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Analysis of DNA from early settlers of the Pacific overturns leading genetic model.

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posted on Oct, 4 2016 @ 09:46 PM
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Analysis of DNA from early settlers of the
Pacific overturns leading genetic model



A scientific team led by researchers at Harvard Medical School, University College Dublin, and the Max Planck institute for the Science of Human History, and including Binghamton University Associate Professor of Anthropology Andrew D. Merriwether, analyzed DNA from people who lived in Tonga and Vanuatu between 2,500 and 3,100 years ago, and were among the first people to live in these islands. The results overturn the leading genetic model for this last great movement of humans to unoccupied but habitable lands. "The genetic data so far hasn't been able to prove it one way or another. Nobody ever looked directly in the past to test the question. Up until now, all of the hypotheses were based on the blood samples and cheek swabs of living people," said Merriwether, who spent a decade collecting and analyzing several thousand DNA samples in the Bismarck Archipelago with colleagues Jonathan Friedlaender of Temple University and George Koki of Goroka, Papua New Guinea. Read more at archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com...


DNA was extracted from this 3,000 year old skull and mandible from Vanuatu [Credit: Frederique Valentin]

When the researchers examined the DNA sequences they found -- to their great surprise -- that the ancient individuals carried no trace of ancestry from people who settled Papua New Guinea more than 40,000 years ago, in contrast to all present-day Pacific islanders who derive at least one-quarter of their ancestry from Papuans. This means that the Remote Oceanian pioneers swept past the archipelago that surrounds New Guinea without much mating with local people. "We had a hard time even getting this paper published, because it's controversial. But the results are very unambiguous," said Merriwether. "These early people don't show signs of Papuan DNA -- the people from New Guinea and Solomon Islands and the Bismarck Archipelago all have this much-older DNA. And we don't see signs of that, almost at all, in these ancient remains. So that implies very strongly that the people who went out there really sort of bypassed those islands, or they didn't interbreed with them. Because the modern populations have interbred with them, some over the last 3,000 years, and have some of those genes, people had assumed they must have settled and then moved on to the next island, settled and moved on. It doesn't look like they did that now. It looks like it really changes our view of history. So it's pretty significant." Read more at archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com...

Wow things are really heating up in Asia Pacific region concerning break through finds, so not island hoping as was once thought or brief stops without mixing it up , again wow!! for if they sailed passed those Islands were they aware of truly new lands??.




posted on Oct, 4 2016 @ 09:50 PM
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Long distance voyagers, indeed.

"Those guys eat people, best keep moving along."



posted on Oct, 4 2016 @ 09:53 PM
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originally posted by: Phage
"Those guys eat people, best keep moving along."

My first thoughts on 'why' as well.

Good OP though ... very interesting the way this is panning out. Anything that jostles the OS is a good one in my book.



posted on Oct, 4 2016 @ 09:54 PM
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originally posted by: Phage
Long distance voyagers, indeed.

"Those guys eat people, best keep moving along."

Lol but those long distance voyagers were not above eating long pigs themselves.



posted on Oct, 4 2016 @ 09:58 PM
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I don't understand what is so much the big revelation about this. What is the hypothesis that is proposed here to explain the DNA findings? I want to know the why, and until then, "keep on going, these people are cannibals" or whatever somebody else said sounds decent enough. Maybe they didn't have anything valuable to trade or were not very attractive or what, who knows. Maybe aliens did it. Or robot Clinton. I want to know what the crazy weird conspiracy theory is with this finding.



posted on Oct, 4 2016 @ 10:09 PM
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a reply to: JackKcaj

Simply put ... the people had been on those islands relatively undisturbed for 40,000 years.

How did they evolve in the same way everyone else did?



posted on Oct, 4 2016 @ 10:12 PM
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How did they evolve the same way everybody else did during those 40,000 years? I mean, like, are they simply the same as everybody else over those 40,000 years and there are no differences? You could only then argue, let's say that they evolved exactly the same as everybody else for 40,000 years with no breeding then certainly the environment of the planet as a whole plays a lot larger part in dna and genetic evolution... ever heard of morphogenetic field theory??



posted on Oct, 4 2016 @ 10:13 PM
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originally posted by: JackKcaj
I don't understand what is so much the big revelation about this. What is the hypothesis that is proposed here to explain the DNA findings? I want to know the why, and until then, "keep on going, these people are cannibals" or whatever somebody else said sounds decent enough. Maybe they didn't have anything valuable to trade or were not very attractive or what, who knows. Maybe aliens did it. Or robot Clinton. I want to know what the crazy weird conspiracy theory is with this finding.

Be patient, for now all they have is what's been newly discovered, the why we may find through archaeology you never know.



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 12:06 AM
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a reply to: Spider879

Not sure if this is relevant but here is an article about how scientist have found pices of Australia under Vanuatu.

The discovery of a fragment of crust, carried up in magma in Vanuatu, raises new questions about how continents are formed

Geologists thought the volcanic Vanuatu islands, about 2,200km east of Townsville, were isolated from continental influences. But a research team from James Cook University believes Vanuatu’s geological basement contains ancient material from northern Australia.


Am I connecting dots that are not there?

Anyway, To me contradictions to the conventional should be embraced as the discovery process, not swept under the rug with more arrogant assumptions.

Thanks for sharing.



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 12:10 AM
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a reply to: JackKcaj

There is no conspiracy.
The assumption was that the migration was a path of stepping stones. New information says it wasn't entirely like that.

Of interest in Anthropology. That's about it.



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 11:15 AM
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Sooo, where did they come from then? North, South, East or West? Just different DNA then.



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 11:18 AM
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I'm also curious to know where did they come from if they do not fit into the model. What is their heritage? How did they get there originally? It is very fascinating, I have an alternative world-view, I think there may have been a "polar civilization" at some point that filtered into the world from the North, think the Ainu and a few other peoples, there seems to be a few small arguments for it that I'm collecting together and I'm always interested to accumulate more information either for/against my theory. Light skinned white people might be able to be explained by living in an area with no just "dark weather" (think Europe), but with long periods of darkness.



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 12:19 PM
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Dang you Spider,.

I went to go post on this and there you were.




Ok, then what paper says, in terms of genetic, is something that has been recognized at the anthropological level for a couple of decades, namely that the Lapita, the culture in question, were not papuan, or melanesian, and did not appear to interbreed much.
Lapita burial sites have shown that the elites were not from the islands that they lived on and in many cases were buried with the heads of locals on their remains.

And now for my polynesian rant, the Lapita were not Polynesians, though they were part of a broadly related austonesian group, the Lapita and Polynesian people separated about 9kya, so those early lapita people who spread through the south west pacific were not polynesian.
The polynesians and lapita had different lifestyles, the Lapita hunted fish and other marine animals in sheltered lagoons with bows and arrows, while polynesians used harpoons, the polynesians fished in the open ocean for deep water fish, while the Lapita did not. The Lapita did not have the pig, dog, or the chicken, all of which are found at polynesian sites.
The lapita used pottery, while the polynesians did not, they used bottle gourds for the same purposes.



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 12:22 PM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

You are very well informed and that is interesting. It would indicate to me a high level of isolation, which raises many interesting questions. I'm very fascinated by anthropological things like that, especially oddities. What you just described would mean that they were isolated even from trade and cultural influences...



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 02:13 PM
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originally posted by: Snarl
a reply to: JackKcaj

Simply put ... the people had been on those islands relatively undisturbed for 40,000 years. How did they evolve in the same way everyone else did?


40,000 years is not all that long and well within the Homo sapiens window. Without any severe environmental pressure to do so, there wouldn't be much need to "evolve." Nevertheless, when you look at a modern Polynesian compared to a Melanesian, e.g. someone from New Guinea, they look a whole lot different. Human nature being what it is, there's always going to be some "gene flow." All this "finding" does is show that these migrations weren't quite as incremental as previously thought. Yet these guys had trouble publishing their paper because it was "too radical." This should give you an idea of how conservative the field is and how influential the "peer review" process is. In the greater scheme of things, this issue is just shy of trivial, yet tenured professors were staking their reputations on it. .



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 03:09 PM
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a reply to: JackKcaj

The question of the origins of later pacific peoples, the austronesian related peoples, gets very complicated the deeper and closer you look at it.

So, about four or five years ago there was a story about a piece of jadite that turned up at a Lapita site in The Bismarks. The piece of jadite was found to have originated in Baja California. There was much hoo ha and arm waving regarding the object and its proveneace.
I mentioned it to an aquaintance, that was a university geologist that worked in archeology/anthropology setting. He reached out to some of the researchers involved and he was pretty certain from their conversation, that the piece did in fact originate in mexico. HMMMM???
And Jomon pottery has been found at several Lapita sites, showing they did trade with the southern jomon.
Personally when I discuss "Polynesians", I make a distinction between Polynesians and Native Hawaiians, in that the first native Hawaiians might have come from the pacific north west, and settled the island abou 400- 600 years(0-200bc) before the Tahitians arrived and subjugated them.
Then there is the question of bottle gourds, tobbacco and sweet potatoes
I have been trying to find the list but to no avail, of some dozen north/south american plants that have been catalogued in western polynesia, indicating some level of contact before the polynesian settlement of easter island, they already had the sweet potato when they arrived.



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 03:56 PM
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Cultural contact is not quite the same thing as a massive migration of people, which this is about. You can expect to find artifacts that tend to show trade, if even through intermediaries. For an example from the other side of the world, there is a church in Roswell, Scotland, just outside of Edinburgh, that shows clear sculptures of cactus and corn, i.e. maize, on the walls. These are both New World plants unknown before Columbus. yet the church was built in the early 1300's. Obviously there had to have been some sort of contact between the two continents across the Atlantic Ocean. There's no other possible explanation. But none of that, even if extensive, implies migration patterns.



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 05:10 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler
40,000 years is not all that long and well within the Homo sapiens window.

Yeah, I know. 1,600 generations isn't all that much in the grand scheme. Still thought provoking ... still a gulf of time.



posted on Oct, 5 2016 @ 08:15 PM
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a reply to: Spider879
And just for sh*ts and giggles, I'll throw another wrench into the works, the Palauan pygmies.



Two distinct human groups are represented in the two caves by their bones:

1. a relatively recent Polynesian people whose remains are concentrated near the entrance of the caves, they represent modern Homo sapiens with dates ranging from 2,900 to 900 years before the present. These are most likely to represent the ancestors of the present native Palauans.

2. a more ancient pygmy-like population (C14-dated from 2,900 to 1,400 years before the present) was discovered in the deeper recesses of the caves. These remains suggest a short-statured population with body heights ranging from 0.94 cm to 1.2 m and an estimated body weight of 31.5 to 40.5 kg. The older bones also differ from modern humans in that they show some primitive features of Homo sapiens.

On the one hand, the Palau pygmies are similar in stature to Homo floresiensis from Flores island, Indonesia (also known as "Hobbits", see our chapter 49. Indonesia). But body height is not everything. The Palauans in other ways are anatomically closer to modern Homo sapiens than to the Hobbits. Palauan brain size is double that of the Hobbits and much closer to that of modern humans, while their shape of face and hips also are those of modern humans.

On the other hand, there are differences apart from stature to modern humans and similarities to the Hobbits. Some of the Palau pygmies lacked chins, had relatively large jaws and teeth, and relatively small eye sockets. These are features that once were were considered relevant when declaring the Hobbits to be an "archaic" people. The Palau people now seem to indicate that that these traits are caused by insular dwarfism which is an evolutionary process occurring in many mammal species (including, apparently, in humans) in restricted island environments.

Palau has no native terrestrial mammals or large reptiles that those earliest inhabitants could have hunted. Archaeological remains indicate that fishing in the area began only around 1,700 years ago, when Polynesians colonized Palau. It is not clear what the Palauans hunted and gathered and how they lived.

The researchers believe that the extremely small size of the first Palauans was due to the limited food items, tropical climate, lack of predators, a small founding gene pool and long isolation. Such an adaptation (if it took place on Paulau and the new arrivals were not already pymgies when they first stepped ashore) would take many thousands of years. It remains a completely open question just how long before the oldest date so far (2,900 years before the present) they had occupied the island.

The controversy raging around the interpretation and classification of Hobbits has already spilt over into the interpretation of the oldest Palauans and it will spill a great deal more in the coming months and years, no doubt.

The url for the link isn't working , so one can find this at the way back machine, Andaman.org.

I Palau's location makes sense for pygmies coming from the Philippines. And they were there before the modern austronesians yet after the papuans.
So now we have 4 distinct groups of people moving into the western Pacific, the papuans, then the negritos, Lapita and finally the polynesians.




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posted on Oct, 7 2016 @ 10:03 AM
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originally posted by: schuyler
Cultural contact is not quite the same thing as a massive migration of people, which this is about. You can expect to find artifacts that tend to show trade, if even through intermediaries. For an example from the other side of the world, there is a church in Roswell, Scotland, just outside of Edinburgh, that shows clear sculptures of cactus and corn, i.e. maize, on the walls. These are both New World plants unknown before Columbus. yet the church was built in the early 1300's. Obviously there had to have been some sort of contact between the two continents across the Atlantic Ocean. There's no other possible explanation. But none of that, even if extensive, implies migration patterns.


To be fair, it's not that clear they show cactus and corn, but that has been hypothesized.



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