Between 64,000 and 75,000 years ago, Australian Aboriginals’ ancestors split from the first modern African populations; at least 24,000 years before other modern human migrations left Africa.
They followed the coast, where resources were abundant. They travelled to India, SE Asia and Austronesia.
How much of this journey was by sea or by coastline is uncertain.
The Trade Winds that blow round the Indian Ocean create the Coriolis Effect.
The route is signposted by the mt-Haplogroup M, and there is consensus that the divergence between L3 and M mt-Haplogroups occurred outside Africa:
But there is no consensus as to exactly where the inland migrations (M-N-R) from the coastal route took place. ‘M is detached by only 3 CR mutations from the shared ancestral L3 node in East Africa, while N counts 5, and R counts 6 (the five of N plus one of its own). This is at least suggestive of successive rather than simultaneous (or separated by very short periods) expansions of M, N and R.’ Possibilities for the M-N-R split include just across the Gulf of Oman (Iran), further southwest (Pakistan or northwest India) and/or further east near Myanmar or Thailand:
Southeast Asia is a regional concept for modern nations south of China, east of India, and west of New Guinea. Mainland Southeast Asia – Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Burma – is mostly influenced by Chinese values. The Peninsular Malaysia (or Lands Below the Winds) and Island Southeast Asia are influenced by Hinduism, Buddhism, and Chinese values (especially around Singapore and Malaysia), but mostly by Islamic values since around 400CE when Austronesian Malay spice traders connected Indonesia to India and China much earlier than the Oceanians did.
The earliest human occupation of Southeast Asia was between 40,000 and 50,000 years ago, by people voyaging in watercraft across up to 65km of open ocean. These settlers were not Austronesian. Most of the islands, including Indonesia, New Guinea and western Melanesia, later colonised by the Austronesions were already inhabited by foraging populations who are linguistically connected.
Some of these indigenous peoples are related to groups found all over the world:
Red: 1 the Andamanese 2 the Semang of the Malay peninsula 3 the Aeta of the Philippines 4 some barely-known groups in Indonesia;
Blue: 1 the Vedda of Sri Lanka 2 Veddoid groups in central and southern India 3 perhaps the major Dravidian group;
Orange: 1 the Barrineans 2 the Tasmanians in Australia and perhaps other Australian groups
Grey: possibly 1 Papua-New Guinea 2 the Solomon islands;
Black: 1 Khoisan of South Africa 2 the Congolese 3 remnant groups on the Arabian peninsula;
Green: American relatives such as the 1 Pericu of the Californian peninsula in Mexico 2 the Lagoa Santa people of Minas Gerais, Brazil 3 the Fuegians of southernmost South America.
The Aeta are the original inhabitants of the Philippines.
Most of the Filipino population have Aeta ancestors.
The Austronesian colonization of Island Southeast Asia happened between 6,000 and 4,000 years ago. Exactly where Austronesians came from is debated. Whether originating on mainland Southeast Asia, Southern China or Taiwan, the Austronesian colonization was an initial movement to the southern islands followed by movements outward in all directions:
- South East Asia – Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines
- South China
- Madagascar off western Africa
- Polynesia, Easter Island in the eastern extreme
- Hawaii in the north
- New Zealand to the south, around 1000BP
Austronesians are indigenous to the previously uninhabited Polynesian and Micronesian islands and almost completely wiped out the indigenous inhabitants in other parts of SE Asia. The mountains of New Guinea and the Australian continent were not colonized. Austronesian was the most widespread language family prior to European colonization due to extensive trade connections throughout the colonized islands.
Recent studies supported by HUGO (Human Genome Organization) point to a single Asian migration from Southeast Asia travelling north and slowly populating East Asia, instead of the other way around as in the Out of Taiwan model. It seems that Southeast Asian civilizations are older than the more studied East Asian civilizations are.