Peopling of Australia (Sahul)

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Peopling of Australia (Sahul)

1PossMan
jun 22, 2019, 7:01am

Suggests early migrations were organised and involved largish numbers. An article from "The Conversation"
https://theconversation.com/an-incredible-journey-the-first-people-to-arrive-in-...

2stellarexplorer
jun 22, 2019, 12:25pm

I follow this closely. The peopling of Australia/Sahul occurred so early, so soon after the apparent final definitive African departure, that I find it fascinating to think about how that may have happened. Or could these people have been part of a slightly earlier wave of emigration? This is a rich topic!

3alaudacorax
Redigeret: jun 23, 2019, 4:56am

The authors seem a little over-attached to the idea of 'planning'. Okay, someone could have organised a thousand people to go and conquer a new world--I accept that. But isn't it much more likely to have been a question of 'story' rather than planning? A scattering of people made it to the far side, whether deep sea fishing or simply trying to go somewhere and being driven off-course by bad weather; a small number of those made it back; over time a story--a legend, really--grows up about uninhabited land on the far side. Then things get tough--over-population, worked-out food resources and--again over a period of time--small groups of people get desperate enough to go looking for it. Eventually, the small groups add up to the authors' requisite numbers ...

4alaudacorax
jun 23, 2019, 5:10am

>3 alaudacorax:
... or the survivors of the small groups do ...

5stellarexplorer
jun 23, 2019, 11:34am

>3 alaudacorax: You make a good point. It is unfortunate that stories fossilize so poorly!

6Bushwhacked
nov 8, 2019, 6:53am

>3 alaudacorax: alaudacorax:

I think you have hit the nail on the head.

If these peoples had all the advanced maritime and organisational planning skills made out in the article, what happened to those skills? There is, as far as I am aware, no evidence of aboriginal peoples retaining seafaring skills that allowed them later to trade with the Indonesian islands or even Papua, despite there being evidence of contact in the other direction prior to European settlement. And when Tasmania was cut off from mainland Australia, there's no evidence that aboriginal peoples retained any seafaring skills to maintain contact. There's no archaeological evidence for these maritime and organisational planning skills, the article simply implies them. Certainly if such skills existed they were lost. We do know that across the planet prehistoric human migrations appear to have happened in waves, driven by environmental factors and appear to have hugged coastlines, those environments being a ready source of food whilst on the move.

7MaureenRoy
jun 26, 2020, 6:10pm

There was a news article this year featuring interviews with Aboriginal elders, whose view of their earliest history is that during a prehistoric era when ocean levels were much lower, their Aboriginal forebears walked across to Australia from India.

8stellarexplorer
jun 26, 2020, 9:55pm

>7 MaureenRoy: That’s really interesting. Do you recall a reference on this?