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Early Holocene human presence in Madagascar

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posted on Sep, 19 2018 @ 06:52 AM
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Early Holocene human presence in Madagascar evidenced by exploitation of avian megafauna


Abstract

Previous research suggests that people first arrived on Madagascar by ~2500 years before present (years B.P.). This hypothesis is consistent with butchery marks on extinct lemur bones from ~2400 years B.P. and perhaps with archaeological evidence of human presence from ~4000 years B.P. We report >10,500-year-old human-modified bones for the extinct elephant birds Aepyornis and Mullerornis, which show perimortem chop marks, cut marks, and depression fractures consistent with immobilization and dismemberment. Our evidence for anthropogenic perimortem modification of directly dated bones represents the earliest indication of humans in Madagascar, predating all other archaeological and genetic evidence by >6000 years and changing our understanding of the history of human colonization of Madagascar. This revision of Madagascar’s prehistory suggests prolonged human-faunal coexistence with limited biodiversity loss.
advances.sciencemag.org...


So wow, humans were crossing wide bodies of water for a very long time however this pales in comparison to Australians, but my question is if they setout on primitive rafts how could they be sure to hit land fall, is Madagascar even visible from any part of Africa, were there islands now sunken that they could effectively island hop.

I know later folks eventually developed skills that could lead them far from home but wow.




posted on Sep, 19 2018 @ 07:19 AM
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a reply to: Spider879

This sounds reasonable to me. I remember as a very small child making little boats out of vegetation to float in puddles. Just because I was bored. If a 3 or 4 year old child can construct his own mock boat just to play, any group of adults with much higher aim can do much better.

We always underestimate that which we do not understand.

Here is another odd thought that popped into my head - some tribes never make boats because there is a possibility that their leader is a jealous and controlling leader and does not want his tribe to "escape" his (or her?) power. So that could be a reason why primitive tribes stay isolated on some islands. Maybe their kings and queens wanted them isolated.



posted on Sep, 19 2018 @ 07:25 AM
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a reply to: Spider879

"my question is if they setout on primitive rafts how could they be sure to hit land fall, is Madagascar even visible from any part of Africa, were there islands now sunken that they could effectively island hop."

They would probobly have attempted to follow the birds regarding land fall. As to navigation, well the stars have been around long before Man looked up at them.
edit on 19-9-2018 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 19 2018 @ 07:38 AM
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a reply to: Spider879

Sometimes I read about early boats in this part of the world but not this early. For somewhere like Australia we see canoes but with Africa it's often boats made out of reeds or bundles of reeds.

It doesn't really surprise me too much. Many early migrations followed the course of rivers. It seems natural to try the sea. I wonder what the coast looked like back then. Maybe sea level was lower and there were more islands than today.



posted on Sep, 19 2018 @ 08:07 AM
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originally posted by: toms54
a reply to: Spider879

Sometimes I read about early boats in this part of the world but not this early. For somewhere like Australia we see canoes but with Africa it's often boats made out of reeds or bundles of reeds.

It doesn't really surprise me too much. Many early migrations followed the course of rivers. It seems natural to try the sea. I wonder what the coast looked like back then. Maybe sea level was lower and there were more islands than today.

wonder what the coast looked like back then. Maybe sea level was lower and there were more islands than today.

Yeah I was thinking along similar lines.



posted on Sep, 19 2018 @ 08:08 AM
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a reply to: andy06shake

True star gazing is extremely old.



posted on Sep, 19 2018 @ 08:15 AM
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a reply to: Fools

But their kind of political organization was probably egalitarian , than a chiefdom, think of the Khoisan who lived very simple livea with out chiefs, farmers and herders tends to hoard power and being control freaks leading to what we called civilization.

edit on 19-9-2018 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 19 2018 @ 08:23 AM
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a reply to: Spider879

There will always be leaders, and there will always be followers, not so much to do with politics, more to do with Human nature.

Not get much done without a figurehead to spur on the crowd to carry out there will.



posted on Sep, 19 2018 @ 08:23 AM
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a reply to: Spider879

As is navigating by the stars.



posted on Sep, 19 2018 @ 08:34 AM
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a reply to: Spider879

Hi Spider,

I read this last week without really taking any of it in so thanks for posting and forcing me to absorb it again!


10 500 years ago, sea levels would have been lower. It is logical to therefore assume island hopping was a bit easier. However, to get to Madagascar, you have to cross over the Mozambique channel. The shallowest part is around 2000m deep, the deepest over 4000m. In other words, no submerged islands and even a 100m lower sea level wouldn't make the blindest bit of difference. However you spin it, this required deep sea navigational skills.

Mozambique Channel

ETA:

Should qualify that by saying it would be possible to island hop via Comoros and Mayotte but that only gets you to the very northern tip of Madagascar. If you miss it, nothing until Australia.........in a canoe..........
edit on 19-9-2018 by Flavian because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 19 2018 @ 08:36 AM
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originally posted by: Spider879
a reply to: Fools

But their kind of political organization was probably egalitarian , than a chiefdom, think of the Khoisan who lived very simple livea with out chiefs, farmers and herders tends to hoard power and being control freaks leading to what we called civilization.


I would not be so sure about that. Isolation can bring about some pretty strange things. Also, I never bought into any Eden scheme. I am have seen enough weird human behavior to think that we are all lucky to be anywhere near civilized at all. Hell even if I look at some of my own behavior that at some point I thought was rational turned out to be very irrational.



posted on Sep, 19 2018 @ 08:39 AM
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originally posted by: andy06shake
a reply to: Spider879

There will always be leaders, and there will always be followers, not so much to do with politics, more to do with Human nature.

Not get much done without a figurehead to spur on the crowd to carry out there will.

Yeah but communal decision making was more in those times, top heavy was not really a thing then.
However you maybe right Gobeki Tepi would take a very strong chief if not a king to pull that off.



posted on Sep, 19 2018 @ 09:20 AM
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Who could resist 9ft tall 1,100 pound turkeys?

One egg could feed an entire village breakfast!

Humans were never as primitive as assumed, resourcefulness and innovation were inspired by the motivation of survival. Where there was will they found a way...




posted on Sep, 19 2018 @ 11:14 AM
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a reply to: Spider879
I think whoever wrote that article ought to revise their timeline. I think they are missing a nought off the end of their figures.
First date for the first people arriving in Madagascar 2500 BP. Not spectacular at all when you consider the Egyptians had sea going reed boats at that time. I think that time should read 25000 BP.
Similar for the 10,500 date. There were a few civilizations about at that time with established cities not hunters scraping and splitting bones for food. I think that time should read 105,000 BP.



posted on Sep, 20 2018 @ 04:47 AM
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originally posted by: crayzeed
a reply to: Spider879
I think whoever wrote that article ought to revise their timeline. I think they are missing a nought off the end of their figures.
First date for the first people arriving in Madagascar 2500 BP. Not spectacular at all when you consider the Egyptians had sea going reed boats at that time. I think that time should read 25000 BP.
Similar for the 10,500 date. There were a few civilizations about at that time with established cities not hunters scraping and splitting bones for food. I think that time should read 105,000 BP.


You can think what you want.
Every serious researcher is constrained by the evidence on hand, which in this case doesn't have your extra zeroes.

Harte



posted on Sep, 20 2018 @ 08:19 AM
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a reply to: Spider879

Gobeki Tepi a perfect example, cant pull off something like that without a modicum of infrastructure never mind some very talented and rather skilled engineers/stone masons.

So theirs the top of the power pyramid forming right there really.



posted on Sep, 21 2018 @ 04:55 PM
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a reply to: Spider879

I just read another article about this on Ancient Origins.

Humans were Hunting the Largest Bird in the World on Madagascar 10,500 Years Ago

It's a short 1 page article with pictures and a video about elephant birds.



Analysis of elephant bird bones, once the largest bird in the world, has revealed that humans arrived on the tropical island of Madagascar more than 6,000 years earlier than previously thought. They apparently lived alongside the giant birds for thousands of years, hunting and butchering them for food as need arose. Apart from pushing back the date of human migration to Madagascar, the study also sheds new light on the human role in the extinction of the island’s megafauna. A team of scientists led by international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London) discovered that ancient bones from the extinct Madagascan elephant birds (Aepyornis and Mullerornis) show cut marks and depression fractures consistent with hunting and butchery by prehistoric humans. Elephant birds weighed at least half a tonne, were no less than 3 meters (9.84 ft.) tall and laid huge eggs.




"This new discovery turns our idea of the first human arrivals on its head. We know that at the end of the Ice Age , when humans were only using stone tools, there were a group of humans that arrived on Madagascar. We do not know the origin of these people and won't until we find further archaeological evidence, but we know there is no evidence of their genes in modern populations. The question remains -- who these people were? And when and why did they disappear?"



posted on Sep, 24 2018 @ 03:37 PM
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a reply to: Spider879

Spider,
Thanks for posting this.
I've read that the Austronesian's mythology says there were people there when they got there.
I've also read that there is evidence that the earliest people were pygmys, and there is some cultural connection, tool forms or something like that, to the Andamans and other negrito people of SE asia.



posted on Sep, 24 2018 @ 10:21 PM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

Wondering if their genes got passed on to the later Austronesian and Bantu folks who came later.
edit on 24-9-2018 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 25 2018 @ 01:30 PM
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a reply to: Spider879

I dont no if the early people left a trace in the Malagasy, but they did leave their mark in the Negritos of SE Asia, in the form of Steatopygia.
And I do believe that development of Steatopygia has been temporally constrained to less than 13,000 years.
The timing clearly shows it is likely an adaptation to deprivation caused by the sudden onset of the Younger Dryas.
Women who stored extra fat were able to raise more infants successfully and were therefore more desirable mates, so it was positively selected for.



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