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date: 05 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the spread by migration of Neolithic farmers from southern China and Taiwan into and through the islands of Southeast Asia between 4000 and 3000 years ago. Data are drawn from archaeology, genetics, and the comparative study of the Austronesian languages. Also discussed are counterarguments that favor indigenous development of Island Southeast Asian agriculture and Neolithic material culture. This chapter supports the concept of Neolithic migration involving Austronesian language speakers, but points out that indigenous genetic descent from pre-Neolithic Holocene populations is strongly present in Wallacea, and also that both food production and maritime resource exploitation fueled the population expansion. Island Southeast Asia served as a springboard for further expansions into coastal regions of Mainland Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands beyond New Guinea and the Solomons.

Keywords: archaeology, Neolithic, Southeast Asia, island, Taiwan, Wallacea, Austronesian language, migration, food production, maritime resource

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