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Thread: Current thinking regarding ancient movement from Southern China into northern Taiwan

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    I recently came across some studies I had not previously seen, those being the Ko et al. (2014) and Sagart et al. (2018) studies. The 2020 paper (mentioned above) by Yang et al. titled Ancient DNA indicates human population shifts and admixture in northern and southern China, doesn’t directly reference either paper, however a few of the co-authors from the 2014 paper were also involved in the 2020 paper.

    The Ko et al. (2014) study, titled Early Austronesians: Into and Out Of Taiwan, has the following findings:

    A Taiwan origin for the expansion of the Austronesian languages and their speakers is well supported by linguistic and archaeological evidence. However, human genetic evidence is more controversial. Until now, there had been no ancient skeletal evidence of a potential Austronesian-speaking ancestor prior to the Taiwan Neolithic ∼6,000 years ago, and genetic studies have largely ignored the role of genetic diversity within Taiwan as well as the origins of Formosans. We address these issues via analysis of a complete mitochondrial DNA genome sequence of an ∼8,000-year-old skeleton from Liang Island (located between China and Taiwan) and 550 mtDNA genome sequences from 8 aboriginal (highland) Formosan and 4 other Taiwanese groups. We show that the Liangdao Man mtDNA sequence is closest to Formosans, provides a link to southern China, and has the most ancestral haplogroup E sequence found among extant Austronesian speakers. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis allows us to reconstruct a history of early Austronesians arriving in Taiwan in the north ∼6,000 years ago, spreading rapidly to the south, and leaving Taiwan ∼4,000 years ago to spread throughout Island Southeast Asia, Madagascar, and Oceania.
    The Sagart et al. (2018) study, titled A northern Chinese origin of Austronesian agriculture: new evidence on traditional Formosan cereals, has the following findings:

    We report on botanically informed linguistic fieldwork of the agricultural vocabulary of Formosan aborigines, which converges with earlier findings in archaeology, genetics and historical linguistics to assign a lesser role for rice than was earlier thought, and a more important one for the millets. We next present the results of an investigation of domestication genes in a collection of traditional rice landraces maintained by the Formosan aborigines over a hundred years ago. The genes controlling awn length, shattering, caryopsis color, plant and panicle shapes contain the same mutated sequences as modern rice varieties everywhere else in the world, arguing against an independent domestication in south China or Taiwan. Early and traditional Formosan agriculture was based on foxtail millet, broomcorn millet and rice. We trace this suite of cereals to northeastern China in the period 6000–5000 BCE and argue, following earlier proposals, that the precursors of the Austronesians, expanded south along the coast from Shandong after c. 5000 BCE to reach northwest Taiwan in the second half of the 4th millennium BCE. This expansion introduced to Taiwan a mixed farming, fishing and intertidal foraging subsistence strategy; domesticated foxtail millet, broomcorn millet and japonica rice; a belief in the sacredness of foxtail millet; ritual ablation of the upper incisors in adolescents of both sexes; domesticated dogs; and a technological package including inter alia houses, nautical technology, and loom weaving.
    Both studies appear to propose a similar migration route of pre-Austronesians, with the Sagart et al. (2018) study suggesting it started from Shandong in particular, with both identifying the Fuzhou basin as the last settled place in southern China before exploration and movement occurred towards Taiwan. Here are the proposed migration map figures from each study with the respective description.

    Ko et al. (2014) study:

     


    (A) Geographic regions in China of foxtail millet domestication51 (shaded) delimited by Nanzhuangtou, Cishan, and Yuezhuang, and of rice domestication52 (shaded) in the Yangtze River Valley. Shown are (1) early Austronesians in the Fuzhou region, (2) entry into north Taiwan, and (3) rapid north-south dispersal along the west coast and crop cultivation at Nanguanli.50 (4) One Austronesian language subgroup from Taiwan is ancestral to the Proto-Malayo-Polynesian language subgroup in the Philippines.
    Sagart et al. (2018) study:

     


    Archaeological sites in this study and the proposed migration route. 1, Zhangmatun; 2, Yuezhuang; 3, Beixin; 4, Dadunzi; 5, Dongpan; 6, Weidun; 7, Hemudu; 8, Tanshishan; 9, Nankuanli. Sites where tooth ablation is reported are indicated by red dots. The arrow shows the proposed migration route of the pre-Austronesians from Shandong to Taiwan.
    From what I understand, the suggest pathway of southern movement from both of these studies doesn’t seem to conflict with the findings of Yang et al. (2020). If anything, both seem to complement the study in some regards (from what I've briefly read, I haven't had a chance to go into detail yet). Are either of these studies frowned upon academically? Or are they considered important pieces of the overall Austronesian puzzle.
    Ancestry on paper: English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Croatian, Ashkenazi, Polish and Māori.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BalkanKiwi View Post
    I recently came across some studies I had not previously seen, those being the Ko et al. (2014) and Sagart et al. (2018) studies. The 2020 paper (mentioned above) by Yang et al. titled Ancient DNA indicates human population shifts and admixture in northern and southern China, doesn’t directly reference either paper, however a few of the co-authors from the 2014 paper were also involved in the 2020 paper.

    The Ko et al. (2014) study, titled Early Austronesians: Into and Out Of Taiwan, has the following findings:



    The Sagart et al. (2018) study, titled A northern Chinese origin of Austronesian agriculture: new evidence on traditional Formosan cereals, has the following findings:



    Both studies appear to propose a similar migration route of pre-Austronesians, with the Sagart et al. (2018) study suggesting it started from Shandong in particular, with both identifying the Fuzhou basin as the last settled place in southern China before exploration and movement occurred towards Taiwan. Here are the proposed migration map figures from each study with the respective description.

    Ko et al. (2014) study:

     




    Sagart et al. (2018) study:

     




    From what I understand, the suggest pathway of southern movement from both of these studies doesn’t seem to conflict with the findings of Yang et al. (2020). If anything, both seem to complement the study in some regards (from what I've briefly read, I haven't had a chance to go into detail yet). Are either of these studies frowned upon academically? Or are they considered important pieces of the overall Austronesian puzzle.
    I remember seeing the map from the first study posted elsewhere back in the day. The Nov 2020 paper on the "genetic history of Southern China" suggested that there was some gene flow from an ancestral Proto/Pre-Austronesian population related to Fujian_Neolithic towards Shandong_Neolithic. This Austronesian-like/Fujian_Neolithic population was admixed with a coastal ghost population component also found in Jomon and Amur_Neolithic, which implies that Shandong_Neolithic also had some indirect coastal ghost ancestry.

    Last edited by okarinaofsteiner; 02-23-2021 at 06:49 AM. Reason: added screenshot from referenced paper

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    Quote Originally Posted by okarinaofsteiner View Post
    I remember seeing the map from the first study posted elsewhere back in the day. The Nov 2020 paper on the "genetic history of Southern China" suggested that there was some gene flow from an ancestral Proto/Pre-Austronesian population related to Fujian_Neolithic towards Shandong_Neolithic. This Austronesian-like/Fujian_Neolithic population was admixed with a coastal ghost population component also found in Jomon and Amur_Neolithic, which implies that Shandong_Neolithic also had some indirect coastal ghost ancestry.

    I hadn't seen this paper before. I've given it a quick read. Am I correct in saying it focuses on Austronesian admixture in southern China, rather than southern Chinese admixture in Austronesians? I haven't heard the term "ghost ancestry" used before. That's quite interesting.
    Ancestry on paper: English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Croatian, Ashkenazi, Polish and Māori.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BalkanKiwi View Post
    I hadn't seen this paper before. I've given it a quick read. Am I correct in saying it focuses on Austronesian admixture in southern China, rather than southern Chinese admixture in Austronesians? I haven't heard the term "ghost ancestry" used before. That's quite interesting.
    https://anthrogenica.com/showthread....uthern-Chinese

    Here is the abstract. I think the main focus is on the genetic relationships betweeen modern East Asian groups and ancient Continental Asian populations, so it doesn't really focus on ancient or modern-day Austronesians.

    To comprehensively cover the genetic diversity in East and Southeast Asia, we generated genome-wide SNP data from 211 present-day Southern Chinese and co-analyzed them with more than 1,200 ancient and modern genomes. We discover that the previously described ‘Southern East Asian’ or ‘Yangtze River Farmer’ lineage is monophyletic but not homogeneous, comprising four regionally differentiated sub-ancestries. These ancestries are respectively responsible for the transmission of Austronesian, Kra-Dai, Hmong-Mien, and Austroasiatic languages and their original homelands successively distributed from East to West in Southern China. Multiple phylogenetic analyses support that the earliest living branching among East Asian-related populations is First Americans (~27,700 BP), followed by the pre-LGM differentiation between Northern and Southern East Asians (~23,400 BP) and the pre-Neolithic split between Coastal and Inland Southern East Asians (~16,400 BP). In North China, distinct coastal and inland routes of south-to-north gene flow had established by the Holocene, and further migration and admixture formed the genetic profile of Sinitic speakers by ~4,000 BP.

    Four subsequent massive migrations finalized the complete genetic structure of present-day Southern Chinese. First, a southward available under a Sinitic migration and the admixture with Kra-Dai speakers formed the ‘Sinitic Cline’. Second, a bi-directional admixture between Hmong-Mien and Kra-Dai speakers gave rise to the ‘Hmong-Mien Cline’ in the interior of South China between ~2,000 and ~1,000 BP. Third, a southwestward migration of Kra-Dai speakers in recent ~2,000 years impacted the genetic profile for the majority of Mainland Southeast Asians. Finally, an admixture between Tibeto-Burman incomers and indigenous Austroasiatic speakers formed the Tibeto-Burman speakers in Southeast Asia by ~2,000 BP.
    There are probably several Austronesian-Austroasiatic genetic clines across much of Maritime SE Asia, from the central/southern Philippines to most of Indonesia west of the Lombok strait, and up to the Isthmus of Kra. But that's outside the scope of this paper.

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