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ScienceDaily (May 26, 2008) — Research led by the University of Leeds has discovered genetic evidence that overturns existing theories about human migration into Island Southeast Asia (covering the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysian Borneo) - taking the timeline back by nearly 10,000 years.
Prevailing theory suggests that the present-day populations of Island Southeast Asia (ISEA) originate largely from a Neolithic expansion from Taiwan driven by rice agriculture about 4,000 years ago - the so-called "Out of Taiwan" model.
However an international research team, led by the UK's first Professor of Archaeogenetics, Martin Richards, has shown that a substantial fraction of their mitochondrial DNA lineages (inherited down the female line of descent), have been evolving within ISEA for a much longer period, possibly since modern humans arrived some 50,000 years ago.
Moreover, the lineage can be shown to have actually expanded in the opposite direction - into Taiwan - within the last 10,000 years.