Anthropology

Globalization is not recent

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Science  04 Aug 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6350, pp. 468-469
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6350.468-d

Madagascar has been colonized by many over thousands of years.

PHOTO: LYNN GAIL/GETTY IMAGES

Ancestors are important on Madagascar, and the Malagasy worry about their origins. In an island-wide genomic study of maternal mitochondrial DNA and the paternal Y chromosome, Pierron et al. investigated the details of Malagasy descent. Sampling 2700 people from more than 250 villages across the island confirmed admixture of African Bantu and Austronesian ancestors. Maternal genes originating from southern Borneo predominate in the central highland regions of the island, and African genes dominate in coastal regions and the north. The Austronesians seem to have arrived about 2500 years before the present (the Malagasy language is Austronesian), and about 1000 years later, the Bantu landed on the northern tip of the island, having traveled from southern Africa. Whether this information will be considered helpful by the Malagasy in resolving disputes about ancestry is moot.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 10.1073/pnas.1704906114 (2017)

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