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J Hum Genet. 2008;53(8):698-708. doi: 10.1007/s10038-008-0301-3. Epub 2008 May 23.

Reconstructing the origin of the Lapita Cultural Complex: mtDNA analyses of East Sepik Province, PNG.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Evolutionary Anthropology and Health, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY, USA. mvilar1@binghamton.edu.
2
Department of Anthropology, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY, 13902-6000, USA. mvilar1@binghamton.edu.
3
Malaria Research Unit, Unit for Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
4
Department of International Affairs and Tropical Medicine, Tokyo's Women's Medical University, Tokyo, Japan.
5
Faculty of Health Sciences, Divine Word University, Madang, Papua New Guinea.
6
Modilon Teaching Hospital, Madang, Papua New Guinea.
7
Laboratory of Evolutionary Anthropology and Health, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY, USA.
8
Department of Anthropology, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY, 13902-6000, USA.
9
Department of Biological Sciences, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY, USA.

Abstract

The colonization of Oceania occurred in two waves. By 32,000 BP, humans had reached New Guinea and settled all intervisible islands east to the Solomon Islands. Around 3,500 BP, a distinct intrusive group from Southeast Asia reached coastal New Guinea, integrated their components with indigenous resources, and gave rise to the Lapita Cultural Complex. Within 2,500 years, Lapita and its descendant cultures colonized the Pacific. To uncover the origin of the Lapita Cultural Complex, we analyzed the hypervariable region I of the mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid (mtDNA) in 219 individuals from eight East Sepik Province villages: two villages in each of four environmental zones. Same-zone villages spoke different languages: one Austronesian and three Papuan (Arapesh, Abelam, and Boiken). Our analysis examined whether language or geography better predicted gene flow. In general, language better predicted genetic affinities. Boiken villages across all four zones showed no significant genetic difference (F(ST) P value > 0.05). In contrast, the Austronesian village was significantly different to most other villages (P < 0.05). Only the mountains and coast showed zonal gene flow (P > 0.05). We interpret the data to reflect limited gene flow inland by Austronesians overshadowed by a regional displacement by inland Boiken speakers migrating seaward. These results are consistent with oral histories and ethnographic accounts.

PMID:
18498001
DOI:
10.1007/s10038-008-0301-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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