Ancient DNA reveals five streams of migration into Micronesia and matrilocality in early Pacific seafarers
Emeritus Professor Matthew Spriggs from the School of Archaeology and Anthropology has co-authored a paper, recently published in Science Magazine.
A new genetic study of 276 ancient and modern humans in Micronesia reveals successive movements of populations from island Southeast Asia that differ from those in the southwest Pacific.
Evidence shows that men moved to find their mates, whereas women rarely moved to join men, making these societies matrilinear.
Human migrations into Micronesia
The movements of ancient humans can be difficult to ascertain from their current population genetic structure. Studying the peopling of the Micronesian islands, Liu et al. examined 164 ancient human remains from five different archaeological sites in remote Oceania from different prehistoric time frames, along with 112 present-day individuals from the same area. They combined these new data with the results of previous studies and also compared their results with linguistic studies. Their analysis revealed successive movements from island Southeast Asia that differ from those in the southwest Pacific. Furthermore, co-analysis of Micronesian and southwest Pacific ancient DNA indicates that the first people who colonized the Pacific islands had a population structure in which men moved to find their mates, whereas women rarely moved to join men.
You can access the full paper here: