Neolithic dispersal implications of murids from late Holocene archaeological and modern natural deposits in the Talaud Islands, northern Sulawesi

Louys, Julien, Herrera, Michael, Hawkins, Stuart, Aplin, Ken, Reepmeyer, Christian, Hopf, Felicitas, Donnellan, Stephen C., O'Connor, Sue, and Tanudirjo, Daud A. (2018) Neolithic dispersal implications of murids from late Holocene archaeological and modern natural deposits in the Talaud Islands, northern Sulawesi. In: O'Connor, Sue, Bulbeck, David, and Meyer, Juliet, (eds.) The Archaeology of Sulawesi: current research on the Pleistocene to the historic period. Terra Australis (48). ANU Press, Canberra, ACT, Australia, pp. 223-242.

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The Sangihe-Talaud Archipelago represents a group of 77 remote islands located between the Philippines and North Sulawesi, in the northern sector of Wallacea. The Talaud Islands have a rich and significant archaeological record going back to the Pleistocene and are instrumental in understanding Pleistocene colonisation of small islands and later models of Austronesian language dispersal. Here we report on vertebrate material excavated from Leang Mande'et, a late Holocene rockshelter on Karakelang, the main island in the Talaud group. The site represents a periodically occupied shelter used for gardening. Fauna recovered predominately comprises murid elements, with at least four taxa (Rattus rattus, Rattus exulans and two Melomys species) found. The rodents show clear signs of being deposited by raptors rather than humans, unlike the small number of fish remains also recovered. DNA sequences from several Rattus rattus specimens are referrable to Rattus rattus complex lineage IV, a lineage with a southern Indochinese origins and broad modern representation through Indonesia and the Philippines. The lack of any Rattus rattus complex lineage II from Leang Mande’et suggests that the first agricultural inhabitants of this island did not come from Taiwan or northern Indochina, but rather that they either originated from the south or that, once established in the Talauds, opened up significant trade networks to the south and in the process acquired a significant pest.

Item ID: 57076
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-76046-257-4
Keywords: black rat, Austronesian migration, Karakelang, ancient DNA
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Copyright Information: This title is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Discovery Grant DE130100046
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2019 05:23
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430102 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas @ 40%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430101 Archaeological science @ 60%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950502 Understanding Asias Past @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960803 Documentation of Undescribed Flora and Fauna @ 50%
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