Directionally supervised cellular automaton for the initial peopling of Sahul

Bradshaw, Corey J.A., Crabtree, Stefani A., White, Devin A., Ulm, Sean, Bird, Michael I., Williams, Alan N., and Saltré, Frédérik (2023) Directionally supervised cellular automaton for the initial peopling of Sahul. Quaternary Science Reviews, 303. 107971.

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Reconstructing the patterns of Homo sapiens expansion out of Africa and across the globe has been advanced using demographic and travel-cost models. However, modelled routes are ipso facto influenced by migration rates, and vice versa. We combined movement ‘superhighways’ with a demographic cellular automaton to predict one of the world’s earliest peopling events — Sahul between 75,000–50,000 years ago. Novel outcomes from the superhighways weighted model include (i) an approximate doubling of the predicted time to continental saturation (~ 10,000 years) compared to that based on the directionally unsupervised model (~5,000 years), suggesting that rates of migration need to account for topographical constraints in addition to rate of saturation; (ii) a previously undetected movement corridor south through the centre of Sahul early in the expansion wave based on the scenarios assuming two dominant entry points into Sahul; and (iii) a better fit to the spatially de-biased, Signor-Lipps corrected layer of initial arrival inferred from dated archaeological material. Our combined model infrastructure provides a data-driven means to examine how people initially moved through, settled, and abandoned different regions of the globe.

Item ID: 77370
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-457X
Keywords: superhighways, human ecology, archaeology, population expansion
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CE170100015), ARC Future Fellowship (FT120100656), ARC Laureate Fellowship (FL140100044)
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2023 21:27
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430101 Archaeological science @ 75%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4501 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history > 450101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander archaeology @ 25%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130703 Understanding Australia’s past @ 100%
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