First Migrants

First Migrants : Ancient Migration in Global Perspective

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The first publication to outline the complex global story of human migration and dispersal throughout the whole of human prehistory. Utilizing archaeological, linguistic and biological evidence, Peter Bellwood traces the journeys of the earliest hunter-gatherer and agriculturalist migrants as critical elements in the evolution of human lifeways. * The first volume to chart global human migration and population dispersal throughout the whole of human prehistory, in all regions of the world * An archaeological odyssey that details the initial spread of early humans out of Africa approximately two million years ago, through the Ice Ages, and down to the continental and island migrations of agricultural populations within the past 10,000 years * Employs archaeological, linguistic and biological evidence to demonstrate how migration has always been a vital and complex element in explaining the evolution of the human species * Outlines how significant migrations have affected population diversity in every region of the world * Clarifies the importance of the development of agriculture as a migratory imperative in later prehistory * Fully referenced with detailed maps throughout
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Product details

  • Paperback | 326 pages
  • 171 x 247 x 16mm | 502g
  • Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Chicester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • maps, figures
  • 1405189088
  • 9781405189088
  • 423,877

Back cover copy

Peter Bellwood's global perspective on human migration offers an unprecedented view of the evolution of human lifeways. Charting the fascinating story of human migration throughout prehistory, the author takes the reader on an archaeological odyssey from humanity's origins in Africa two million years ago, through the challenges and dislocations of the Ice Ages, to the continental migrations of agricultural peoples within the last 10,000 years.



Drawing on a wide variety of data from archaeology, evolutionary biology, human genetics, and comparative linguistics, the book's central argument posits that migration has always been a fundamental imperative in human affairs. Bellwood argues that human diversity is not just the result of purely local processes, but that significant migrations have always occurred, and identifies the development of agriculture as a critical element in recent human prehistory. The analysis provided in these pages is informed by the latest research and is well-illustrated with detailed maps.
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Table of contents

List of Figures ix Preface xiv A Note on Dating Terminology xvi Acknowledgements xvii 1 The Relevance and Reality of Ancient Migration 1 Migration in Prehistoric Times 4 Hypothesizing About Prehistoric Migrations 6 Migrations in History and Ethnography 8 The Helvetii 8 Ancient China 9 Medieval Iceland 10 The Nuer of Sudan 10 The Iban of Sarawak 12 Relevance for Prehistoric Migration? 13 2 Making Inferences About Prehistoric Migration 17 Changes in Time and Space Genes, Languages, Cultures 18 Human Biology, Genetics, and Migration 19 Demic Diffusion 21 Language Families and the Study of Migration in Prehistory 22 Language Family Spread: Lessons from Recent History 26 Language Family Spread: Lessons from Anthropology 28 Dating the Spreads of Language Families 29 Cultures in Archaeology Do They Equate with Linguistic and Biological Populations? 30 Archaeology and the Study of Migration in Prehistory 32 One End of the Spectrum Intensive Culture Change without Significant Migration 32 The Other End of the Spectrum Intensive Cultural Change with Significant Migration 33 3 Migrating Hominins and the Rise of Our Own Species 36 Behavioral Characteristics and Origins of Early Hominins in Africa 38 First Hominin Migration(s) Out of Africa 1 41 Unfolding Species in Time and Space 46 Java, Flores, and Crossing the Sea 48 Out of Africa 2? 50 Out of Africa 3? The Origins of H. sapiens 52 The Recognition of Modern Humans in Biology and Archaeology 54 The Expansion of Modern Humans Across the African and Eurasian Continents, 130,000 45,000 Years Ago 58 Africa 58 The Levant and Southern Asia 60 Northern and Western Eurasia 63 The Fate of the Neanderthals 66 Explanations? 67 4 Beyond Eurasia: The Pioneers of Unpeopled Lands Wallacea and Beyond, Australia, The Americas 71 Crossing the Sea Beyond Sundaland 72 How Many Settlers? 74 The First Australo-Melanesians 76 The Archaeology of Island Colonization Wallacea, Melanesia, Australia 77 Heading North and Offshore Again Japan 81 The Americas 83 Getting to Beringia 84 Circumventing the Ice 88 The Rapid Unfolding of American Colonization 90 5 Hunter-Gatherer Migrations in a Warming Postglacial World 96 Postglacial Recolonizations in Northern Eurasia 97 After the First Americans: Further Migrations Across Bering Strait 101 Na-Dene and Yeniseian 101 The Apachean Migration 104 The Holocene Colonizations of Arctic Coastal North America 105 The Thule Migration and the Inuit 107 The Early Holocene Colonization of a Green Sahara 109 Continental Shelves and Their Significance for Human Migration 112 Holocene Australia Pama-Nyungan Migration? 113 Linguistic Prehistory during the Australian Holocene 117 Who Were the Ancestral Pama-Nyungans? 119 6 The First Farmers and Their Offspring 123 Where and When Did Food Production Begin? 124 Why Did Food Production Develop in Some Places, but Not Others? 127 Why Was Domesticated Food Production Relatively Slow to Develop? 128 Food Production and Population Expansion 129 The Neolithic 133 Food Production as the Driving Force of Early Agriculturalist Migration 135 7 The Fertile Crescent Food Production Complex 140 Agricultural Origins in the Fertile Crescent 141 Neolithic and Chalcolithic Expansion Beyond the Fertile Crescent 147 Anatolia and Southeastern Europe 147 Neolithic Migration Beyond Greece and the Balkans 149 The Steppes and Central Asia 151 Iran, Pakistan, and South Asia Beyond the Indus 153 Linguistic History and the Spread of the Fertile Crescent Food Production Complex 157 Perspectives from Indo-European 157 The Possible Significance of the Turkic and Yeniseian Languages in Central Asia 163 West Eurasian Genetic and Population History in the Holocene 165 Peninsular Indian Archaeology and Dravidian Linguistic History 168 The Spread of the Fertile Crescent Food-Producing Economy into North Africa 169 The Fertile Crescent Food Production Complex and Its Impact on Holocene Prehistory in Western Eurasia 172 8 The East Asian and Western Pacific Food Production Complexes 178 Agricultural Origins in the Yellow and Yangzi Basins of East Asia 178 Migrations from the Yellow River Basin 181 Migrations from the Yangzi Basin Mainland Southeast Asia 182 Early Rice and the Linguistic Record 187 Genetics, Human Biology, and the East Asian Mainland during the Holocene 189 Island Southeast Asia and Oceania 191 The Colonization of Oceania 194 The History of the Austronesian Language Family 197 Biological Anthropology and the Austronesians 201 The East Asian and Western Pacific Food Production Complexes and Their Impacts on Holocene Prehistory 204 9 The African and American Food Production Complexes 210 Food Production in Sub-Saharan Africa 211 West Africa and the Niger-Congo-Speaking Populations 213 The African Food Production Complex in Perspective 218 Holocene Migrations in the Americas 219 The Central Andes 221 Amazonia 224 The Caribbean Islands 228 Mesoamerica 229 Northern Mesoamerica, the Southwestern United States, and the Uto-Aztecans 230 The Eastern Woodlands 234 The American Food Production Complexes and Their Impacts on Holocene Prehistory 238 10 The Role of Migration in the History of Humanity 243 References 249 Index 299
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Review quote

In sum, First Migrantsis a commendable effort to synthesize a growing body of literature on the subject and will serve as a useful and much needed text for courses on the subject. For those generally unfamiliar with different parts of the world and why people moved to and fro, Bellwood has offered an attractive resource and one which should prove useful in that regard for years to come. (American Antiquity, 1 July 2014) This is a significant contribution to our understanding of world archaeology. (Antiquity, 1 June 2014)
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About Peter Bellwood

Peter Bellwood is Professor of Archaeology at the Australian National University. A renowned authority in a field driven by contesting paradigms, his vast experience and detailed empirical research have informed his widely-translated publications, especially covering South East Asia and the Pacific. Recent key works include The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration, Volume 1: Prehistory (2013), co-edited with Immanuel Ness, First Farmers (Wiley-Blackwell, 2005), Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago (second edition 1997, reprinted 2007), and Examining the Farming/Language Dispersal Hypothesis (2002), co-edited with Colin Renfrew. His research integrates a range of techniques from archaeology, linguistics, and human biology, and he is currently engaged in archaeological research in Vietnam and the Philippines.
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Rating details

51 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 25% (13)
4 53% (27)
3 12% (6)
2 8% (4)
1 2% (1)
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