Genomic insights into the peopling of the Southwest Pacific

Skoglund, Pontus, Posth, Cosimo, Sirak, Kendra, Spriggs, Matthew, Valentin, Frederique, Bedford, Stuart, Clark, Geoffrey R., Reepmeyer, Christian, Petchy, Fiona, Fernandes, Daniel, Qiaomei, Fu, Harney, Eadaoin, Lipson, Mark, Mallick, Swapan, Novak, Mario, Rohland, Nadin, Stewardson, Kristin, Abdullah, Syafiq, Cox, Murray P., Friedlaender, Francoise R., Friedlaender, Jonathan S., Kivisild, Toomas, Koki, George, Kusuma, Pradiptajati, Merriwether, D. Andrew, Ricaut, Francois-X., Wee, Joseph T.S., Patterson, Nick, Krause, Johannes, Pinhasi, Ron, and Reich, David (2016) Genomic insights into the peopling of the Southwest Pacific. Nature, 538 (7626). pp. 510-513.

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Abstract

The appearance of people associated with the Lapita culture in the South Pacific around 3,000 years ago1 marked the beginning of the last major human dispersal to unpopulated lands. However, the relationship of these pioneers to the long-established Papuan people of the New Guinea region is unclear. Here we present genome-wide ancient DNA data from three individuals from Vanuatu (about 3,100–2,700 years before present) and one from Tonga (about 2,700–2,300 years before present), and analyse them with data from 778 present-day East Asians and Oceanians. Today, indigenous people of the South Pacific harbour a mixture of ancestry from Papuans and a population of East Asian origin that no longer exists in unmixed form, but is a match to the ancient individuals. Most analyses have interpreted the minimum of twenty-five per cent Papuan ancestry in the region today as evidence that the first humans to reach Remote Oceania, including Polynesia, were derived from population mixtures near New Guinea, before their further expansion into Remote Oceania2–5. However, our finding that the ancient individuals had little to no Papuan ancestry implies that later human population movements spread Papuan ancestry through the South Pacific after the first peopling of the islands.

Item ID: 45922
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1476-4687
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Discovery grant DP0880789, ARC Discovery grant DP110101415
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2016 01:17
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060401 Anthropological Genetics @ 70%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210102 Archaeological Science @ 20%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210106 Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl New Zealand) @ 10%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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