,Fengtian nephrite and
possibly an Austronesian language were introduced to NE
Cagayan coast of Luzon in the Philippines post ca 2000BC
[A Mijares,2005,2008] from eastern Taiwan.It is difficult to
trace the movement of red-slipped pottery along the maritime
west coast of the Philippines towards Borneo and the Moluccas
,because there is a paucity of reliable age determinations.Red-
slipped ceramics,which were excavated on NE  Borneo [eg:
Bukit Tengkorah rockshelters,P Bellwood,1989] and Molucca
[eg:Uttamdi rockshelter,Kayao Island east if Halmanera
Island,P Bellwood,1993] post date 1250BC.No red-slipped
pottery shards were retrieved from the Tanjung Pinang rock-
shelter on south Morotai,ENE of Halmanera,which is
occupied by Papuan speakers [G Irwin,1996].People,who
made red-slipped ceramics “might” have introduced an
Austronesian language to parts of the east coast Indonesian
Archipelago post 1250BC.Their ancestors may have made
similar type vessels in eastern Taiwan as early as 2250-2200
BC [speculation].No dentate decorations have been
identified on red-slipped shards from Taiwan to Uttamdi
via the Palawan Island maritime route.

P Bellwood [1976] obtained a date of ca 2563 BC +/- 80a
cal’07 from a charcoal sample near the base of the ceramic
level ,which contained some red-slipped potshards at the
Leang Tuwo Mane’e site on the Talaud Islands.This predates
the arrival of this ceramic type on NE Luzon [ca 2000BC]
and the evolution of  the Lapita dentate pottery style on Manus
Island post 1450BC.The Talaud Islands are much closer to
Manus than Taiwan is.Many elements of the Lapita cultural
Package were available in or near Island Melanesia pre-1450
BC [eg:shell adzes].

Some of the obsidian,which was retrieved from the upper
levels at Bukit Tengkorah was sourced in Talasea,New
Britain and obsidian in the lower layers came partly from
the Talaud Islands [S Chia.1997].J Chazine [2005]
reported  that obsidian,a Vanatua type inhumation, pot-
shards with dentate motifs and a funerary jar with
affinities to Lapita ceramics,were excavated at Gua Batu-
Aji in East Kalimantan.He has tentatively proposed a late
Lapita era for this cultural material [?],which indicates
interaction with Lapita communities to the east.Maritime
contacts within NE and eastern Indonesia were complex
after ca 1250BC.

There is a possibility that Austronesian speakers did not
reach the eastern extremities of Island SE Asia until ca
1250BC,which post dates the initial dispersal  of Lapita
pottery.This is compatible with the absence of the
Polynesian genetic motif among ancient Lapita remains
east of New Britain.There is no diagnostic evidence that
the dispersal of Lapita pottery is associated with the
spread of Austronesian languages.The latter could have
been introduced later as the ancestors of Polynesian
women voyaged eastward.

The above reconstruction is not based on sufficient
reliable information and is blatantly speculative.Its
main objective is to emphasis the wide range of
available options,that can be derived from the current
data base.

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