Who Were the First Australians, and How Many Were There?

page: 1
6

log in

join

posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 01:52 AM
link   
How many people founded the population of Australian Aborigines?


Some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago, a band of intrepid Southeast Asians became the first humans to reach Australia, and without a single glance at a GPS unit. Now new research suggests that perhaps 3000 people—many more than previously thought—made that foray into the unknown to become the continent's founding population and the ancestors of Australia's aboriginal people.

Other recent estimates—based on genetic diversity in aboriginal Australians—range from "small" to "hundreds" to "more than 1000."

Other scientists, while praising some aspects of the study, raise questions about its methodology and some of its conclusions. The number of radiocarbon dates might fluctuate because of factors other than population change, says Simon Holdaway of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, who has studied the radiocarbon method. For example, archaeological sites are more readily preserved in some landscapes than in others, which could lead to a high number of radiocarbon dates at a site with good preservation and low numbers of dates at a site with poor preservation.

Also, the study relies on a low number of data points from the early years of human occupation, says Barry Brook of the University of Adelaide in Australia, who has found evidence for a late population rise. The sparse record means that the paper's models can't distinguish between a founding population of 5000 that grew little and a founding population of 100 that quickly multiplied to 5000, he says. "For the most recent times, (the model) is reasonably realistic," he says. "For a long time ago, the model is pretty uncertain." He agrees with Williams that there was a population explosion in the more recent past, but he thinks the continent was settled by at most a few hundred people.

Source

I thought that there were at least 3 migrations into Australia, and up to 5. There doesn't seem to be any mention of that.

ETA: These guys are really stupid, they are debating why they moved to Australia? Its the best country in the world of course!
edit on 28/4/13 by Cinrad because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 02:14 AM
link   
reply to post by Cinrad
 


Interesting post !

I seem to remember that the word " Aborigine " ( Or " Ab origine " ) meant
" From the beginning "

Implying that the Aborigine people's are indigenous to Australia ?
edit on 28-4-2013 by MrJohnSmith because: ( Spelling error.)



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 02:41 AM
link   

Originally posted by MrJohnSmith
reply to post by Cinrad
 


Interesting post !

I seem to remember that the word " Aborigine " ( Or " Ab origine " ) meant
" From the beginning "

Implying that the Aborigine people's are indigenous to Australia ?
edit on 28-4-2013 by MrJohnSmith because: ( Spelling error.)


Well, at they least got there a few centuries before the white man from europe. Maybe a few millenia, just can't be for sure. We civilized chaps tend to consider the cultures without the wheel and without writing as too primitive to count for much in the advancement of mankind.



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 02:54 AM
link   
reply to post by MrJohnSmith
 

To add ... and one of the worlds oldest races, outside of Africa, where all humanity supposedly sprang from.

OP. You could do worse than ask an Aboriginal elder ( we have many tribes all over Oz ) for their stories .
Don't discount the "dreamtime" out of hand, it is a whole different thought process, designed as far as my extremely limited knowledge goes - to eliminate the "Chinese whisper" effect.

Ultimately an excellent question. It would be nice to see you come back with some further research.


edit on 28-4-2013 by Timely because: mnfvgjhjhg!!!



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 08:55 PM
link   
Humm. I would think in my limited knowledge and thinking that DNA would be the key to assessing how many different and individual people settled into Australia.

Further, I don't understand how examining sites can forecast how many made the journey. The possibility of 30,000 making the journey seems a bit much without a masterful navy supplying the transportation and that would require a great deal of sophistication from a thriving civilization. Is there evidence for that back from the supposed destination?



posted on May, 1 2013 @ 04:10 PM
link   

Originally posted by Aliensun
Further, I don't understand how examining sites can forecast how many made the journey.


They're using several models -- the process is somewhat similar to estimating dinosaur populations. (no, I don't know exactly how this is done but we were talking about some finds that are establishing the (previously unknown) presence of Tyrannosaurids in Alaska today.)


The possibility of 30,000 making the journey seems a bit much without a masterful navy supplying the transportation and that would require a great deal of sophistication from a thriving civilization. Is there evidence for that back from the supposed destination?

Short answer: You're missing some information, and "no."

* The migrations were made during a time when the sea level was lower.
* -and- humans can swim and have been crossing big stretches of water (on rafts, canoes, or something) for a very long time.
* -and- the 30,000 wasn't "all at one time and all in one group" but rather small tribelets (50-150 people) and unborn children would have been counted in the group (as well as the first generation born there)
* -and- migration took place over hundreds of years (not in one swift passage.)

Papers tend to assume that people reading them know a lot about human migration and tribes and so forth, and don't go back over these key points.



posted on May, 1 2013 @ 04:42 PM
link   
Yep they probably came in waves over hundreds if not thousands of years. Nomadic people cannot feed large groups on the move. That is a technology that has many aspects to it that require tens of thousands of years to develop.

As Byrd noted papers are written for other experts in that field.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 12:04 AM
link   
Right off get go I see flaws in their methodolgy.
If they are using mungo man as the early baseline,40k year old remains,
And I believe they are, them the whole model is flawed.
Although mungo man represents the earliest "modern human" in Australia, he did not contribute to the current aboriginal gene pool.
The last common ancestor for mungo man and all liviing humans was more than 100 k years ago. So its clear that there is no continuity with later populations.
A new consensous is that mungo man represents an extinct sub species of HSS.
Then there is the question of the Kow swamp people ,whom come much later , but seem to be descended from eastern homo erectus.

Kow Swamp, in northern Victoria, had a lake-full stage from the end of the Pleistocene to early in the Holocene, at which point it covered about 25 km 2 to a depth of 3-4 m. Wind-blown sand from the beach of this lake-full phase formed a low dune on the southeast shoreline, known as the Kow Sand. It was in this dune that the burials were situated.

In 1968 excavation of a site on the edge of Kow Swamp, not far from that of the Cohuna skull,uncovered a partial skeleton, the other half of which was already in the National Museum of Victoria, which had led to the search for the remainder of the skeleton. This Skelton was named Kow Swamp 1. By 1972 the skeletons of nearly 40 individuals had been uncovered around the edge of Kow Swamp, mostly along the eastern shore, in a narrow belt of lake silt. This silt was partially overlain by a crescentic sand dune (lunette). Radiocarbon dates from bone and charcoal associated with the burials, show that the burials span a period from about 13000 to 9500 BP.

The graves were in relatively soft silt and sand. The preservation of the skeletons was enhanced by the formation of carbonate crusts on the bone, in some cases up to 1 cm thick. Construction of an irrigation ditch through the site has disturbed some of the burials. Differential mineralisation allowed the disturbed skeletons to be reassembled because of the slightly different colours of the different skeletons.

Some of the undisturbed skeletons displayed a variety of orientations of burials, some stretched out on their backs, some on their sides, some were in a crouched position, one facing downward and forward, the knees drawn up to the chest with hands in front of the face, some were tightly flexed, with the body on its side or back, and there was 1 cremation.

This is the largest single population burial site in one locality of the late Pleistocene in the world. They were of men, women, juveniles and infants. Kow Swamp is thus of great importance to world prehistory.

The enigma of Kow Swamp is that the skulls are younger than those at Keilor and Willandra Lakes, but appear much more archaic. The people at Kow Swamp had large, long heads with very thick bone, up to 13 mm thick. Their faces were large, wide and projecting, with prominent brow ridges and flat, receding foreheads. From above they show a pronounced inward curvature behind the eye sockets,giving the skull the appearance of a flask. They had enormous teeth and jaws, some even larger than Java Man, Homo erectus (Previously called Pithecanthropus, from the middle Pleistocene of Sangiran.

Teeth are usually the most resistant body parts found in excavations of animals, but at Kow Swamp the teeth are not well preserved, few being found with their enamel crows still intact. Some of the damage to the teeth was caused by post-mortem erosion, but as well as that, the teeth of all adults display pronounced wear. It is thought it was probably the result of using grindstones to crush seeds, the stone particles in the ground seeds being responsible for the large amount of wear on the molars.

Only 1 individual at this site is of advanced age. The first molars of nearly all adults show such severe wear that the roots are exposed and worn down half way to their ends. The result that many individuals had chronic periodontal disease.

The appearance of the skulls at Kow Swamp suggest they were physically similar to those at Cohuna and Talgai. This contrasts strongly with the more gracile appearance of the inhabitants of Keilor and WLH 1 (LM1) & WLH 3 (LM3). The gracile people lack the flat, receding foreheads, pronounced brow ridges, massive jaws and thick bone of the Kow Swamp people.

Several of the Kow Swamp burials included grave goods. One body was placed on a bed of mussel shells, others included ochre, shells, marsupial teeth and quartz artefacts. One body was covered with powdered ochre. The same had occurred in a 40,000 year earlier burial at Mungo, showing a long continuity of customs, even though the people were apparently physically different.


So in both of these early sites in Australia, you have people that are so different physically from modern aboriginals that they should be construed as being different sub species of human.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 12:15 AM
link   
Continued from before.

Add to all of that it is well documented that there were several pulses of people into the sub continent.
First you have the people represented by the bradshaws rock art, that show people with fancy dress and large boats , all around the time the study says there is a large upswing in population .
Then there is the austronesian input which brings the dingo, then Finally there is a dravidian influx into.northern Australia fairly recently,like 4000 years ago.
All of those add to the basic diversity of the Australians,
But not as much as low overall population size and relative isolation of groups.
Basically there were a number of small population groups that had limited to no contact with each other that diverted radically due to internal social stuctures , ie kinship constructs.





new topics

top topics



 
6

log in

join