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Saturday, February 2, 2013
Gene Flow From India to Australia about 4,000 years ago
I always have thought that the argument for Australia been cut of as
unproven and worse unlikely. Thus is turns out that the Sahul had a
first populating event around 45,000 years ago nicely coinciding with
the first full peopling that took place throughout Eurasia. These
first populations were a clearly primitive lineage although I am loath to use the term as it is unfashionable. They were certainly living a
Now we find that 4000 years ago, coinciding with the global Bronze
Age world of the Atlantean culture, an injection of genetics took
place from the Indian Subcontinent. This is in fact the most likely.
The actual size of the impact remains unknown, but it was real and
appears to also have introduced new stone working technology although
those Indian sailors most surely used metals.
The Atlantaen Age penetrated all parts of the world in search of
copper in particular. However, there is scant evidence that they
established immigration. Most likely the economics did not favor
such an enterprise. The culture was clearly trade factory driven and
state sponsorship for such immigration did not exist as ultimately
occurred in Europe in our own era.
Gene flow from
India to Australia about 4,000 years ago
Germany (SPX) Jan 18, 2013
years ago, Australia was no longer connected to the mainland as it
had been during the ice age. The immigrants thus crossed the ocean,
arriving by boat. Credit: Gunter Senft/MPI for Psycholinguistics.
is thought to have remained largely isolated between its initial
colonization around 40,000 years ago and the arrival of Europeans in
the late 1800s. A study led by researchers of the Max Planck
Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, now
finds evidence of substantial gene flow between Indian populations
and Australia about 4,000 years ago.
addition, the researchers found a common origin for Australian,
New Guinean and the Philippine Mamanwa populations.These
populations followed an early southern migration route out of Africa,
while other populations settled in the region only at a later date.
holds some of the earliest archaeological evidence for the presence
of modern humans outside Africa, with the earliest sites dated to at
least 45,000 years ago, making Australian aboriginals one of the
oldest continuous populations outside Africa.
is commonly assumed that following the initial dispersal of people
into Sahul (joint Australia-New Guinea landmass) and until the
arrival of the Europeans late in the 18th Century, there was no
contact between Australia and the rest of the world.
Irina Pugach and colleagues now analysed genetic variation from
across the genome from aboriginal Australians, New Guineans, island
Southeast Asians, and Indians.
findings suggest substantial gene flow from India to Australia 4,230
years ago, i.e. during the Holocene and well before European contact.
this date also coincides with many changes in the archaeological
record of Australia, which include a sudden change in plant
processing and stone tool technologies, with microliths appearing for
the first time, and the first appearance of the dingo in the fossil
we detect inflow of genes from India into Australia at around the
same time, it is likely that these changes were related to this
migration," says Pugach.
analyses also reveal a common origin for populations from Australia,
New Guinea and the Mamanwa - a Negrito group from the Philippines -
and they estimated that these groups split from each other about
36,000 years ago.
Stoneking says: "This finding supports the view that these
populations represent the descendants of an early 'southern route'
migration out of Africa, while other populations in the region
arrived later by a separate dispersal." This also indicates that
Australians and New Guineans diverged early in the history of Sahul,
and not when the lands were separated by rising sea waters around
8,000 years ago.
Pugach, Frederick Del?n, Ellen Gunnarsdottir, Manfred Kayser, Mark
Stoneking Genome-wide data substantiates Holocene gene ?ow from India
to Australia PNAS, Online Early Edition, January 2013