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Bioarchaeology of East AsiaMovement, Contact, Health$
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Kate Pechenkina and Marc Oxenham

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813044279

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813044279.001.0001

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Population Dispersal from East Asia into Southeast Asia

Population Dispersal from East Asia into Southeast Asia

Evidence from Cranial and Dental Morphology

(p.179) 8 Population Dispersal from East Asia into Southeast Asia
Bioarchaeology of East Asia

Hirofumi Matsumura

Marc Oxenham

University Press of Florida

Cranial and dental morphology is assessed for a range of late Pleistocene through Holocene human remains in Southeast Asia (SEA). It is found that the majority of Pleistocene, including Hoabinhian (Mesolithic), samples exhibit Australo-Melanesian characteristics. This suggests that the first modern human colonizers of mainland SEA and the Australian sub-continent were potentially ancestors of modern day Australo-Melanesian peoples. Some traits exhibited by the putative Pleistocene founding populations were retained, even as late as the pre-Neolithic pottery using cultures of northern Vietnam. Ostensibly due to major NE Asian migrations into SEA, marked population change on the mainland is clear in northern Vietnam, and a major morphological gap exists between earlier populations and emergent Metal period communities, which resemble recent SE Asians. Our work supports the “dual layer” hypothesis, or demic diffusion model, for the origin of modern SE Asian peoples. Moreover, it seems clear that the Neolithic hosted the major events that gave rise to modern SEA populations.

Keywords:   cranial morphology, dental morphology, population movement, demic diffusion model

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