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Environmental Influences on the Prehistoric Movement of Modern Humans through Wallacea

Author(s): Alvaro Montenegro ; Scott M. Fitzpatrick

Year: 2017

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Summary

Archaeological evidence for early population dispersals from Sunda to Sahul extends back to at least 50 kya in Australia and between 42–40 kya in Timor-Leste and Sulawesi. An increasing number of sites dating to between ca. 41–14 kya on these and other islands such as Halmahera suggest that modern humans were becoming more proficient and spatially expansive than once believed. What were the prime variables environmentally, socially, or climatically that may have influenced these movements during the Late Pleistocene? In this paper, we examine how and why these groups dispersed across this region during different intervals of time, taking into consideration the presence of now-submerged islands, winds, currents, and climatic (seasonal and other variability) processes. The results have implications for modeling colonization routes and estimating seafaring capabilities during the initial stages of Sahul occupation.


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Environmental Influences on the Prehistoric Movement of Modern Humans through Wallacea. Alvaro Montenegro, Scott M. Fitzpatrick. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431000)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15315

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America