Ancient genomes from the last three millennia support multiple human dispersals into Wallacea

Oliveira, Sandra, Nägele, Kathrin, Carlhoff, Selina, Pugach, Irina, Koesbardiati, Toetik, Hübner, Alexander, Meyer, Matthias, Oktaviana, Adhi Agus, Takenaka, Masami, Katagiri, Chiaki, Murti, Delta, Putri, Rizky, Mahirta, Mahirta, Petchey, Fiona, Higham, Thomas, Higham, Charles F.W., O'Connor, Sue, Hawkins, Stuart, Kinaston, Rebecca, Bellwood, Peter, Ono, Rintaro, Powell, Adam, Krause, Johannes, Posth, Cosimo, and Stoneking, Mark (2022) Ancient genomes from the last three millennia support multiple human dispersals into Wallacea. Nature Ecology & Evolution. (In Press)

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Previous research indicates that human genetic diversity in Wallacea—islands in present-day Eastern Indonesia and Timor-Leste that were never part of the Sunda or Sahul continental shelves—has been shaped by complex interactions between migrating Austronesian farmers and indigenous hunter–gatherer communities. Yet, inferences based on present-day groups proved insufficient to disentangle this region’s demographic movements and admixture timings. Here, we investigate the spatio-temporal patterns of variation in Wallacea based on genome-wide data from 16 ancient individuals (2600–250 years BP) from the North Moluccas, Sulawesi and East Nusa Tenggara. While ancestry in the northern islands primarily reflects contact between Austronesian- and Papuan-related groups, ancestry in the southern islands reveals additional contributions from Mainland Southeast Asia that seem to predate the arrival of Austronesians. Admixture time estimates further support multiple and/or continuous admixture involving Papuan- and Asian-related groups throughout Wallacea. Our results clarify previously debated times of admixture and suggest that the Neolithic dispersals into Island Southeast Asia are associated with the spread of multiple genetic ancestries.

Item ID: 74830
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2397-334X
Keywords: archaeology; evolutionary biology; evolutionary genetics; genetic variation; Wallacea; Indonesia
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Laureate Fellowship (FL120100156)
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2022 02:54
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430101 Archaeological science @ 70%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430102 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas @ 30%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130702 Understanding Asia’s past @ 100%
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